It is something we all strive to achieve. We look for growth in so many areas of our life: personal, spiritual, relationship, and career. I tend to be realistic when discussing growth because the speed of technology has put us in a position where we lack the skills to develop our sense of patience and no longer respect the process. We live in a society of instant gratification; however, some things can’t be rushed. Success is like Rome — it wasn’t built in a day. Nor was it ever intended to be.
“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave
while we we’re waiting.”
— Joyce Meyer
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.
“Without patience, we will learn less in life. We will see less. We will feel less. We will hear less. Ironically, rush and more usually mean less.”
— Mother Theresa
The lesson lies in patience. When are you building your dreams, goals, and purpose, you must have the patience to overcome the adversity, barriers, fear, and doubt that will accompany the process. The Chinese Bamboo Tree requires a stable base of roots to sustain its height and weight; imagine if it did grow after just one year. The first strong wind of the season would destroy the entire crop. The same goes for each of us as we build our character. We can look for shortcuts and excuses to portray a person who is prepared, but unable to sustain the confidence that they start with. Or, we can trust the process, stay in the present, develop ourselves and grow through experience and lessons learned to and establish our own roots. Remember, what we establish inwardly will be exposed outwardly. If you live by the mantra, “Fake it until you make it”, I have bad news for you — you will never make it.
Personal growth is not natural; it takes time, focus and a commitment to better ourselves. It is a slow process — in some cases, we won’t see the results immediately, but anything earned is worth it in the long run. If you are willing to be patient and persistent, I assure you the reward will far outweigh the investment. Too often people allow “the process” to frustrate them to the point that they want to move on to where “the grass is greener.” Whether it is a relationship, a job, a team, or school, if we don’t get what we want now, then it’s on to the next.
“Patience is not passive waiting. Patience is active acceptance of the process required to attain your goals and dreams.”
— Ray Davis
Success is easily defined – it is a series of small steps forward. It isn’t leaps and bounds. If you are committed to this process of growth, and if you respect the investment of time and patience, you will develop leadership qualities which will be displayed and reinforced by your confidence, character, and understanding of what it takes to be successful.
Growth is not associated with luck. Growth is an outcome of becoming comfortable stepping outside your comfort zone with a passion and zest to be the best you possible.
Do great things today and make a difference.
VENTURE + LEAD + PROSPER
Humbled to lead,
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