Life lessons of the Chinese Bamboo Tree by

Life lessons of the Chinese Bamboo Tree 



The story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree is one that provides us with great lessons. 

When you sow the seed of a Chinese bamboo in the ground it needs to be watered regularly but, in its first year, you will see no visible signs of activity.  You need to continue watering it and nurturing it even though you will not see any noticeable growth above the soil in the second year. Even in the third year, it fails to sprout despite being cared for and tended to. You will be surprised to know that nothing happens in the fourth year either. You’re waiting for results, not seeing any evidence of progress. Can you imagine yourself doing the same things every day, not having any evidence that your efforts are having any effect?

Then in the fifth year, within a few weeks, behold! Something miraculous and remarkable happens. We experience growth. Emerging from the ground, the bamboo plant rapidly grows to a height of over 80 feet. It’s almost as if you can actually see the tree growing before your very eyes. It grows 910 mm (36 in) within a 24-hour period, at a rate of almost 40 mm (1.6 in) an hour. Like any plant, growth of the Chinese Bamboo Tree requires nurturing – water, fertile soil, sunshine. Had the person growing it stopped nurturing, watering and fertilising it in the period when it was not showing progress, the bamboo would have died in the ground.

Now the question is, did the Chinese bamboo tree grow in a few weeks or did it take 5 years? Did it do nothing for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth year?

In fact, for the first 4 years, the bamboo was growing underground the whole time – without visible evidence, but it was growing. It was developing a solid root system necessary to support the height and weight of the bamboo stalk for a lifetime. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation, it could not have sustained its future tall structure. Its support system enables it to survive in the harshest conditions for many, many years, thanks to durability, strength and flexibility it developed ahead of time.

The story of the Chinese Bamboo Tree reminds me of several important lessons about living a successful life. It illustrates and serves as a lesson on faith, patience, perseverance and persistence and most of all, human potential!

1.       Faith. Getting success in life is more or less similar to growing a Chinese bamboo tree. You have nothing to show for many years and others around you may make fun of you and may think you a fool. They may urge you to quit. Perhaps they cannot see what you can see…your bamboo tree is expanding its root system to sustain the impending stupendous growth that will most certainly come. Keep your faith in what you’re growing, like the grower of a Chinese bamboo tree. Whether it is to run a successful business, or a project you have undertaken or any long-term goals you are working towards, sometimes you need to have faith and keep working hard, building a solid foundation.

2.       The power of the triplets - Patience, Perseverance and Persistence: Good things don’t happen overnight they take time to nurture. You may not see much progress for a long time but if you have the capacity to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious, if you keep going and don’t give up despite difficulty, there will come a time when it all comes together. Progress can be really slow but like the Bamboo tree. It may take months or even years, but eventually, your dreams will come to fruition.

3.       It starts with YOU: Chinese Bamboo tree can be used in our lives to reflect on our personal development. Inside every human being exists a remarkable capacity to improve to reach their potential.  If this ability is unlocked, every one of us can experience an exceptional quality of life filled with happiness and fulfilment. If you want to achieve long-term success, first develop the traits that will allow you to achieve what you want. Often this is a process of unlearning and learning. With the help of good support such as a skilled counsellor, who can help unlearn mental models and ways of operating that are no longer useful, and learn skills and capabilities that are relevant to your current and future life. Even if you have encountered adversity, each one of us have a creative force within us and we all have the natural capacity to heal with the right support.

In the media, you often hear of people’s successes and achievements but rarely hear them reveal their setbacks and hard work they’ve endured nor their patience, perseverance and persistence to achieve what they set out to achieve. You become successful and achieve your goals by small actions every day. Like the bamboo tree which does not grow overnight, a happy, successful and fulfilled life is not achieved overnight.

                                                                                                                                        Copyright © 2020 Kalpna Hirani

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