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It'll Need Watered

Once, I ordered a bonsai tree from Amazon. There were a few critics who thought it was stupid to order a living tree off Amazon, but I’m stubborn and ordered it anyway. 

Thanks to Amazon Prime shipping, my bonsai tree arrived 2 days later. As I opened the box, I made a mental note to tell the critics that they were wrong. This tree was awesome! Lush and green, small and fragile. But regardless of its tiny size, I knew this tree had potential to grow. 

Inside the box was a little bonsai pamphlet. Pictures of fully developed, beautiful, growing and captivating trees were placed all over the page. This only made me more excited as I patted my little sapling and whispered, “One day, ‘lil fella. One day.” Aside from the pictures, there were a few paragraphs explaining how to care for a bonsai. I skimmed the paragraphs, picking up a few bold statements that reminded me of motivational posters in office buildings: patience is key…be persistent…life is fragile. At the end of the last paragraph, an obvious, lackluster statement popped off the page in bold: it’ll need watered. I, of course, knew it needed watered. It’s a living plant…of course it needs water.

Fast forward 5 months. Standing over the trash can in my kitchen, holding my wilted, dead bonsai tree, I slowly lower my "‘lil fella" into the trash, as if lowering it into a grave made of earth. 

Sadly, this story resembles most people’s personal development. They look at highly successful businessmen like Steve Jobs, John Maxwell, Bill Gates, and become inspired. "One day,” they think, “I’ll be as big, successful and inspiring as these men!” So they order a strong dose of determination from within, grasping for any opportunity to be as big as their role models are. They’ve seen the bold points (or highlights) of these leader's lives, but have just barely given attention to the obvious, lackluster statement: it’ll need watered. Ignoring personal growth will become the death of anyone’s career, dreams or even life.

John Maxwell, an incredible guru on all matters of leadership and personal development, writes, "Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not.” When you fail to take into the account the amount of work that growing in your personal development will require, you tend to only focus on the inspiring bold points as your guide to personal development.  Not many people want to do the hard work to develop themselves. Instead, they look at other’s highlights with wide-eyes and think, “I want that."

But just like my bonsai tree, it’ll need watered. It’ll take time to grow. It’ll mean spending money on books, listening to podcasts, finding masters of your trade and learning from them. It’ll need to be your focus every day, applying disciple to develop and improve your sleeping schedule, eating habits, relationships, free time. It’ll mean turning off your PS4, cancelling that night out, spending less time doing less and spending more time learning more.

If you want to grow, you’ll need water.

The reason BreadBox exists is for you to find some water…or bread. Let’s just say “sustenance". It’s a place where you’ll gain knowledge of how to grow, whether it’s in your business, relationships, health, leadership or personal knowledge. BreadBox is a community of people who are passionate about growing, even if it takes a lifetime.

So strap in! You’re in for a long, exciting ride. You’re bound to fail, but failing is all part of the process.