There’s an old Chinese proverb that asks when is the best time to plant a tree? The answer…
20 years ago. The second-best time… Right Now.
If you think about the past 5 months our world turned a bit sideways. Imagine if you would have known then what you know now. How would you have prepared differently? What plans would have put into place immediately? What decisions might you have changed and how would they have impacted you today?
I’m not suggesting you play Monday morning quarterback and second guess everything you have done up to this point, but my guess is with the knowledge you have today you would have done some things differently.
The challenge many people and organizations are having today is that the uncertainly of the future is creating an avoidance to make any decisions today. As a result many find themselves simply reacting to the moment and bouncing around from one challenge to another like an old pinball machine.
The problem is that people and companies need momentum to move forward, and to gain momentum in the future, decisions will need to be made today. In order to be impactful, these decisions can’t only be made based on the situations we find ourselves in now, but rather the outcomes we seek in the future. You see the challenge here- right?
How do we combat our need for certainty, with our need to move forward? Interesting paradox.
Think about yourself and your business 5 months from today? Do you want to be stuck in the same rut you find yourself in right now, dealing with the same situations? Or would you like to be gaining momentum towards your desired goals and outcomes?
If you prefer the latter than stop waiting for thing to be normal and do like the proverb suggests- Plant your tree today!
Nobody around you expects your decisions to be perfect, and the one thing we have all proven to ourselves since March is that we are more than capable of making course corrections and adjusting our plans to fit the demands of the moment.
Your teams and those around you are craving a compass point to start moving towards. They are searching for someone to help them shift to a new definition of normalcy. They are gravitating toward those that can comfort them with a sense of meaning, and purpose. Planting your tree today and making some tough decisions about where you are going can help provide a starting point for you and your teams to rally around.
No one is asking you plant a 100 foot tall oak tree, but if you take the time and care to plant a few good solid trees, nurture them, support them and if needed replant them somewhere else you may find yourself in a much better position 5 months from now than if you waited.
Think about your business and your life today- Where would you like to be come January 1st of 2021. Are you just looking to survive 2020, or do you want to put yourself in a position to thrive?
What trees can you plant today that could bear fruit in the next five months?
What decisions have you held off because you are waiting for the perfect plan or someone else to tell you it’s ok to move forward?
What impact will planting a few trees today have on you and your team down the road?
In business and in life, the future is always uncertain that’s nothing new. If we choose to wait we could find ourselves stuck for a long time.
So go ahead and plant your tree today and see where it takes you. Plant several trees if you can, you will thank yourself five months from now that you didn’t’ wait.
Thoughts for the week:
In any moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing. –Teddy Roosevelt
When presented with a challenge we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. –Abraham Maslow
Unsuccessful people make decisions based on their current situations. Successful people make decisions based on where they want to be. –Unknown
Start by doing what’s necessary: then do what is possible: and suddenly you are doing the impossible. –Francis of Assisi
Life is a matter of choices, and every choice you make makes you. –John C. Maxwell
May your choices reflect you hopes, not your fears. –Nelson Mandela
Looking forward to our next connection.