At the brink of destruction, a farmer teaches the world a valuable lesson.
Hundreds of years ago, a farmer in China had a beautiful and prosperous field full of the best fruits, vegetables, and grains any land could produce. Life was good until one day his field got hit with a vicious virus that killed all his crops. The farmer became devastated and desperate to survive and knew that selling the land would not be an option as no one would want his virus-infected land. Understanding that the virus which infected his field would continue to kill traditional crops had no choice but to put his heart and soul into growing Bamboo. He knew bamboo was resilient enough to withstand the virus and was versatile enough to be used and sold for many different applications.
Taking whatever little money he had left, the farmer went off to acquire as many bamboo seeds as he could afford and began digging hole after hole planting the seeds, fertilizing and watering it. He continued the practice of working his land for one full year, and after all his hard work, looked upon his land one early morning and saw nothing. Despite seeing no sign of progress, the farmer knew what he wanted and continued to work the land in hopes that Bamboo would soon sprout. Having a clear vision of what he needed to do and desired, the farmer proceeded to pour himself into his land and left no square inch without being watered or fertilized, and by the end of the second year, the farmer stood still while taking a rest looking at his land to see yet again absolutely nothing.
By now and after two hard years of back-breaking labor, even the farmer’s family began to question his intention, vision, and desires. Despite the pressure from his family, the farmer stayed the course and continued his work day after day for two additional years. Four years later, and early one morning, the farmer walked out of his house to look at his land and yet again sees nothing. This time, after four years and with no signs of progress, the farmer became the talk of the town where many pitied him stating he had lost his mind alongside his crops four years prior. His family tried to convince him to finally give up, but he was adamant he would stay the course and continue to work his land.
Day after day for another year, the farmer maintained his focused and worked his land like never before. Then early one morning, the farmer walked out of his home with his head down, exhausted, feeling defeated, looked up upon his land and to his amazement… saw his field full of beautiful, green and healthy bamboo that had grown overnight to four feet tall and which continued to grow to ninety feet over the next six weeks.
The town couldn’t believe their eyes and thinking the bamboo had magical properties, all wanted some making the farmer richer than his wildest dreams.
The story behind the story
Did it take six weeks for the bamboo to grow to ninety feet or five years? The answer is five years. Although there was no sign of growth above the ground, there was a beautiful and intricate network of roots growing, connecting and going deep into the earth setting the foundation of what would become the “miraculous” Giant Bamboo Tree. Had the farmer given up, he would have had to drastically discount or give away his land as people feared it was plagued by the virus and he would have lost everything.
Most people seek the quick hit, the quick win, and give up before the real blessing of their labor shows up. The goal is to determine what we truly want, then develop and pour ourselves into the fulfillment of our vision. We live a world where information and knowledge are abundant which we can leverage to help speed up the learning curve or seek efficient solutions when we encounter problems. The most critical resource we have for success is our resourcefulness, and knowing when and how to find help will become the difference-maker in our lives.
Stay the course, become #unslackable with your vision and enjoy the blessings of your labor. Don’t ever, ever give up until you’ve exhausted all your resources.