When I talk about success, I am talking about achieving your purpose. It goes back to growth, finding your true meaning in life whether personal, spiritual, relationship or career and building it to prosper, as well as sustain adversity. Real growth will require work. It will demand the best out of you every day. You will be responsible for your own integrity, morals, values, and perseverance to establish as a foundation for a fulfilled growth to actually occur. Once this is formed, your individual character is displayed. It is done so because what we believe and is passionate about “inward” will be displayed “outward,” and that is why others can sense the type of person we are from our words and actions.
There is a parable about the Chinese Bamboo Tree that explains the lessons of growth through patience, faith, and perseverance. No different than any other plant, the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires the perfect conditions: water, fertile soil, and sun. What is distinctly different, however, is after one year, there is no sprouting. The second year passes, and there is still no visible activity. The third year looks no different than the first two. The fourth year arrives, and the farmer sees nothing. One would expect despair, frustration, or anger. But to grow the Chinese Bamboo Tree, one must be patient, because it is in the fifth year that the miracle of growth begins, and in a radical way.
The farmer has nurtured this plant for four years, investing time, resources, money and most of all, patience, in not rushing the outcome, but rather respecting the process. The rewards are amazing. The Chinese Bamboo Tree will grow up to 80 feet in just six weeks! Numerous culms, or small hollow shoots, will grow in an entire field. Four years of being stagnant only to flourish in the fifth year? How is that possible?
We tend to judge growth by what is visible and tangible, but does all growth show outwardly? We may spend years developing a skill that is not necessarily one that is required in our current environment, but we are building ourselves up for success in the future. Think about things like integrity, character, knowledge, faith, perseverance, gratitude — all of these are traits that require the same nurturing process of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. That tree didn’t lie dormant for four years. Below the soil was an explosion of roots growing wide and deep, capable of supporting its outward growth once it sprouts.