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August 15, 2014

Bamboo

Image: Flickr/Daniel James

Image: Flickr/Daniel James

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

The first step towards lasting growth is changing your thinking about growth itself. Making small, gentle changes is the often best path to long-term results. “Instant results” or “quick fix” options generally land you right back where you don’t want to be.

So, think about bamboo.

For the first two years after it’s 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, it looks as though nothing’s really happening. But underground the plant is developing shoots that will eventually surface and spread like crazy. Once these shoots emerge, they’ve been known to grow up to 47″ in a 24-hour period.

Sometimes slower is better. If you’ve failed to manage your diet or your exercise plan for a decade, you can’t expect to clean up your lifestyle and undo the damage in a couple of workouts. The same holds true for your relationships. If you have been chronically anxious for years, you have to be patient. Those patterns don’t change overnight. Keep on keepin’ on — and you might be surprised at where you end up.

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