In looking for inspiration for today’s blog, I Googled top inspirational quotes and “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. –Chinese Proverb” appeared.
I absolutely LOVE this concept. In helping people, as a friend or career coach, I can attest that we are all guilty of beating ourselves up and saying it’s too late, we are too old or we missed our chance. The reality is that the only boundaries that exist are the ones we create for ourselves! Truth as the Proverb states, that optimally the best time for what ever action may have been 20 years ago, but the reality is- you can’t go back, you are in the present moment and while it may not be what you originally perceived as the optimal “BEST” time, NOW is perfect.
It takes guts to take action, make a change and believe that what you truly want or desire can be yours and that you are worthy of it. We are all here to learn, grow and bring value. It’s all a choice. There’s consequences with the paths we choose. As we get busy with the mundane tasks of life, (what I refer to as running on the hamster wheel), we lose touch with our passions, our essence of what inspires us, what makes our souls feel alive and our lives richer. What I find exciting and interesting is that sometimes, when we are lucky enough to be open, opportunities, passions, relationships, or things long forgotten have a way of coming back into focus in our lives. These events need to be honored as magical and cherished as wonderful gifts. It may be something as simple as picking up a musical instrument that you loved to play in school, watching a movie that inspired you, hearing a song that takes you back to the place and sensations of when you first heard that song or reconnecting to an old friend. I truly believe life is like a garden. There are seasons when you plan your garden and the same concepts are applicable to managing your career. You need to:
1. Prepare the land or soil where you will have your garden. This is similar to preparing yourself in school and life education as the foundation to be successful in your career.
2. Plan where you will garden and what you will plant in your garden. This is similar to figuring out what you want to do and where you want to do it.
3. The right tools such as seeds and gardening tools for your garden, and education, experience and relationships for your career.
4. Deal with environmentals- this could be weeding, dealing with bugs, or animals eating your bounty in your garden or weeding out negative relationships/companies that won’t work for you, environments that don’t suit you, or situations that just don’t work in your career. Whether it’s your garden or your career, you need to check in on it, anticipate problems, give it care and feeding. You can choose not to, but it won’t yield big results if you fail to help it grow.
5. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Just as in gardening, you need to take a break and enjoy the beauty and bounty of what you have created, cared for and grown.
6. Learn from the past and remember you can try again.
Live with gusto! Sieze the day! Snap out of it! While the best time to plant a tree may have been 20 years ago- live in the perfect present of here and now and make a difference- make a change- re-ignite your passions- tend to your garden, live your dreams and “plant your trees”!
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