Perhaps you’re familiar with the primary message of patience and persistence that is usually associated with the story of the Chinese bamboo tree. However, there are three other messages hidden in that story, if you look for them.
The story of the Chinese bamboo tree is true and is as follows: This particular tree has a seed that is so hard that when planted, it will do nothing for almost five years. Nothing happens in the first year or the second, not the third or the fourth. You have to water and care for that seed all those years, seeing no results from your labor. That is, until the fifth year.
In the fifth year, the seed breaks through the soil and begins to grow into a tree. And grow, it does. In fact, the Chinese bamboo tree has been recorded at growing upwards of 3 feet a day, almost 90 feet in about a month. You can literally stand there and watch it shoot up! (It has actually been timed at approximately one inch of growth every 40 minutes.)
Now, during that five-year period, if the person who had planted that seed had stopped watering it or taking care of the ground area, the seed would have died. If the planter had gotten tired of waiting and dug up that seed to see what was taking so long or walked away in disgust… the seed would have died.
But, if we look a little deeper, in addition to patience and persistence, there are other lessons to be learned from the planter.
It seems obvious that if someone wants to plant a Chinese bamboo tree, they wouldn’t set off to plant an apple tree. However, for many of us, when it comes to our goals, we have a tendency to either not be specific or try to accomplish too many things at one time.
If your goal is to become wealthy, that is not specific. What do you mean by the wealthy? Wealthy means different things to different people, as does the goal to become successful. If you want to lose weight, that is also not specific. If you have a goal to lose 20 pounds, that is specific. But if you want to lose 20 pounds AND AT THE SAME TIME reorganize your house, get a new job, and travel to Europe – that may be too big of a bite for most people. In reality, the chances of achieving any of those goals to the degree that would be desired is greatly diminished, because, as the old saying goes, you can do three things at the same time, but you can’t do three things WELL at the same time.
Being specific about want you want to accomplish is critical, as it helps you to focus on what you need to do. Additionally, if you are trying to do a variety of things at the same time, you are limiting how much attention and time you can direct to each goal, which can lead to unnecessary mistakes, missed opportunities, and setbacks.
Message: Be specific about what you want to achieve and focus on one goal at a time.
In addition to the bamboo seed, the planter needed to procure the appropriate tools and find the proper location for the tree. This may have been accomplished with just a simple list, but that list – no matter how small or simple – is a plan.
Most people don’t create a plan for their goals. Instead, they “wing it” and most fail or never get their “wings” flying in the right direction. Depending on the complexity of your goal, you need to not only write down your specific goal but also create a plan. (The internet is loaded with studies that prove the power of writing down goals and a plan, so no need to rehash it here.) So, whether it’s a simple list or a detailed strategic plan…
Message: Write down your specific goal and a plan.
While dealing with negativity is a crucial component of patience and persistence, what is not alluded to in the typical telling of the story of the Chinese bamboo tree (and excuse me for taking a little literary license) is dealing with the negativity of others, while you strive to achieve your goal.
Now, I have no idea if the planter of the bamboo seed had to deal with friends or family chastising her for watering a piece of dirt for four years with no result. But I can tell you that as you work on your goal, there will be those who won’t be pulling for you. It’s a sad commentary, but it’s true. And sometimes, those people who won’t cheer you on are those who are closest to you like family, friends or business associates.
In some cases, it may be helpful to let as many people as possible know what you would like to achieve; however, in many situations, the less who know – the better. The more people you tell, the more opinions and judgments you will receive. And while some people may be positive, there will be those who are not.
Message: If you choose to tell others about your goal, be careful with whom you choose to share.
You may feel that I have squeezed every last ounce of juice from the story of the bamboo tree, and perhaps, you’re correct. As the Irish priest and essayist, Jonathan Swift said, “Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” Like a photograph, the more you look, the more you find.
The story of the Chinese bamboo tree contains hidden messages, beyond the apparent ones of patience and persistence. It is a story that is rich in meaning. You just have to look.
In the 3rd Quarter of 2021, I was introduced to the book The Big Leapby Gay Hendricks. My friend had just finished reading it and he was so impressed that he decided to reach out to the Author to bring him on his podcast “Inspired Money podcast.”
How this all happened in a matter of days inspired me to go out and read the book to see what it’s all about.
Now the title of the book is self-explanatory take the leap, the most significant leap you think in your mind, and yes, it was enticing enough, but when I read the subtitle ‘conquer your hidden fear and take life to the next level,’ it reeled me in like a fish.
It was a short listen just shy of 5 and a half hours on Audible. I listened to the book through car rides, chores, and lying in bed before sleep.
It not only opened my eyes to possibilities and my thought process, but I related to a lot of the stories he shared through the beginning of the book.
I talked about the book with at least 15 people in my circle and recommended that they read the book. I know a few of them went and grabbed the book immediately, which gave me such joy because I wanted the outcome for them that book provided for me.
