There are many things we all can learn from our nature. And one of the most remarkable stories one can learn is the story of a bamboo tree.
If you have heard this story, reread this again because this story is so powerful and I’m going to distill it for you in my own words. If you haven’t heard about this story, do I need to say more? Continue to read on, my friend.
The Bamboo Tree Story
Like all other plants and trees, the Chinese bamboo tree requires nurturing through water, fertile soil, and also with enough sunshine to ensure that it will grow.
If you try to plant a bamboo tree and you make sure you give it enough water, the right soil, and also enough exposure to sunlight, you will NEVER see any visible growth in the first year.
And if you continue to nurture the bamboo tree, after the second year, nothing will grow above the ground. And if you choose to continue on for the third and fourth year, you will see nothing too.
Finally, in the fifth year, something amazing will happen. The bamboo tree that you planted will grow to 80 feet tall in just six weeks!
Why is that so? For the first four years, nothing had happened, but in the fifth year, the bamboo tree grows to 80 feet tall in just a short six weeks.
Does this mean that within the first four years, nothing has happened to the tree? Nope, not at all, in fact, the bamboo tree is growing, UNDERGROUND, but you can’t see it.
The bamboo tree is a type of tree where it can grow super tall and because of its potential height, it requires a strong foundation of developing a root system to support its outward growth. If the bamboo did not grow its root for a strong foundation for the first few years, it can never sustain its future tall structural body.
Linking the Bamboo Tree to Your Life
The metaphor of a bamboo tree explains the best of what is happening to most people in life. A lot of people, including myself, are trying very hard to start a business. And in my case, I’m trying to build my online presence and to make a living from the internet.
For the first few years, no matter what career or business you ventured into, it will be extremely difficult.
You may have poured in the necessary time and effort into your goals and projects, but nothing seems to be happening.
And this is exactly like the bamboo tree. In the first few years, nothing seems to grow from the ground even with you fully nurture the tree, giving it enough water, provide it with a suitable soil and make sure it has enough sunshine.
At this point, most people would have given up.
I’m not sure where you are right now in your life, but I do believe that there are goals that you have set but failed to achieve. Why do you fail in achieving them?
The answer is simple, I believe most people fail to achieve their goals because they have given up and quit.
In beginning, they are so motivated and fired up to want to lose the extra fat in their body. They bought the running shoe and also signed up for a gym class. However, after a while, it could be weeks or months later, they started to lose faith in their goals and lose their steam too.
As a result, they tend to put in less effort. And as time went through, they forgot about their goals and eventually got busy with other things in their lives. Does this explain your situation?
The 6 Success Lessons to Learn from the Bamboo Tree
My friend, learn from the bamboo tree. There are so much you and I can learn from nature, and here, we’re learning from the bamboo tree.
1. Success Doesn’t Come Right Away
The first success lesson you should learn from the bamboo tree story is that success does not come right away. When you have poured in the hard work and dedicated a lot of your time to your goals and dreams, it does not mean that you will get to see the result immediately.
As the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day.” Do you workout and exercise in the gym for a day and expect to lose all the fat on your body? Not at all, you will not expect that.
So what makes you expect that success will come to you right away? Tony Robbins is right when he said that most people overestimated what they can do in a year and they underestimated what they can do in ten years.
One year will pass in an instant. And if you are not working consistently toward your goals, the year will be gone and you will accomplish nothing.
Therefore, expect to take longer to achieve your goals, especially your worthy goals that will change your life forever.
2. Success Requires Strong Foundation
The bamboo tree can never grow to 80 feet tall if it did not grow its root deep into the ground for the first few years. And the same applies to your life.
Spend time to build a strong foundation. This is especially important if your goals are big and your dreams are beyond your current level.
The problem with most people who failed to achieve their goals is that they never improve themselves. They never commit to the principle of constant and never-ending improvement. They never commit to deliberate practice.
Increase and Improve Your Level
First, you must raise your level in both your knowledge and your characters before you can achieve a better result in life.
Imagine if you are at level 3 and your problem or obstacle is at level 5, it will be a big problem for you. However, things will be different when you level up yourself.
Just like playing games, when you level up, you become better. You raise your level to level 7. And now you will look at a level 5 problem as a small problem. Do you get that?
Always remember this, the size of the problems don’t matter; what truly matters is the size of you.
When you equipped yourself with powerful knowledge and built yourself with successful characters, you can achieve anything you set out to achieve.
Next, you must commit to deliberate practice. Merely practicing every day will never make you better, unless you practice your skill deliberately.
Imagine if you are an avid jogger. You have jog for the last ten years, so does that make you a great jogger and you can enter the Olympics?
Highly likely it is not possible. Why is that? The reason is obvious; you are practicing to make it permanent instead of deliberately practice to improve your skill.
