Les Brown | How Bamboo Trees Will Bring Out Your Best Self
Les Brown – Go Hard
In an ancient far east nugget of wisdom, motivational genius and raconteur Les Brown shares a parabole of change and self-improvement.
Life is hard. See it’s hard when you are 49 years old been working on a job for 17 years and they come in and tell you you’re finished and give you one week’s severance pay and you have to start all over again.
It’s hard when you’re married and raising children and your children are crawling and your husband dies unexpectedly.
It’s hard handling just the tragedies of life. It’s hard when you’re working on something and, and you put everything you have in it and it doesn’t work out, you lose your money and other people’s money.
It’s hard, it was rough when I lost my job and I could not find a job. It was humiliating and embarrassing borrowing money and then I couldn’t pay the money back when I told them I would.
That’s rough, how people look at you, how they respond to you, it’s very hard, it’s humiliating. Here’s what I discovered that happens to you in life that you will go through things and while you’re going through them you can’t understand why it’s happening to ‘ya but after you go through it and you get back and you look at it, then you say oh, now I understand why I needed that lesson.
Have you ever had it happen to you raise your hand, did it ever happen to you that, that I couldn’t understand it there but after I got through it then I saw that that was preparing me for bigger and better things.
As you go through the challenges of life and you look at it and embrace whatever comes to you don’t run from it, step toward it. Don’t try and duck it like most people do. See most people want it easy, see if you easy come, easy what, easy go, see but when you go at what you’re going to deal with and you deal with the difficulties of it, when you handle those hard things close at hand, making those hard decisions right now that you don’t wanna make, learning those things that you don’t like to do, but you know that in order for you to get where you wanna go, this is one of the hoops that you have to flip through.
And I’m saying to you whatever you gotta do, do it, because if you don’t life is gonna whoop you until you surrender, and say, okay, alright, alright, alright, alright, I’ll cooperate, okay I’ll learn, okay, he had to wear me out a long time.
So I’ve been taught then do it hard. Now how do you hang in there during the hard difficult times lest you must have faith. You’ve gotta believe in yourself. You’ve got to believe in your abilities. You’ve got to believe in your service, your company, your ideas, unquestionably. You’ve got to have faith and that faith gives you patience that is not gonna happen as quickly as you want it to happen.
A lot of things gonna happen that will catch you off guard and so therefore you’ve got to deal with, and handle it as it comes and not only that but that faith and patience drives you into action, you’ve got to keep moving and keep plugging away.
In the Far East they have something that’s called the Chinese bamboo tree. The Chinese bamboo tree takes five years to grow. They have to water and fertilize the ground where it is every day and it doesn’t break through the ground until the fifth year. But once it breaks through the ground within five weeks it grows 90 feet tall.
Now the question is, does it grow 90 feet tall in five weeks or five years? The answer is obvious, it grows 90 feet tall in five years because at any time had that person stopped watering and nurturing and fertilizing that tree, that bamboo tree would have died in the ground. And I can see people coming out talking to a guy, out there watering and fertilizing the ground that’s not showing anything, hey, what ‘ya doing? You’ve been out here a long time now, and the conversation in the neighborhood is, you’re growing a Chinese bamboo tree, that right? Yeah, that’s right. Well um, even Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder can see there ain’t nothin’ showing.
You know that’s how people are gonna do you, so how long you been working on this? How long have you been working on your dream, and you have nothing to show, this is all you’ve got to show? People gonna do that to you. And some people ladies and gentlemen they stop because they don’t see instant results, it doesn’t happen quickly, they stop, oh, no, no, no, no. You gotta keep on watering your dream and when it begin to happen, they stop laughing. They say, look, whoa, look here, it’s, look up, hey man, you know, I know you could do it, look, you got a job here.
See during those hard times we didn’t know how you’re gonna make payroll during those times when you fail and things didn’t work out, they were nowhere to be found. You know what I discovered, when you’re working at your dream somebody said, the harder the better, the sweeter the victory, oh it’s sweet to ‘ya. It’s good to ‘ya, why?
See when you, when it’s hard and there’s a struggle see what you become in the process is more important than the dream.
That’s far more important. The kind of person you become, the character that you build, the courage that you develop, the faith that you’re manifesting, oh, it’s something that you get up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a different kind of person, you walk with a different kind of spirit. People know that you know what life is that you have embraced life, you know it was hard, but you did it hard.