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You decide to plant a bamboo tree. Every day you water and fertilize this tree. After a few days pass by, you see nothing. You continue to water it for weeks and see nothing. Weeks turn to months, and still you see nothing. You continue to water it for a year and you see nothing. Three years go by and yet you see nothing. Finally, after five long years, the bamboo tree shoots up to over eighty feet tall in a matter of six weeks. The question is of course is: Did it take six weeks, or five years?
Now imagine if you had given up. What would have happened if you stopped watering during the third year? Without seeing anything resembling progress, would you have kept fertilizing it regardless? If you had stopped taking care of this tree, would you have seen the results of your efforts? Imagine if you had lost your faith? Letting the people around you get in your head. Imagine your friends trying to influence your thoughts. What if your family started to challenge your beliefs? If you knew deep in your heart that it would grow someday, would you allow people to persuade you to stop? Who would decide the destiny of this bamboo tree if you let outside voices get you down? Imagine if you had just let it all go. Nothing would show, and you would never know.
We all have a bamboo tree in our lives. This is a tree that can come in many forms. It can come as a business, a dream, or a pursuit. It can be a job, an ambition, or a desire. Something that you've been working on day in, and day out. It could even be a thought, idea, or just a notion in the back of your mind. It could be something that you thought of as a child. Something you always wished in your life were true.
What have you been working on? What have you been planning? What have you been pondering? What have you been promising others? Have you only been hoping and wishing, or have you been working towards those goals? Have you been treating your dreams like that bamboo tree? Have you continued to water them no matter the results? What is the deadline you have given to yourself? Are you preparing for the day when you give up?
I urge you to think about this tree in your life. Whatever it is, know that it needs you for growth. Don't be dismayed by the lack of encouragement. Present circumstances don't have to seal your fate. Continue to see your tree as you know it will be. Commit to yourself that you will press on until. Promise yourself that you will water it until. Make a pact with your tree that you will keep its roots alive. That nothing and no one will deter your drive until. That you will give your all to see it grow until. Expect no end date and no end destination. You are guaranteed none of these things so just press on until.
"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway." ~Earl Nightingale
The will to wait
What lasts long may not come easy. What comes easy may not last long. You may not be able to count on your faith. You may not be able to count on the fruits. You may not be able to count on results. But there is one thing you CAN count on: Time. Time doesn't wait for the fruits of our labor. Time doesn't wait for you and me. To see the tree you must willing to do what time does not. You must be willing to wait.
Your dream may call for a sacrifice. It may demand an extraordinary amount of drive. People will call you insane for watering what has not sprouted. Willing to risk it again and again to see your tree come to the light. You will experiment, you will fail, you will make plenty of mistakes. Will it all be worth it if you lost all of your friends? Would you cherish your passion if it paid off in the end? Will it be sweet to see the faces of your family? Would it be worth going against all who doubted your dream? Can you endure the sleepless nights taking care of your tree? Will things that you lost be worth this wonderful sight to see?
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished." ~Lao Tzu
Now, imagine if you threw away the thought of how long it will take. Imagine discarding the monkey mind taking hold of your hope. Imagine forgetting how long you must work without seeing results. Realizing that the time you put in will pass by anyway. Assume that you dump out every last doubt and continue until.
Your bamboo tree could be right around the corner, my friend. The dream you hold may not even take years to form. If you commit to the mission in your mind, and you know it will happen. If you stake even your very existence upon seeing it grow. Your bamboo tree could be just one day away. Treat all of your days like this until arrives.
Find me on Twitter and Instagram: @jromeshaw
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