“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”~ Louis Sachar
Last weekend, while my boyfriend Bernie and I were on the road to run some errands, a tree that was probably no taller than six feet caught my attention.
I know very little about trees and the only ones I can recognize easily are palm trees and banana trees.
I didn’t recognize this tree that I saw on the road but it was beautiful and something about it seemed familiar. So I asked Bernie if he knew what tree it was because he knows so much about trees.
He said, “That’s an oak tree, baby.”
For a moment, I thought he was kidding because I’m accustomed to seeing oak trees with massively thick trunks with lots of leaves and standing no less than ten feet tall. This tree had a skinny trunk and branches and didn’t look like an oak tree at all.
When I expressed my doubts, Bernie said, “Well, baby, that’s a young oak tree. Oak trees grow very slowly. The ones that you’re more used to seeing, those with enormous trunks, those took years to get to that point.”
As he was saying this, we drove by another tree and Bernie pointed to it saying, “See that tree? That’s a Eucalyptus tree. Eucalyptus trees grow so fast.”
“But they’re not very strong trees compared to the oak tree,” I said, quite unimpressed because we have a Eucalyptus tree in our front yard.
“Oh yeah,” Bernie responded. “Slow-growing trees usually can handle tough storms the best.”
This brief and very casual conversation I had with Bernie about the oak tree made me realize something…
We often judge and criticize ourselves too harshly because we don’t think we’re accelerating fast enough in life and business. We get very impatient and we are quick to think of ourselves as failures when we don’t see any prominent signs of progress.
We compare ourselves with other entrepreneurs who seem to be advancing very quickly in their first year of business, just like a Eucalyptus tree… while we have been in business for much longer than that yet we still feel like we have absolutely nothing to show for it.
Doing things faster and bigger— to go from having no audience to having a thousand followers in a month, to go from zero income to six figures in half a year, to go from being completely unknown in your industry to becoming a social media influencer overnight, to achieve your goals in half the time than it would normally take most people — can be quite alluring and astounding.
But my dear friend, if that doesn’t happen, I lovingly submit that you resist the urge to simply give up. I want you to keep in mind that sometimes SLOW AND STEADY IS THE KEY.
Slow progress is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, sometimes it is exactly what we need.
Learn from the oak tree that patiently takes its time growing its roots and its core, and building its strength in the process. Honor and appreciate the slow and steady periods of growth that you sometimes need to go through in order to learn a few more things or to develop new skill sets.
Because when it comes to your personal development and goals, what yields the most fulfilling results is a slow and steady journey sustained by an unwavering commitment to uphold your core values and a relentless pursuit of your higher calling.
Never forget that your journey to success is a comprehensive process of learning and adapting and constant realigning… and this usually takes time which is necessary so you can have solid roots and a strong trunk.
Yes, it can be a lonely and painful journey, especially when you see everyone else around you moving ahead so fast and you just can’t keep up… but just because someone is growing fast doesn’t mean he’ll remain standing when the strong winds come.
So be patient and be kind to yourself if you desire to fully succeed as an entrepreneur and stay in the business for a long, long time.
You are an oak tree and to the Mighty Oak Tree, slow and steady is the key.
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