Powerful lessons from the Chinese bamboo story

Powerful lessons from the Chinese bamboo story

Few days ago, while chatting with my elder brother, he brought up this story. Even though, the Chinese bamboo tree story was to encourage someone else but since then I’ve not stopped thinking about it. There are just so many powerful lessons from the Chinese bamboo tree story that I think everyone should know about it. It cuts across every area of life! Be it education, relationships, business, if you meditate on it and apply to every area of your life, growth will be inevitable.

What’s special about the Chinese bamboo?

This plant takes 5 years to start growing!

John Dabrowski

The Chinese bamboo tree doesn’t break through the ground for the first four years. See, like other plants once you plant it, you need to water it, nurture it, and fertilize it every day. But unlike other plants nothing happens the first year. You do the same thing the next year, and still nothing happens. That’s right, for 4 good long years, you see no results! Can you try to picture that right now? There’s no proof of progress. If I’m the farmer, I may start to doubt that I actually planted something.

But there’s good news, because in the 5th year things begin to happen. They don’t just happen, they happen real fast. In just 5 weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree can grow till about 27 meters! It’s almost as if you can actually see the tree growing before your very eyes.

  • To succeed, you need a lot of faith, believe and patience. Faith in yourself and your abilities. All bamboo tree planters know and believe that the tree will grow in 5 years. They just do what they have to do while waiting for the right time for the tree to grow. Do not allow your mood or circumstances around you derail you from your goal. People will criticize and doubt you. To be honest, you can’t blame them (obviously they haven’t heard the Chinese bamboo story yet). Don’t give in to the nay saying.
  • Keep watering and nurturing the seed. For the Chinese bamboo tree to grow in 5 years, it needs to be watered and nurtured. For 4 years there’s no sign of growth but however, the planter keeps watering and nurturing. Don’t stop working on yourself even though it feels like it’s not working. Learn a skill, improve your character, work on that project etc just do what you have to do. In due time, you will be rewarded. It takes small actions everyday to get a major goal.
  • Build a solid foundation in order to survive in the harshest conditions for many, many years. Truth is, like other trees without the solid foundation, it might grow in the beginning. However, in the long run, it might not be able to support the size and long life.

Related: Keep on Keeping On

Examples of bamboo tree planters in real life
  1. Albert Einstein

As a child he didn’t start speaking until he was four, reading until he was seven, and was thought to be mentally handicapped. Yet, he grew up to be one of the first people whose name pops up when you think of physics

2. Vincent Van Gogh

An artist whom throughout his lifetime,  sold just one painting, ‘The Red Vineyard’. But nowadays one of his paintings can cause $100 million. Literally, his work finally paid off, it’s rather unfortunate he didn’t enjoy it himself.

3. Richard Hooker

Richard Hooker had to water his bamboo tree for seven years and through 21 rejections by publishers until his humorous war novel, M*A*S*H became a runaway bestseller, spawning a movie and one of the longest-running television series of all-time. ( source: JD mind coach)



There I was, lying on my bed in the middle of the day, a Saturday for that matter. I could feel it creeping in, slowly but very tactically and meticulously. Like a thief, trying to rob a house at night, I felt like I was about to get robbed. Yes my mind was troubled. It all seemed like the world was moving and sadly, I wasn’t. You know that feeling of being left behind right?

All of a sudden, everything about my life seemed wrong. I no longer felt comfortable with what I studied in school, I wondered if I had the right friends and chased the right dreams. My challenges all came like a rush through my veins. No matter how hard I tried, it kept on coming. I wished someone could hear me or feel me. How come they can’t see me struggling?

It’s then that I understood that you can be in a crowd yet feel lonely. But why? Why now! Could it have been something I saw? How did I get to think so lowly of my self in such a short interval. I remember going through a couple of friends WhatsApp status earlier that day. So many wedding announcements, engagements, promotions goals crushed and lots and lots of smiles.

Wait a minute, I’m I being jealous now. I should be happy for them. On second thoughts, I’m truly happy for them and wish for more of such happy moments but I just wished I was a part of it.

Some of the signs you may be feeling depressed are thoughts or feelings of

  • Not being loved
  • shame or digrace
  • being left out
  • not achieving one’s goals or failure
  • environmental change
  • heart break
  • etc

Some of the things you have to remember if you feel that way are

  • You are loved
  • so long as there’s life, there’s hope
  • You are not alone. You may not feel like it but God is with you, has always been and always will be.
  • It’s an attack from the devil, refuse to succumb
  • Your future is bright. Your circumstances may just be obscuring you from that reality. Choose to look beyond the unseen.
  • It’s not the end of you. If it was, you wouldn’t have been reading this now.

What to do

  • Smile: watch a movie, listen to music, etc just do anything you know will make you smile.
  • Acts of love: there’s a feeling you get when you give out love. It’s so fulfilling. If you can make someone smile, I mean, you definitely have a reason to live. When was the last time you made someone smile?
  • Go through your dreams and plans over again, do you really want to throw it away?

