Bloom How You’re Planted
I have a black thumb. Seriously. Much to my chagrin, I cannot successful grow ANYTHING. I want to be able to grow things so occasionally I look up possibilities for something that might break my bad luck. I came across some information that made me think.
The seeds for a rapid-growth crop are planted in shallow soil. The reason for this is because underneath that shallow soil lies rock. The solid rock holds in heat which causes the seed to germinate and grow quickly. These crops also wither and die quickly because they don’t have a deep, stabilizing root system.
Contrast that with the story of how bamboo grows. If you’ve ever googled “The Story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree,” you very well might have been inspired. It is a parable of patience and perseverance, traits that are undeniably necessary to growth and success both personally and professionally. However, the parable isn’t quite accurate…bear with me for a moment. First, bamboo is a grass, not a tree. Second, there are many types of bamboo and not all of them take years to sprout, as the parable describes. However, the key is that bamboo, once it sprouts, grows very rapidly. It wouldn’t be able to do that without a strong root system.
When we think of living a foundational life, it is absolutely essential to look at ALL types of growth and align it with our intended results. There will be some seeds you want to sow in shallow soil to reap benefits quickly. But if these are the only seeds you sow, you will be hard pressed to sustain growth by virtue of sheer exhaustion at having to constantly plant the seeds. Or if you have a handful of seeds that need time to develop a strong foundation and you plant them in the wrong soil, you have wasted your seed and your energy.
The patience and perseverance needed to grow bamboo are essential to deep growth both in our personal and professional lives. We have to make sure we are planting the right seeds in the right soil for both short-term and long-term growth (aka alignment).
Then, we plant the seeds. We water the seeds. We tend the seeds. We wait, not passively but actively. We wait with expectation that growth will happen. We are vigilant for the signs that our efforts might need to be adjusted to ensure the anticipated growth. And, finally, we are rewarded. And like the bamboo, the rewards can be astonishing.