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January 10, 2017

Growth Takes Patience

“Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still.”
(Chinese proverb)

Uber lost $2.2B last year. Their investors are nervous, since they’ve lost more money every year since they started in 2009. But the company is still optimistic. Why? Because, like Amazon, who lost money for its first 8 years, Uber is hoping they’re on the bamboo path of growth.

The first step of lasting growth is to change your thinking about growth itself. Making small changes and being gentle with yourself in the process is your best bet to achieving the kind of difference you’re hoping to make. “Instant results” whether on the scale or in your home will only land you back where you don’t want to be – so think like a bamboo stalk.

For the first two years after it is planted, no matter how much the gardener wants it to spread – and no matter how much care he gives it – the stalk will remain about the same. On the surface, nothing is really happening, but underground, the plant is developing shoots that will soon surface and spread like crazy. Once these shoots emerge, they have been clocked to grow up to 47″ in a 24 hour period.

When it comes to making any sort of lasting change, slower is oftentimes better. If you have overeaten and not exercised for 10 years, you cannot expect to change your habits and undo the damage in a couple of workouts. The same is true for parenting. And marriage. And leadership. If you are reversing not only years, but maybe decades of reactivity, you have to be patient with yourself.

The trick is to keep investing in your own growth, and have faith that one day, you’ll be amazed at where you end up.

Peace begins with pause,

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