There is a common story told about the Chinese Bamboo tree. The legend goes that the Chinese Bamboo Tree unlike most trees grows in unusual fashion. While most trees grow steadily over a period of years, the Chinese bamboo tree doesn’t break through the ground for the first four years. Then, in the fifth year, an amazing thing happens – the tree begins to grow at an astonishing rate. In fact, in a period of just five weeks, a Chinese bamboo tree can grow to a height of 90 feet. It’s almost as if you can actually see the tree growing before your very eyes.
So the question goes: Did the Chinese bamboo tree grow 90 feet in 5 weeks or in 5 years?
Many times when we measure growth and progress, we only look at metrics that are visible and can be measured. Ever start checking for 6 packs after just 10 rounds of sit ups? I do. We expect to see results immediately because we think we are putting in so much. But for some things we want to achieve, it’s a marathon. The results are not always visible at once.
We cannot give up because we have been putting in the effort and we haven’t see the result. Like the Chinese bamboo tree, if you stop nurturing and watering for even a day, you lose all the growth it has accumulated over the years. You have to trust the process.
Steve Jobs said:
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
You have to trust that the hardwork will pay off one day. So you have to keep showing up, putting in the hours and it’s possible one day, like the Chinese bamboo tree, your results will show and even you will be astonished by the growth you see.
But you cannot quit during the process.