If You Want to Reach Your Goals Start by Feeding Your Roots
The tallest trees have the strongest foundations
Once upon a time, there was a young man who was fed up with his life. Nothing was working out as he’d planned and this frustration had reached its breaking point. In a last-ditch effort he decided to go into the forest and seek out the guidance of an old wise woman who had a reputation for knowing the answers to life’s greatest challenges.
After searching for a few hours the young man finally spotted the lady and ran up to her saying — “Old wise woman, old wise woman, thank God I found you. I’m at the end of my rope and I’m hoping you can give me just one good reason to keep fighting.”
The old wise woman pondered the question and then turned to the young man and said, “One day I planted some seeds of fern and bamboo. I cared greatly for each of them. However, the fern grew faster and the first year their vibrant green leaves were covering the forest floor. But no matter how much I tended to the bamboo I never saw their sprouts.”
The young man stood in silence listening to the lady. But he couldn’t help but think to himself if he was wasting his time. He wanted the answers to one of life great questions and the old woman standing in front of him was talking about her plants. However, he didn’t want to be rude so he motioned for her to continue.
“The second year, once again the ferns grew quickly and no matter how much I prayed for the bamboo to sprout, nothing happened. The third and fourth year the same thing happened, but I still didn’t give up on the bamboo. Finally on the fifth year I saw some sprouts, but compared to the fern they looked very small and insignificant. However, on the sixth year something amazing happened: the bamboo grew up suddenly, towering over the ferns, reaching a height of over fifty feet.”
After finishing the story the old wise woman paused and then turned back to the young man and said, “You see young man, the bamboo needed time to grow the necessary roots that would serve as its foundation to not only survive in the forest, but to one day thrive. I know it can be frustrating, and you want to grow fast like the fern. But have you considered that during your lifetime, like the bamboo, you’ve been feeding your roots and any day now your efforts will bloom?”
The young man looked at the wise woman and was about to open his mouth but something about her face signalled to him that she wasn’t quite finished. After a long pause, the old wise woman looked the young man dead in the eyes and said, “Life wasn’t meant to be easy. Some days the morning greets us with happiness. Other days are hard, but they too hold value as they give us experience. Never forget young man, happiness may make us sweet, but pain keeps us human and our failures teach us to be humble.”
Then the old woman wrapped up her speech by saying something that shook the young man to his core — “If you don’t achieve what you crave, don’t despair — you’re feeding your roots.”
After taking in the wise woman’s words, the young man found himself standing a little taller. He was about to thank her and ask one more question. But by the time he had gathered his thoughts the old wise woman was back tending to her garden.
And it was in that moment the young man realised she had given him everything he needed to know.
That was written by Micheal Thompson on Medium.
I’ve been building and putting together a plan to help me to get through the next chapter in my life and like I’ve always been saying, “I’m getting there, slowly but surely, I’m getting there.” I’m using this blog as a key point in the process of my thinking which I hope you can understand. If not then don’t worry about it, it’s just what I do, and as my last post told you, it’s very complex yet oh so simple. I have to try and pick my way through the complexity of it all and make sense of it so that I can actually start getting somewhere, and the best way I have found of doing that is not only to write it out on paper to get the thoughts out of my head (so that I don’t forget and to free up some space ready for the next installment, which could well be a roller-coaster ride of emotion and paranoia) but also to make myself accountable by publishing it on here.
Feeding my roots has been time spent collecting all of the utensils I have, in the way of notes and apps, and putting them all together so that they’re ready for me to start using when I’m feeling in good shape mentally. The problem I’ve been having is that I just can not stick to any one thing for long periods of time and it gets really frustrating and annoying after some time especially when I’m trying to accomplish something that’s important to me and my life.
My roots are my ideas and my plans and I need to learn to stick to them so that I reach my goals. Call me nut’s and you probably will but I’ve got some goals set up in Beeminder where they will take real money from my account if I don’t fulfill the pledges. I see it as a concrete way for me to start sticking at things. More on that to follow…
Now you may wonder what the point of all this is? Why do I put so much effort into writing a blog post like this? Why do I even bother? and why do I think anyone will be interested? It’s taken me over 2 hours to make this post today, but it’s taken me months and years and ages longer just to get here where I am right now. And the sad thing of all that is, that I can’t go back and do it all over again knowing what I now know. As they say back in the day…Onwards and Upwards, and there’ll definitely be more on that!