I read a short story somewhere once. It went along these lines.
A young man had been working hard for 2 or 3 years and had not seen the results he so desperately desired. Disillusioned and disheartened, he went to his master and complained about not seeing the fruits of his labour. The old wise man smiled upon hearing the young mans grumblings.
He told the younger soul that when you plant a Chinese bamboo you have to nurture it, water it, tend to it and feed it. He went on to say that you do this for five years and nothing happens. But then just as you feel like giving up putting in so much effort, within 6 weeks, the bamboo suddenly grows to a height of 90 feet.
The foundations we put into any growth is what I believe, that takes the longest time and the most focus and effort. Whether you are growing personally or growing a business or even a relationship. These foundations to the growth that you desire, take longer than the growth itself.
Many people unfortunately give up just before they are going to see the rewards to their effort and hard work. I see people going to self-improvement seminars and falling into the trap of not giving the system the speaker has encouraged or taught the time to mature. Expecting big results instantly, when these results do not arrive in their self-imposed (And usually short) time frame, they move onto the next seminar or system.
And repeat the same patterns again and again.
I see business owners and entrepreneurs do the same thing. Start a business but suddenly give up or jump to another business idea. They have also fallen into the trap of not realising that the foundations for growth are usually the most time consuming and require the most effort and focus.
What makes you perhaps give up on your growth? Are you being too impatient? Are you constructing your foundations well and with surety? Like any structure you can envision, the developer does not cut corners when placing the foundations. They must be solid and sound. No other part of the building can be done without the foundations, as you well know.
Some people confuse the meaning of patience. They mistakenly think being patient means one should stand still or not act.
This does not mean that while on that journey to growth a strategy shouldn’t be tweaked or that you may well need another approach. But in my view whatever you are building, however you want to grow, time and patience are needed to lay those foundations.
So don’t give up even though your growth may seem invisible at the time. I remember when I started karate and after about 4 months I became impatient with my apparent lack of progress. I thought I had learned almost nothing and felt strongly that I was wasting my time and that perhaps I should join another club.
Then the following week we had an influx of new students. I watched them unable to grasp the coordination needed on some of the basic blocking-an-attack moves. It was then that it dawned on me that I had actually made phenomenal progress because only 4 months earlier I had struggled also, exactly like the newbies. It was that reminder of where I once was, that showed me to stick with the lessons. I had learned far more than I realised.
Add a good dose of patience to your growth in whatever ways you wish to expand. Keep working at it, nurturing it, tending to it and loving it…like the Chinese bamboo, you will get your just rewards-and probably way beyond your expectations.