The following post is written by Ashley Rankin. Ashley is a recent Biotechnology graduate and has contributed to studies in cancer research. She co-authors the blog 365 Days of Light with her brother, Jeremy. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.
In the Far East they have something called the Chinese Bamboo Tree. The Chinese Bamboo takes five years to grow. During this process, you must water and fertilize the seeds daily. The sprouts don’t break through the ground until the fifth year. But once they break through the ground, within five weeks they grow ninety feet tall. Now, anytime throughout the process, if you stop watering, nurturing, and fertilizing, the bamboo tree would die in the ground.
Your dreams are like the bamboo tree.
We all have aspirations to accomplish great things. We may desire to advance spiritually, financially, or in professional endeavors. Most of us have dreams and aspirations to achieve greatness!
Often, people will not see the infinite greatness of your dreams, and they certainly will not in times of strife. Your dreams stay hidden beneath the ground without evidence of life. They stay hidden under the soil as if they died before having a chance to blossom. But like the Chinese Bamboo, your dreams are not dead as long as you water and nurture them. They are simply cultivating underneath the soil, and with dedication and perseverance your dreams will one day develop higher than anyone could imagine.
Whatever your dreams, we must understand that it takes an extraordinary amount of effort and time to become what we wish. Some people seem to reach the highest levels of success with ease, but this is not the case for most of us. Many must claw and inch our way to our dreams and along the way we are met with the temptation to give up. This is natural. We all have this feeling at one time or another, but what defines achievement is the ability to continue to press forward in spite of fear.
The Chinese Bamboo teaches us many lessons. We can learn to plant a dream. We can learn to do the daily tasks necessary to make our dreams a reality. We can learn to have hope and faith, even when there is no outward evidence that our sacrifice and dedication will bring forth the fruit we desire.
At some point you may believe that your dream has died in the ground before it ever had a chance to blossom. Simply because others can’t detect your progress doesn’t mean progress isn’t there. Don’t allow the absence of an outward sign discourage you. Don’t be discouraged by your “lack” of progress. Keep watering your dreams.
Everything begins with a seed.