A couple of months ago I transplanted some plants that were long overdue into larger pots. Even someone with no green thumb could tell this needed done; the plants weren’t growing, would wilt quickly, the dirt was getting low and the pots were obviously too small. After making a huge mess (I expected this) the task was done. Initially, some plants took off (I could almost see them smile). They perked right up and were flourishing. Then there were some plants that seemed to not be changed. Finally, there was that one plant which seemed to start to fade away and begin to dry up.
About 6 weeks after the move, there were some plants that I literally had to cut back due to so much new growth. They were taking off and obviously were meant to be in the current combination of fresh soil, new pot, more sun and water. The other plants were still about the same, no better, no worse, and they were doing fine. Then there was that last plant. Some leaves had fallen off now and the other leaves were just barely hanging on. Honestly, I would have thrown it out by now, but I hadn’t had time to stop and examine it. On this day, I happened to stop by to admire the strong plants and I turned and looked in amazement. I did a double take as I suddenly noticed this basically dead plant had pushed out new growth! Not just one little shoot but I counted 4 of them! The other surprising thing was that they were in random spots that I would not have expected, not at the top where new growth is usually seen, but rather up and down the main stalk, predictably starting new branches to grow from.
There are so many similarities to this plant that occur in our lives. As the plants were, we can get stagnant in our career, health, relationships, finances, etc. Often times when this is going on, we can become easily discouraged and like the plants, wilt quickly if not in the right environment or not getting the proper nourishment we need (figuratively or literally). In almost all cases, there is no obvious room for quick and easy growth in the current situation. Like the plants that don’t change in the new pots, some individuals are content with the things that are dealt to them. If rewards come, it’s more by default verses earned and they are comfortable with the passing breeze. There is nothing wrong with this type of person (or plant), but if you’re still reading this, you likely don’t fit into this category and are driven for more.
This is when we need to “transplant” ourselves. No, I don’t mean you need to totally uproot what you are currently doing (quit your job, give up on health, leave a relationship, file bankruptcy, etc.) but rather you do need to make some serious adjustments in a purposeful way. When transplanting, you need to plan ahead, have the proper tools in place and when you start the process, you go at it with confidence with no looking back (ever try to get a plant back into that original tight pot once you remove it? It doesn’t go back in the pot as well as it was originally.)
When you do this hypothetical ‘transplant’, you need to keep some of your original ‘dirt’ to guard your roots. In other words, don’t try to completely turn over the whole apple cart, focus on a certain area at a time. Of course, cut off the bad growth immediately that might cause further rotting, but then attack that new area. Keep in mind as with the plants above, some people will start out great and see new success immediately. However, for others, this will not be the case and in fact, as the plant above did, might look to be ready to fail and fall away. Make sure you catch this point, right when things look their worst this is RIGHT BEFORE NEW GROWTH BEGINS!
Don’t give up
Often times, people give up right before something great is about to happen. This is what sets people apart, those who have the tenacity to stay with it and those who don’t quite make it. Keep in mind, the room is darkest before the light comes on. There will be temporary setbacks but constant forward progress will eventually lead to results – every time. However, and this is the big caveat, it might not be the original path the individual envisioned. Again, as with the plant above, the new growth was in a completely different area than what was expected. This is the same with people, the branch of their lives that leads them to success might not be the obvious path they started out on but certainly should continue to follow if it is a strong one.
Once this new growth has begun, like our green friends mentioned before, continual nourishment is critical. To obtain this, surrounding oneself with positive influences and sources of reinforcement are necessary. This could be classes, professional development, personal training or some other type of coaching. Being in the right environment is important for constant growth. Remember how we cut out the rotten areas earlier? Make sure you don’t go back to these eliminated activities or items down the road that can potentially damage or limit progress. Keep in mind, as plants need bigger pots in the future, we continue to need more challenges and need to grow, so continue to look for new opportunities and don’t be afraid to pursue them.
At the top
Everyone has the ability to develop into a top tier level. Be prepared to identify then aggressively go after the area that can most impact your current state. It’s going to be tough, often times not fun, but persevere, have the right tools in place, provide continual nourishment and you too will grow in areas you never thought possible.