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!
Human beings have been living in communities for centuries, from the very first gathering of people to support the common cause of providing food shelter and water as well as protection from foreign harm.
We’ve grown into diverse and focused communities that help us grow in ways we never imagined, with support from individuals and leadership who were able to accomplish tasks much bigger than all of us.
Communities come in different shapes and forms and even different words define them! The smallest unit consists of 3 people and it can also be called a family, group of friends, classmates, school, meet-ups, it can go on an on, with one of the larger ones called movements or a city and country, the human race.
For the past few years I’ve been part of many communities with out realising it’s affect on me and my behaviour.
When you work at a company or are looking to be part of one you’re essentially filling out an application to join a specific community. You tell them your experience, and they evaluate how you’ll behave and finally accept or reject you.
Then there’s social communities that you can come and go as you please depending on your level of involvement shows your commitment and support of others.
Communities are powerful but you have to be willing to give. Yes you have to give the community what you have the most precious and limited and that is time. It’s something that can never be replenished and the more you put of this time in a community the more quality connections you will make.
Here are some of the communities that have helped me grow into my own in the past decade.
Community of Technologists
Tech and hackers helped me to connect with other folks that were also building hackintosh computers using compatible hardware to be able to run MacOS, I joined this community back in 2005. I tinkered and went through hours of understanding the tech that enabled a successful build. I left the community when I bought myself a MacBook Pro 17”, although I continued to use a hackintosh machine well into 2017, when I could no longer keep up with the demands of a changing operating system.
Community of Inventors.
Over the past decade or around the time crowdfunding came to being, I’ve backed over 270 projects on the many platforms inventors go to such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, and other inventor communities. They’ve provided me with joy, disappointment, and unlimited grace. I can probably create a list of successful and unsuccessful projects but that’ll have to be another post. What I learned through them is any of the projects that I backed became it’s own community, around each project there’s anywhere from 10-6000 backers all rooting for the creator and the invention they created, it is absolutely fascinating to see these come to being and then ending as they finish with the delivery of the said product/service/software.
Community of Cyclists
I’ve been cycling as long as I can remember, I used to have a banana bike when I was in my youth, then upgraded to a BMX, then a mountain bike and unfortunately, each bike I owned was stolen at one point or another back in Saudi Arabia. When I moved to the US I wanted to get a bike but never really got around to it mainly because now I was driving a car. The main reason and purpose I used my bike for back in saudi was transportation, we didn’t wear a helmet and it was a great mode to get from one point to another, from my house to my friends house and then hang out.
Since 2013 I’ve own the same mountain bike and why a mountain bike? because I was consulted with a cyclist that was a mountain biker, if I had asked a road cyclist I would’ve been persuaded to get a road-bike. Suffice it to say I now own two bikes a mountain bike with swappable road and mountain wheels and a road bike for those long distance rides and physical fitness. In 2016 I caught the road cycling bug when I rode my first 40 miles on a road bike in New York for a cause where 30-40 thousand people showed up for the ride and it was raining! I continued to work at it and in 2017 I was able to ride over 1500 miles, the following few years didn’t amount to as much biking due to other activities, new baby and well other hobbies.
Community of Muslims
I was born a muslim, am a muslim and practice as regularly as possible, its enabled me to connect with other muslims and find similarities of passions. Of course it is such a broad community that it isn’t always possible to continue a conversation on that specific basis. We always need to find deeper connections that bind us in a much closer connection. This is a topic that will definitely need more research and well time to write about my involvement through islamic communities, studies and the pursuit to be a better muslim
Community of Leaders
This is definitely a new aspect that I’ve come to adore and grow into. See we all have leadership ingrained in us, we just have to dig deeper into the self and find what really triggers or gets our passions to flow. When we step up and take charge of a topic that we’re passionate about we appoint ourselves as leaders without knowing. I recently did this 4-5 months ago when I introduced Tech Talk Tuesdays to a Facebook group that I belong, and for the past 4 months, I’ve been going live in the group talking about technology from software, hardware, and even life in general. It’s enabled me to define my why and my story too.
Community of Filmmakers
I became a filmmaker or a videographer when we were first introduced to a video camcorder back when my dad got one as a gift. It used very specific tapes in it which recorded the image on to a magnetic tape rolled up in an 8mm tape. The rest is history and what gives me the passion to continually learn, implement and teach the techniques.
Community of Drivers
It was late 2013 Conan O Brien went on a ride in a Lyft Car! Along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, the video was epic and I was IN! I wanted to be that Lyft car drive and it was probably something pulled together by the folks at Lyft in conjunction with Conans show. Regardless I was signed up and in January I got accepted to be a Lyft driver.
