Monthly Archives: November 2015

Slow and steady wins the race.

The Amazing Chinese Bamboo Tree

Recently I came across a small story which is quite famous. The Chinese Bamboo seed is planted in the mud. Constant watering the seed is essential. Fertilizers are put in, but no matter what, very little seems to happen the first year. Despite your efforts, only a tiny shoot pokes out of the ground.

You do the same for 2nd year. Nothing happens. You feel perhaps two years of effort are lost.

3rd year, nothing happens.

4th year, nothing as well.

5th year, nothing. You seem to lose patience.

This continues to 8th year.

Then, suddenly after 8 years of fertilizing & watering, the bamboo tree sprouts & grows 30 ft in just 3 months!

Did the little tree lie dormant for years only to grow exponentially in the 8th year? 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.

These days most people don’t have the capacity to focus on something long enough to make it work. If it’s easy, it won’t last. How big are your dreams? Are you willing to do what it takes?

Had the Chinese bamboo farmer dug up his little seed every year to see if it was growing, he would have stunted the tree’s growth.

Here is a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that is as true today as it was when he wrote it over 100 years ago:

“The heights by great men reached and kept
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward through the night.”