There’s an old quote from the late American visionary Henry Ford:
“There is no man living who isn’t capable of doing more than he thinks he can do.”
Ford was referring to human potential, and it is something that lies within every man and woman on the planet.
Take, for instance, the Chinese bamboo tree; you might be scratching your head and failing to see how a simple plant could have anything to do with finding success. Well, we can all learn key lessons about life from this incredible and unique tree.
The Chinese bamboo has very humble beginnings. Like any other plant growing from the earth, it requires the basics like sunshine, water and decent soil.
In the beginning, the plant shows nothing for the effort that has gone into nurturing the seedling for the first year. There is zero, nada, coming up from the soil.
When the second year is marked, again, the Chinese bamboo tree is not displaying any signs of growth for the person who carefully planted it.
During the third and fourth years, the young tree is still not showing off any signs of potential even as the planter continues to take all the proper steps like watering the tree, making sure it gets plenty of sun and is surrounded by fertile soil.
When year number five kicks in, something unusual starts to occur, and movement is swift and head-turning. The Chinese bamboo tree quietly begins its journey upwards, and it’s quite remarkable and unstoppable.
The young tree reaches unbelievable heights of 80 feet in six weeks!
How could that really occur?
Was it good luck, a fluke or the seedling simply lying dormant until its fifth year?
It’s actually a simple story of science. The Chinese bamboo tree was taking its time to develop a strong root system, receiving the essentials it would need every day for all that time and slowly building a powerful foundation. When the time was ripe, the plant shot forth with enormous height and vitality, a true success story from Mother Nature.
The same could be said for human beings seeking success in life. Meaningful rewards and achievement do not come easy; hard work is needed along the journey.
Like the young Chinese bamboo tree, a man or woman must develop a strong core to handle the challenges that come along the way. Dealing with adversity, disappointments and heartache are all par for the course.
Having patience, drive and focus all eventually reap what we sow. By keeping the faith and believing in one’s self, we cannot fail. We cannot be broken; we keep forging ahead to reach our goal.
If the planter had dug up the soil each season to check if the tree was alive and growing, he or she would have ruined the plant’s capability and stunted its growth.
Patience and perseverance lead to amazing potential, and like the Chinese bamboo tree, there are no limits to what you can create.