A Lesson from Bamboo


Chinese Bamboo Tree

When I was in a a leadership seminar a few years ago I heard about the story of the Chinese bamboo tree: You take a little seed, plant it, water it, and fertilize it for a whole year, and nothing happens.

The second year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. Can you believe it?

The third year you water it and fertilize it, and nothing happens. Makes you wonder if it is even in the ground.

The fifth year you continue to water and fertilize the seed and then—write this part down. Sometime during the fifth year, the Chinese bamboo tree explodes and shoot up to ninety feet tall in just six short weeks!


Life is almost like the growing process of the Chinese bamboo tree.

It is often discouraging to the point where most people give up. We seemingly do things right, and nothing happens. But for those who do things right and are not discouraged and are persistent, continuously moving forward, things will happen. Finally we begin to receive the rewards.

Sowing and Reaping…the laws of success. That is how business is. Once you plant and sow (invest), then nurture (staying in consistent action) you will reap a harvest (your rewards).  I am now receiving the rewards of seeds that were planted 5 years ago. Success is a journey…not a destination. You are as well. Are you getting the results you want? If so then start your journey today! If not, begin today to sow the seeds of what you want 5 years from now.

P.S. Remember, if you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll get the results you’ve always gotten.

Talk Soon,

Nate $mith

To start on your journey of success watch this video.

3 thoughts on “A Lesson from Bamboo

  1. I think for me it is pretty hard not to give up when the following happens:
    I start a new sport. I have extreme difficulties translating the verbal instructions in to action. For example: standing up on a wakeboard is like getting out of your armchair. Hm.
    The couch, the teacher, the master in all smiles and motivation. You hear encouraging stories. Everyone starts to show some sign of success. Not me. I am a slow learner.
    The smiles of the couch starts to fade.
    I am sent to the back. I sit on the bench. I get a “special exercise” while the others do the normal stuff (for example at jazz ballet).
    I give up (fencing, wall climbing, basket ball, jazz ballet, badminton etc.)
    Nevertheless I agree with the symbolic story. Not only it is beautiful but it is very much true!

    xoxo, Eszter

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