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.  ( Definition by Mayo Clinic)

Depression is a thief, don’t let it rob you of your joy, happiness, future, loved ones.

Keep on keeping on.

Feeling guilty? check out 5 ways to get rid of guilt by Nji Philemon

The highway of life

The highway of life

I’ve always wondered what causes traffic on a highway. I mean, if every driver sticks to his own lane, there shouldn’t be any traffic, right? Whether you are late for work, an interview, exams or just a meeting, everybody hates traffic and tries avoiding it. Sometimes in avoiding, we escape, other times we get trapped in a more serious traffic. This article, the highway of life, tries to bring out the different life lessons we can get from the road traffic we experience daily.

Traffic lights/controller

There’s a kind of traffic which is just a little bit annoying. That’s the one caused by traffic controllers and lights on the highway. You know they’re doing a good job but you may have a change of mind. Especially if the red light appears directly in front of you not once or twice in a row. At least, this kind of traffic is only temporary and last for a few seconds.

Traffic lights are used to alternate right of way to users. Red means stop, green means go and yellow means slow down. Usually we don’t decide whether or not to follow them, we just follow! Now, relating this to life, can you think of anyone who has such authority over your life?

Like all electronics, we have a creator. The same way a manufacturer controls his product, God controls the universe. In a way, I often look up to Him the same way as the machine controlling all the traffic lights we see on roads. UNSEEN but very powerful. Now let’s compare their functions.

Green lights

Everyone is happy when the lights turn green. Green lights mean progress, success, improvement, growth and a step closer to destination. How do you feel when you have been given right of way, and the cars on the other lane haven’t? happy right!

There are moments in our lives when we feel like we’re making progress. So many open doors, opportunities and favors. Everything happens so fast that before you even notice you’ve reached your destination. How you maximize this particular point of your life will determine how fast you’ll get to your destination. Imagine you had a free lane, but you don’t speed up and end up in another traffic. What a waste!

Yellow lights

Orange or yellow lights usually indicates to a driver to slowdown or to proceed with caution. It’s more of a warning and an advance notice that there’s something ahead. It’s a little bit tricky because it doesn’t say ‘stop’ directly. Do you sometimes feel like you’re going too fast and need to stop for a while? or do you feel like God maybe giving you a signal, a warning! that you need to slow down. Sometimes you only realize in retrospection that there was a warning signal, but you probably didn’t notice.

Red lights

Red is a color of extremes. It could mean love and passion as well it could also mean danger. In this case, it means the latter. In a way, it’s actually meant for good but we always see otherwise. Just like we said green means progress, red on the contrary means no progress. But no progress doesn’t always necessarily mean regression. Like seriously, it hurts to see others making progress in life and others even reaching their goals meanwhile you’re still on the same spot. I always hate it when cars on the other lane are given right of way and not us. It makes me wish I was rather on their lane.

You will agree with me that, this is similar on the highway of life. Sometimes you’re on the move, at high speed. Other times you’re slowing down and sometimes even completely on hold. Which ever one you find yourself in, you need to understand that it’s part of the process. The people you think are progressing aren’t always like that. At some point in their lives, things weren’t moving too. It’s never just a green light, if you’re lucky to have met a green light, sooner or later you’ll meet a red light or yellow light. If you met a red light be grateful because you don’t know the danger that was ahead. The red light will never be there permanently


On the highway of life, we’ve been placed on different lanes. We received different signals at different moments. Some may last longer than others but whatever the case is stay on your own lane and learn from it.

Living a principled life

Living a principled life

A principle is simply a rule or belief governing one’s behavior. Looking at this definition, the first remark I can make is that, principles can be objective as well as subjective. I know that the word principle in itself is a feared word because naturally people don’t want to be controlled by others but fear not, I’m not going to be giving you a long list of rules and regulations at least not today, but it is my wish that after reading this you decide for yourself to set some thinks straight in your life.

One of the reasons why I think people fear principles is that they think living by principles means being bound by someone else or the society in general. On the contrary, to me living a principled life means freeing yourself from someone’s bondage. It’s not just doing what you have been asked to do but doing what you have decided to do and doing it with understanding. There’s a difference between you being asked to do something and you deciding to do it. In essence, living a principled life means

  • Taking charge of your own life
  • Finding a gap and filling it
  • Doing what needs to be done even without being asked

Another reason why I think people fear principles is that they lack motivation.

