One of the classic writings about living as a champion and reaping the rewards of successful living is Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” There is an entire chapter devoted to persistence. In fact, he references the word 97 times throughout the book.
He was good friends with Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. He said that the only difference between these men, both innovators and inventors, was persistence. They stuck with their vision until they succeeded in bringing it into the world. And they changed the world, Edison with incandescent light bulb and Ford known for his automobiles and the assembly line. People with a champion mindset are able to carry on even when everyone else has given up.
There is an Asian bamboo plant which offers a great metaphor for the concept of persistence. There’s an old Chinese tale of a farmer.
He lived in a small rural community and had farmed traditional crops like corn and wheat of his life, just like his neighbors.
But this farmer wanted more than what his neighbors had, so he started researching alternative crops.
After studying a variety of options, he decided on bamboo.
The climate, soil conditions and equipment at his disposal could make growing and harvesting bamboo a profitable business. He was convinced he was making the wisest choice and began making the changes needed to become a bamboo farmer.
Upon telling his fellow farmers his idea, they mocked him, calling him foolish, all the time warning him of his impending peril.
However, our farmer remained unshaken, he had done extensive research and was confident that he was making the right decision.
If you know anything about bamboo, you know that the first year after it’s been planted, nothing happens.
You don’t get so much as a twig or a leaf!
His neighbors mocked him. They had all harvested their crops while he had nothing at all to show for his efforts.
He was undaunted and confident in his decision.
The second year nothing happened either, not a sign of a bamboo tree anywhere.
Again he was forced to endure a year of ridicule by his heartless neighbors.
And a third and a fourth….
Then suddenly, his crop grew a foot a day!
By the end of the fifth summer he had a virtual bamboo forest. He harvested his crop and sold it for a huge profit. His neighbors were astonished. It looked as if it happened overnight.
Or so it seemed. Did the plants lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, were they silently 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. This bamboo plant lies practically dormant for 5 years. The bamboo farmer is persistent in believing that one day he’ll be able to harvest the bamboo and build a hut for his family to live in.
Sometimes, we have a goal and take action towards that goal, but it looks as though we aren’t making progress.
Perhaps it’s a business that hasn’t taken off yet.
Or a blog that’s yet to find an audience.
It could even be a parenting goal that has yet to be fully realised.
Let me encourage you today to hang in there.
If your goal is noble and your actions right, the day will come when you will reap a harvest.
Amazing and true. So here’s the question for you to ponder. Did it take over five years for the bamboo to grow 90 feet, or did it take 6 weeks?
Let me know!