I want to share a story with you that always inspires me whenever I feel like I want to create a change that I haven’t seen in a while. And it’s the story of the Chinese bamboo. Perhaps you’ve heard this story. And the way that Chinese bamboo grows, when you plant this seed, if you take really good care of it and you carry the water and you water this seed and you give it the right amount of light and dark, after the first year, it will grow two inches, just this tiny amount. The second year, if you take really good care of this plant, bringing the water, watering this plant, giving it the right amount of light, the right amount of dark, the second year it will grow two inches.
And you’re looking at this growth over two years or work and you’re thinking, “This isn’t working. This sucks. Like look at that. I’m only getting this little four-inch plant.” The third year, if you keep the faith, if you stay with this and you carry the water, haul that water, water it, give it the right amount of light and dark, again, if there’s any growth at all, it will grow about two inches. The fourth year, you haul that water, you stay focused, you pour the water in. Again, if there’s any growth at all, it’s about two inches.
And so now you’re looking at this tiny plant saying, “I’ve invested four years into this effort and this is what I’ve got.” And for anyone, that would be discouraging. For anyone, that would feel like this hopeless effort. But when understand the law of how this growth works, it can fuel your desire to ultimately create the result that you want because, on year five, if you keep hauling that water and you keep nurturing this plant, in year five, within six weeks, this plant will grow 80 feet. It will skyrocket up. Now, most people leave the story there when they’re telling the story, they’re understanding the story. Most people don’t understand what’s happening with this plant all along the way. Most people think that the plant actually accelerates its growth in year five. But after researching this, I’ve discovered it doesn’t. In fact, the plant is growing at the same rate the entire five years. “But how could that be?” you might be thinking. Well, that’s because the plant is growing at a rapid rate under the ground. The plant starts with its root system, its rhizome system, shooting out those rhizomes, creating a solid foundation, anchoring itself in the earth so that, in year five, when it shoots up, it can withstand the storm, it can withstand the wind that’s going to hit it, it can withstand the rain that’s going to come its way, it can withstand the challenges that it’s going to face when it’s 80 feet in the air.