Action Catalyst Blog

The Power of Patience combined with Persistence – The story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree

Like any plant, growth of the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing through water, fertile soil, and sunshine.

In its first year though, we see no visible signs of growth in spite of providing all of these things.

In the second year (again), there is no growth above the soil.

The third, fourth year…still show no signs of anything happening.

Our patience is tested, and we begin to wonder if our efforts caring for and watering the tree will ever be rewarded. We start to doubt ourselves and question the value of our efforts. Inevitably, we contemplate quitting.

But then finally in the fifth year – something amazing happens…

The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet tall in just six weeks!

But think for a moment, does the Chinese Bamboo Tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth?

Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond?

The answer is (of course) obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew. The same principle is true for people.

People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success. Meanwhile get-rich-quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth. They haven’t become the person they need to be to support such success.

And 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 growth. In other words, the actions caused by self-doubt would’ve halted the miracle from ever taking shape and cause him to go backwards.

You and I are the same. It takes faith to work while you wait. It takes belief in yourself to keep going. It takes confidence to trust that you always get paid for how hard you work – sometimes now, often times later, always eventually.

You have to keep going. You have to keep fighting. As Zig Ziglar said you have to keep pumping!

Success is always slower than we want but it’s worth it. The only questions are how bad do you want it? And how long are you willing to work for it?

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