The inspiring story of the Chinese bamboo tree is a wonderful lesson in perseverence, patience and persistence.
Although I read this story long ago, it is a good one to re-read. And I find that every time I read it, there’s a different takeaway.
It is important to note that we usually tend to see what we want to see and remember what we want to remember.
The Chinese Bamboo Tree
The Chinese bamboo tree needs a lot of nurturing to grow. Water, fertile soil, sunshine. Even after the seed is planted and you water the tree, and add fertilizer for a whole year, nothing seems to be happening. You don’t see visible signs of growth despite all the effort.
Then comes the second year. Of watering, fertilizing, and nurturing. You still see nothing–no visible growth above the soil.
Three years, four years on– and still nothing!
Nothing to show for all that effort you put in.
You have to admit that patience is tested. You being to wonder if all that effort–caring for and watering the tree was worth it. Will you ever be rewarded?
You start to doubt yourself.
You question the value of your efforts.
And perhaps, at this point, you consider quitting or simply decide to quit.
But if you are still sitting on the fence about what to do, and the fifth year arrives, something truly amazing happens.
In six weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree grows 80 feet tall.
Can you imagine that?
Now pause to think for a moment; does the Chinese bamboo tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks?
Was it quiet and inert for four years, only to wake up in the fifth year and grow exponentially?
So here’s the interesting thing.
For the first four years, the little tree spreads its roots underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation, it could not have sustained its future tall structure.
What seems miraculous about what we see in year five, is something that involved a lot of work that was not visible to us.
The Chinese bamboo tree principle is true for success in life and in business.
People, who work hard patiently towards mastering their skills and moving towards goals, building a strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success.
Meanwhile, get-rich-quick thinkers usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth. They haven’t become the person they need to be to support such success.
Had the Chinese bamboo tree farmer dug up his little seed every year to see if it was growing, he would have stunted the tree’s root growth. In other words, the actions caused by self-doubt would stop or slow down the eventual growth of the tree and manifestation of our success.
It takes faith to work while you wait.
It takes belief in yourself to keep going.
It takes confidence to trust that you will always get rewarded for your hard work–sometimes it is immediate and sometimes, later. But it eventually does happen.
Don’t give up, keep the faith!
When times are tough,
And the road is rough,
Don’t give up faith.
The sun will shine again,
And the clouds will part,
Just keep your heart.
Hold on to hope,
And never let go,
For faith will see you through.
So don’t give up,
No matter what,
Just keep your faith.
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of inspiring stories, verses, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions, and humor. Oh yeah, some days are not so short.