“Actually, I’m an overnight success, but it took twenty years”
– Monty Hall
Bamboo can grow at a rate of two inches per hour. But the poor bamboo farmer has a problem. It may grow quickly, but bamboo takes a long time to break the surface. A farmer has to water a plot of ground for three years before he sees any results.
I was thinking about this tonight as I looked at my bay leaf plant. I got the cutting from a co-worker last year and it sat on my office window sill for many months before any new growth appeared. During that time, I faithfully watered it until, finally, I saw some results.
The success I have had with my year-long giving time project is also like this. At first, even though I gave everyday, I didn’t really see any changes in my behavior, my habits or how I perceived the world, nor did I see any changes in the people around me. But eventually that changed, especially after I started connecting more with the people to which I was giving.
Don’t get discouraged if you find that giving time doesn’t pay off immediately. I can attest it makes a huge difference, but it does take time to see the results.
Just like the farmers who give their time to a bamboo plant, if you give your time and have patience, eventually you will see results.
Also, if you’d like to read a highly regarded motivational book, please check out Greg Bell’s Water The Bamboo. He takes the metaphor to new heights.