Why was I so adamant? Because it unlocked things in my mind that I couldn’t think was possible. See, we’re all born with the capacity to learn and grow into who we want to become, but a lot of the foundational habits are built and solidified in the first five years of our lives.
These years are extremely critical and we absorb everything, all habits, all feelings that surround us. Growing up I have a very vague recollection of how my childhood was. I do know that being the oldest and firstborn in my family and firstborn of my mom’s siblings, I was handled and cared for by a lot of aunts and uncles. My grandmother and aunt watched and tended to my needs a lot more because my mom was carrying my sibling.
Why do these memories surface? Because after being a father to three children and watching them grow, I have data to see for myself the impact of the environment we put ourselves and our children in.
And this book helps resolve and overcome some of the things that might be holding you back. After reading this book and practicing Time Diet, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some fantastic people.
So if you’re on the fence, I’d recommend you take the leap and read this book.
I’m about to start the second reading of the book with a notebook to write down things that stick out for me and help me keep on the course to a fruitful future.
Somewhere out, there is a video where the speaker talks about how hard it is to make your first million. And how easy it is to make the second one because you’ve figured out what it takes. Just like when you bike for the first time, and you don’t know if you’re going to make it to the stop sign. The next time you’re on, you would count the miles, and if you got to the first mile.
But once’s you’ve ridden your bike for 50 miles every weekend, 30 miles every other day. It all becomes much more easier to tackle a 100 miles, 200 miles etc.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next one.
I bought the book Greenlights recently, maybe a couple of months ago even-though I’d been eyeing it for over a year, when the book came out October 20,2020.
Matthew McConaughey went on tour and how I discovered the book, I even tried to contact him through Instagram about studio setup, little that I knew that he’s been recording and shooting films for years before I even touched a camera.
Here’s the message I sent him over a year ago and finally reading(listening) to the book.
The book isn’t much long to read since it’s 300 pages, read and performed splendidly by Matthew for a good 6 hours 20 odd minutes. That’s been an amazing experience thus far.
Learning about someone from their own mind is something I’ve thoroughly enjoyed specially when I last read Kevin Hart’s book.
The thing I really love are the bumper stickers, note to self, prescriptions he mentions after each revelation from the story.
The mentioning of greenlight at each passing of a paragraph is also something I look forward to and think deeply myself what the story meant.
The deeper the story goes, the clearer the messages are, the more relatable the experience becomes as I walk my path and life.
I’ve gotta go back to the book and write down some of the anecdotes mentioned in the book to help me guide my own life.
The importance of introspection throughout his life gave him clarity when he needed it, keeping journals, learning from oneself what it means has been something else entirely., it was Matthew’s way of cleansing his mind and soul of the past and embracing the future.
I absolutely loved his stories of life on the road, and how ironic that I too listened to the book while driving.
Thanks for listening, I’ve got another two hours to finish reading the book, I’ll update as I go this post.
If you haven’t gotten a copy to the book, I recommend it!
I’ve been in love with my MacBook Pro 15″ 2018 model since I picked it up. It has certainly been the most expensive Mac that I’ve purchased to date. It was a custom order with 32GB ram a 2.6GHz 6-core i7 and a powerful GPU.
After using it to do everything I love, graphics, video editing, audio editing, live-streaming, and gaming this has stood pretty solidly, whilst driving a Dell 34″ Ultrawide Screen over a Belkin thunderbolt dock and now the Dell 38″ Ultrawide monitor.
I feel like I need an upgrade. But maybe is it time to completely wipe it clean and start fresh? Just install the apps that I use daily. What’s also crazy is that I’m using Office products, Google products, AND Apple work products. It’s really hard to stick to one platform Because of the projects and people I work with.
MS Products are being used by projects I’m on, Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for freelance projects, and the Google Suite for collaboration with folks around the world.
Maybe I just need to simplify.
I’ve been getting that loud fan noise issue on my 2018 MacBook Pro for the past few months. And it’s gotten worse. I did remove a lot of extraneous apps so it’s helped a bit more. But when I’m editing videos or running Ecamm Live or playing a game or two on Steam those fans kick up a storm. Now I did open it up and cleaned out the fans because I thought maybe it’s not able to move that air fast enough. After all, it’s just sat in the same place for almost 3 years. With the new MacBook Pro 16.2″ with the M1Pro/M1Max. I’m almost thinking the MacMini M1 would be an excellent replacement since I already get leaps and bounds more power with the M1 at the fraction of the price.
So maybe get the M1 Mac Mini?
But the MacBook Pro M1Pro/Max offers 64GB of ram and 3 to 4 large displays (I only use 2) Maybe an overkill. Instead of the MBP M1Pro/Max for 4K.. get a new M1 Mac Mini every year for 4 years.. and it’ll cost the SAME.