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Never Give Up

I know it sounds a little out there but hear me out on this one. I don’t know if you’ve heard this story about the Chinese Bamboo Tree before now but this is one of those lessons that really sticks with you.

The Chinese Bamboo Tree teaches us success lessons on patience, faith, perseverance, growth & development and most surprising of all human potential….

Like any plant, growth of the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing – water, fertile soil, sunshine. In its first year, we see no visible signs of activity. In the second year, again, no growth above the soil. The third, the fourth, still nothing. Our patience is tested and we begin to wonder if our efforts (caring, water, etc.) will ever be rewarded.

And finally in the fifth year – behold, a miracle! We experience growth. And what growth it is! The Chinese Bamboo Tree grows 80 feet in just six weeks!

But let’s be serious, does the Chinese Bamboo Tree really grow 80 feet in six weeks? Did the Chinese Bamboo Tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? 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.

The same principle is true for people. People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success, while get-rich- quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth.

Had the Chinese Bamboo Tree farmer dug up his little seed every year to see if it was growing, he would have stunted the Chinese Bamboo tree’s growth as surely as a caterpillar is doomed to a life on the ground if it is freed from its struggle inside a cocoon prematurely. The struggle in the cocoon is what gives the future butterfly the wing power to fly, just as tension against muscles as we exercise strengthen our muscles, while muscles left alone will soon atrophy.

Can we stay focused and continue to believe in what we are doing even when we don’t see immediate results? In a culture driven by instant gratification – this is our biggest challenge.

We often tell each other (and our children), remember to “Keep trying! and NEVER give up!” The change may be slow – even invisible at times – but suddenly, as in the case of the Chinese Bamboo Tree, we will surprise ourselves.

Keep your faith in your mission or vision.

Never give up.

Kerry x

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