Take jogging as an example. Simply jog for years will never improve your ability. You will hit the plague and that’s the maximum you can go.
Unless you change your strategy and deliberately practice to improve your skill, you will never get ahead. Ask yourself these questions:
Do you set mini targets to hit every time you jog?
Do you take note of your heartbeat and breathing?
Do you just jog or do you combine jog and run?
How do you measure your speed, duration, blood pressure and also your breathing?
Do you have a coach to look at your feedback?
How do you record your result?
These are some of the necessary stats when it comes to deliberate practice. So commit to deliberate practice, my friend.
If you are serious about improving your skills and becoming better in what you do, deliberate practice is what you need. You can read Cal Newport’s best-selling book, Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World to learn about more the subject matter.
Hence, learn to grow a strong foundation like the bamboo tree.
3. Success Is About Your Consistency
Without consistently watering, nurturing and giving enough sunshine to the bamboo tree, it can never grow. What happens if you nurture and water it the first month, and then do nothing for the next two months, and only to decide to continue at it again?
It will never experience a full growth, and you may even kill it. And this is exactly how most people treat their goals and dreams.
They think about them and work on them in the beginning, but eventually, they lose steam and never do it again.
Most people got the wrong perception and think that success is something that happens in an instant with the right decision, at the right place and at the right time.
This is not always the case. While I do understand that there are exceptions, but most of the time, these special cases never happen. Success is about putting in the consistent effort.
You cannot build a successful blog if you are just publishing only one post on it. Unless you are a celebrity, you need to put in the consistent effort to make it work.
I like the quote from Aristotle, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.”
It is what you do every day that matters, not what you do once in a while. What you do each day has a bigger impact than what you do once every quarter.
So don’t get it wrong by thinking that you just need to do it right for once and success will come to you. Nope, you need to do every little small thing right every day and success will come to you.
4. Don’t Forget to Nurture Your Dreams
A lot of people forget to nurture their dreams. They plan to write an article or hit the gym to work out at night, but when it is time to work, they either choose to procrastinate or forget about what they need to get done.
And when they remember that they needed to write the article or exercise, it will be too late and they will usually say, “Tomorrow!”
Never let this happen to you, my friend. I suffer from procrastination and keep telling myself stories too.
And here’s a quote that I remind myself each and every day:
“Success is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.”
So always keep your dreams in your head regularly. Never let it slips and never let it goes. You have to consistently remind yourself of what you want to accomplish in life and affirm your goals every single day.
The moment you lose sight of your goals will be the moment you procrastinate and never do anything about them. Whatever is out of your sight will be out of your mind.
5. Believe Without Doubts
Another important lesson you must learn from the bamboo tree story is that you need to believe in yourself and your dreams without a doubt.
Of course, this does not mean that you should just believe, wait and do nothing about it. You should believe in yourself and at the same time, work at your dreams.
A lot of people fail to do this when they put in their effort and time but never get to see the results.
If you want to be a successful blogger, will you continue to write and publish quality content even if you are not earning anything from your blog, yet? How long will you do it for?
If you want to be a businessman, will you continue to work hard, strive to get more clients and buyers even when you are having tough times? And how long you can do that?
Highly successful people understand that success is not easy because if it is easy, everyone will be successful. And because it is hard, and requires tremendous effort especially in the early stage, you must proceed with absolute belief without a shadow of doubts.
When you look at extraordinary people such as Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Michael Jordan, Will Smith, Dwayne Johnson, Les Brown, and more, you will notice that there are many times they wanted to quit, but somehow, they choose to believe in themselves and their dreams, and they choose to move on. And the rest is history they say.
By the way, if you want to learn the belief systems and how extraordinary people achieved success regardless of tough times, read Steve Jobs. It is a must-read book for anyone who encounters insurmountable obstacles and still makes it.
You are one who needs to believe in yourself and your dreams because if you don’t, nobody else would.
6. Patience and Persistence Will Pay Off
One of the most profound lessons you can learn from the bamboo tree story is none other than this, being patience and persistence.
As we have talked about it earlier in this article, success will never come to you that fast and you will need to have the patience to go through the hard work in order to produce the result you desire.
And this is exactly where most people fail. Most people don’t have the patience. This is why people buy lotteries, find quick ways to lose weight and look for a get-rich-quick scheme.
While it is true that you can build a successful business with today’s technology in a faster manner, but that will still require your effort and some time. You still need to make the effort to buy a lottery ticket if you want to win.
Thus, have the patience and persistence my friend. No matter what happens, keep telling yourself to move on and keep going forward. Never give up.
“Press on: nothing in the world can take the place of perseverance. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.” – Calvin Coolidge
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