“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don't make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can't take their eyes off you.” ~ Maya Angelou
See that tree? Majestic, isn't it! From years of growth and care, it's grown into a large and and very special tree.
“Money doesn't grow on trees” ~ Proverb
You've probably heard that saying before. Money's not just going to fall off a tree, like leaves in the autumn season. Today, we're going to look at this with a slightly different lens. Maybe, just maybe…money DOES grow on trees. Maybe this tree we're seeing up above can provide us with some lessons, some insight into riches, and what that means to us. These are challenging times we're in today. Maybe you've lost a job, or had hours cut back. Maybe you've taken a pay cut. Maybe you work on your own, and finding new clients is difficult. Then again, maybe it's all good right now. Maybe you've recently taken a new job you really love, or been promoted where you currently are at. Maybe you've just landed a lucrative contract in something you believe strongly in. Maybe you've just ventured out onto your own, and are steadily adding clients and increasing your confidence. All of this is happening today, just as this happens on any given day – irregardless of the economy around us. In the ebb and flow of life, there are ups and there are downs. Let's look at this in relation to the trees we have in our life, and see if we can't understand it a little bit better. The Trees In The Forest Of Our Life
- Seeds: Trees start out as seeds (or maybe sometimes from a nut). This seed is planted in the soil, is watered, and begins to grow. In nature, several seeds get planted naturally, and many grow, although not all of them do. Life Lesson: Seeds. The ideas we have. The things we go about doing. That which we try. We might plant one, or we might plant several seeds. Some may grow, and some may not. Some things we do won't continue to resonate with us, and we'll move on. Others will. The bottom line in all of it, though, is this tree will never grow if we don't at least plant the seed – if we don't at least try this thing we've been thinking about.
- Saplings: We've planted our seed. And our tree is beginning to grow. We have a sapling. A small tree. Not fully able to protect itself from the world around it. It might take a little more care on our part to nurture it as it continues to grow. And sometimes growth might seem slow, especially above the surface, in what we see. Life Lesson: Our ideas begin to grow, or the work we're doing starts to produce results. Or the college classes we're taking begin to make sense. What started as a seed, as a thought – is beginning to grow into something. A sapling. Still small, although we're seeing growth.
- Roots: While above the surface, our tree is slowly getting bigger and stronger – under the surface it's the roots that are really doing the growing. They're spreading out in many directions, giving our tree a strong base on which to stand. Life Lesson: We have this idea that is growing into something. Or we have a job that we're getting better at and seeing results. Or a myriad of other possibilities. Slowly we're seeing that sapling grow a bit bigger. Under the surface, though, is where we can make the biggest impact. What are we creating as roots for ourselves? These roots can be many things. Continuing education, creating an emergency fund, saving for retirement, investing in stocks or mutual funds, developing relationships with others, learning new skills – just a few of the many possibilities we can have as roots in this tree, which is part of the forest of our life we're creating. The key is that we create several roots, to give us a strong base on which to support our tree.
- Storms: Life might not always be easy for our tree. Wind. Hail. Lightning. Tornadoes. Animals. Man. All of these could harm our trees. Storms of nature, animals chewing off part of the tree, or man cutting the tree down. Any of this happening could cause our tree to either be slowed in its growth, or to cease being completely. That's why having several trees gives us more opportunity to have a few of the large majestic trees in the end. Life Lesson: We will have storms in our life. The wind will blow. Other people may challenge what we're doing. Some of our trees may not survive – much like a business closing or a company downsizing – some things in our life just might not work out how we'd planned they would. The stock market might crash just before you're getting ready to take your money out. We might sustain some illness or injury that creates large medical bills. We might decide there's a tree in our life that isn't healthy, and cut it down. Storms in our life. They will be there. If we've planted several trees, and created roots in many directions – then we are prepared to face these storms. If everything is invested in one tree – then you may face real and serious problems. Having several trees in our forest of life gives us more options should some storm cause damage on one of our trees. And with roots in many directions throughout the trees in our forest, we are ready when the storms come.
- Growth: The storms also bring rain. And followed with sunshine, and good soil, our trees will grow. Life Lesson: We'll have storms, as we've seen. These storms also bring us growth opportunities. And when the sun comes back out in our life, which it will, our trees will grow. In growth that we'll see, above the surface. We'll be reaching new heights, and making wiser decisions. And this sapling in our forest of life will begin to become a tree which starts to provide much, whose branches are filled with leaves – leaves of opportunity!
- Majestic Tree: We've went through the life cycle of our trees. Many have now grown to great heights. It hasn't happened overnight. It's taken time and effort to get here. And now that we are, we have this wonderful tree, large, providing much beauty in our world. Life Lesson: Growing these trees in the forest of our life will not happen overnight. It will take our time and effort. However, as we keep at it, as we continue to nurture and grow what matters in our life, these trees will become large and majestic in our forest – our forest of life.
Where's the Money? If we do all this, and especially if we do all this while listening to our heart – then the money is the fruit on these trees we've grown and nurtured in our forest of life. This fruit, this money, will come if we continue to care for the trees in our life and if we give them a strong base upon which to grow. And if we have many trees in our forest, then we are prepared should a storm come and damage any of them. Money indeed CAN grow on trees, the trees in the forest of our life. And what we get from these trees, what they produce, is a direct result of the time and effort we put in to growing and nurturing them.
In the forest of your life, do you have a lush forest with many trees? Do you need to plant some new ones? Or maybe even get rid of some that you have? This is your forest, your life – take care of it and riches will come. And remember also that not all riches come in the form of money…