It takes a lot of discipline and motivation to live by principles. Someone who isn’t determined will find it very hard to make principles and keep them. I’ve met many who are very indifferent about life, they don’t really care about what happens or not. But you can’t be indifferent and expect your life to be different. Being principled is being intentional about everything you do. It’s true there are times when you feel like life doesn’t mean anything and you don’t mean anything too and you can’t find any motivation, remember that someone needs you. There was a point in my life when I felt like life was meant for some particular people and that I meant nothing to the world. In fact, I really couldn’t find my purpose, because I thought it was meant only for the big guys, you know, those guys with extraordinary gifts and talents. To be honest, I think I was being selfish with my way of thinking as in it was all about me, my life, my needs, my purpose, my future etc the moment I stopped focusing on me and started focusing on being a blessing to someone, it’s almost as if a veil was taken off my face and I began to see clearly. So I have come to understand that there’s something I have that someone needs and no matter how small it is, it can’t be neglected. knowing that pushes me to be better. it’s like having in mind that someone’s life depends on you. Please believe me when I say you are so worthy of this life, there’s just so much inside of you and that you need to do that you can’t afford to not be serious with your life. You are the light to this dark world so always seize any opportunity to shine your light.

Now, it’s one thing to have a principle and another to keep it.

The main thing about being principled is to develop your will power.  Scientists have stated many ways to do that such as eating right, sleeping right and avoiding stress as they have a positive effect on the part of the brain that controls your will power.  But the main thing here is just to be determined. A king will hardly give his word and change his mind and you are a king. You have the ability to be decisive, for it is God who works in you both to will and to do of His good pleasures. Whatever hard decision you’ve made or are yet to make, know that you can keep it if only you set your mind to it. First of all you must have a reason for doing anything. If you want to wake up early, you must have a solid reason if not it’s really going to be hard. Once you know your why and you are determined enough then you’ll have the motivation to do that which you had planned to do.




I’ve been made to understand that the battles we face internally are greater than those externally. Sometimes the challenges we face are endless and like they say it never rains but pours. Just when you think you’ve resolved one issue, something else pops up then another and so on and so forth! It can be very depressing and like it or not your mood might start to change, even though it’s not the outcome you desire. From my television and refrigerator getting bad to electricity problems to financial problems and school challenges just to name a few, I felt like the whole world was against me. Finding peace may not be the direct solution to your problem but it puts you one step ahead to finding the solution.


  • To think straight

A troubled mind gives room for doubts and unbelief hence making it hard for you to think right.

  • You don’t want war

The absence of peace is war and with war comes so much hate and destruction. Every time you are not at peace with yourself a part of you is destroyed, do you really want to live with that?

  • It’s healthy

Mental health is just as important as physical health and should not be neglected.

  • To allow the Holy Spirit work in and through you

According to Galatians 5:22-25, peace is one of the 12 fruits of the Spirit

  • It just feels good

Inner peace is a treasured resource that money can’t buy. We all just want to be happy, nobody wants a sad life



  • Try not to be alone for a long period of time.

Alone time is ‘me, myself and I’ time which generally is good and often recommended but it’s not the case now because every negative thought you’ve been trying to avoid will come running back to you. Find ways to distract yourself with friends, family etc

  • Surround yourself with positive people.

In a time like this, which seems like you’re falling, you need people who will lift you up, people whom you know will help you be it spiritually, morally or even financially. It is always a blessing to find out that in the midst of you misery, someone still cares and is willing to help you. Examples of places I can think of are:- church, Christian gathering, a concert, a seminar etc during one of those hard times that I had too many unanswered questions, God used someone in one Christian gathering to speak to me. Truly God works in mysterious ways.

  • Listen to uplifting messages daily

In these trying times, every single word spoken to you will either uplift you or break you all the more. So, stuffs like good music, a motivational talk, a sermon etc should be your daily medicine.

Music always works like magic for me. It’s a good way to turn me on and always puts me in a good mood.

  • Say a little prayer

When a child is beaten or insulted by another, he runs to the parent or caretaker and reports the problem. After a lot of petting, the child starts calming down. It’s the same with our heavenly father, He’s ever present to pet, comfort and reassure you. All you need do is run to him in sincere prayer telling him exactly how you feel.

  • seek help

John 16:6,’ but because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your hearts (and taken complete possession of them). But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor, Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him the (the Holy Spirit) to you (to be in close fellowship with you).

Ask the Holy Spirit for peace and He will fill your heart.


The storms of life will come and go, vary in their intensity and hit us at our worst moments, but the peace of God remains the same- constant, enduring, comforting. When we choose His peace over fear, worry and anxiety, our hearts and minds abide secure therein.



Here is a brief description on how I personally got back on my feet.

God gave me this bible verse, Isaiah 40:31 which says,

‘but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.

There are times in our lives when it feels like we’re flying other times it’s like we’re running, other times just walking and lastly a standstill. This verse encourages us to know that when we wait on God, there’s no such thing as standstill. Even though you may be just walking and life seems slow, don’t worry because you are moving at God’s pace and believe it or not you are making progress. Just try not to compare yourself with yourself some time ago when you were flying, or worse still compare yourself with others. Trust God with where you are right now and He’ll take you to where you ought to be. Wait on God, and whether life is slow, you won’t be weary or when it seems like things aren’t moving, you won’t faint.




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