I drove my 2010 Infiniti G37x as the Lyft car and everyone was immediately impressed that this type of car can also be a Lyft ride. Through the Lyft Facebook group I was able to connect with fellow Lyft drivers and they really cultivated a family of like minded folks and drivers. I joined many social gathering events over the following months as I drove for Lyft and talked with other Lyft drivers through FB messenger groups and a Voice based walkie talkie app. Denver was a great place to drive. Since I moved to the east clary I’ve only managed to give maybe 30 rides total because of time spent on family. I still have an active standing as a Lyft drive and own the Fluffy Pink moustache that attached to the front of the car.
Community of Photographers
In 2013 another thing that I did was join a few meet-up groups that focused on teaching photography and go on weekends to choice spots and capture the world around us. I learned how to use prime lenses, composition, and DSLR cameras
Community of Beekeepers
Yup I got into beekeeping end of 2017, took a class in winter of 2018 and started beekeeping in Spring. What really inspired me to get into beekeeping? A few years ago my wife and I took our almost 2 year old to an allergist. We knew he had allergies so we wanted to be more certain around which allergies are affecting him. The doctor suggested local honey to remedy for seasonal allergies. This sparked an idea in my head to discover local honey and where we could find it. Then a friend of mine asked if he could borrow my camera to capture releasing a few bee hives for his small farm.
Community of Speakers
Community of Teachers
Community of Hobbyists
Community of Gadgeteers
Community of Podcasters
Community of Live Streamers
Community of Designers
Community of Developers
Community of Artists
Community of Writers
Community of Authors
Community of Builders
Community of Youtubers
The more I think about this the more communities emerge from my mind.
We’re always growing and each community helps us get to the next level, the next evolution, the next phase, the next chapter of our lives.
It’s fascinating and inspiring to see growth within us and in those around us, what’s really neat is when you get to be the one seeing through to the transformation of others.
This topic of being closer to my siblings has been on my mind for the longest time, sure growing up I think I got along fine with everyone. My memory is something of a mystery as I don’t really think all that much about the past.
But as I grow older, a lot of these thoughts come back to me, and anytime that I had tried to create a safe space for and be close to my siblings I just never know what to say.
Sure there are the occasional squabbles we have between siblings, but there’s always an elephant in the room of some sort.
So what are some of the ways you can try to get closer to your siblings?
1. Be Compassionate
As we grow older we start closing ourselves off by beating about the bush and creating barriers in our minds, we simply need to treat ourselves as we would a small child like a 1-2-year-old kid learning to crawl or walk or run. We give them a lot of leeways and are super patient with them. WE have to remember that we’re not all alone and that we need to let your siblings into your life and treat them with patience, support, and mindfulness.
2. Be Nice to Each Other
Just like we’re being compassionate to ourselves we need to treat each other how we’d like to be treated. Afterall because your siblings are your blood it’s extra painful when we hear back something that we weren’t expecting. So be nice to each other and give them room to speak and tell their stories.
3. Lend a Hand When you Can
The hardest thing for any one person is to ask for help. It’s something either you’re not taught this in school, but it is ok to ask for help and a lot of the times we’re not able to ask for help because of our own ego and intuitions and the backlash and rejection that comes with it. So as we grow up we stop asking for help. So when you have the ability or not lend a hand to your sibling.
Someone asked Bill Gates if there was anyone richer than him, the story he tells is captivating and shows us the depth of human intuition because he shares that he was helped monetarily by a person that had nothing. And after years Bill wanted to help him (after he was wealthier). It makes that person richer because he was able to give when he had nothing.
4. Always have time to listen
We’re given 2 ears and one mouth for a reason, and then one month we have our tongue is enclosed between our teeth so we can better protect it. To find the time to listen to your siblings and let them vent and tell their stories enables them to have a deeper connection with them.
5. Take time out to have deep conversations
It’s super easy to have short bursts of conversations with your siblings, sharing a post here and there, sharing what’s happening. But when you actually take out the time to listen and talk about the stuff that really matters. This is when you really build that connection and get closer to them. It’s the same as taking the time out to listen, but now you’re having a discussion that means a lot to each one of you.
6. Discuss a topic that your sibling is deeply passionate about
Each of your siblings and if you just have the one they’ll have one specific thing that they’re super passionate about and willing move mountains and take the extra time out to actually go and make it happen. Talk in detail about these topics. This can be fitness related, food-related, sports-related or something that just lights them up. Again we’re just trying to get closer and yes sometimes there will be stuff that’s going to turn you off or something you said will turn them off. But when you’re talking about passions something in your mind clicks and you strengthen the bond.
7. Share a recipe or hack you recently discovered
I’m all about hacks, life hacks, food hacks any kind of hacks. And when I discover something new I want to run out and share what I learned. So if you’re an explorer go out there learn something new and bring it back to share with your sibling(s) and you’ll be amazed if they hadn’t already learned about it. If that’s the case you can always learn how they’re using it and what progress they’ve made.
I’m sure there are a lot more ways to get closer to your siblings, if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear about them. Because guess what, blood is thicker than water, hence why it hurts when your sibling says something that’s true. I love all of you and I totally care about you.
Thanks for reading and sticking around 🙂
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