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bamboo overnight success


I like bamboo. I like the tall trees and the hollow stems. I like the funny noises you can make with them.

When I run my fingers across the bark, or hear the creaking when it bends, it takes me back to bamboo rafting in Kerala, India. It takes me back to tropical Malaysia, where an uncle has it growing in his living room.

It triggers that little adventurous voice in my head which says, “just go outside and do something!” 

Did this get a little weird, too soon? Probably. I’ll hurry and get to the point.

Bambo can grow up to 3 feet high in a single day… it took me 5 years to do the same. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. For the bamboo, I mean. I read an article on Entrepreneur – Why you should ask a bamboo farmer what it takes to succeed.


On talking about bamboo seeds in the ground:

“Even with perfect care and maintenance, you won’t see any progress.

You won’t even be sure if they’re still alive down there.

This presents many inexperienced, would-be bamboo farmers with a dilemma: They can’t dig up the plants to check on them. But they’re so tired of waiting for the plant to sprout, and the suspense is killing them.

So what do they do? Well, the successful bamboo farmers wait patiently. Even without seeing signs of growth, they are watering their seeds.

Day in, day out. Even when they’re discouraged. Even when they’re sure that it’s futile.

Then, after five years of labor and faith in something they can’t see, they’re rewarded with the miraculous “overnight” growth.

By the end of the week, their formally non-existent tree is taller than they are!” – Daniel Dipiazza on Why you should ask a bamboo farmer what it takes to succeed.


This made me think of all the times I’ve started doing something, but never saw it through to the end… because it dragged on too long – because the rewards I expected did not reveal themselves soon enough for me to reap them.

When I started eating healthy, I quit. When I was hitting the gym 4 times  a week, I quit. I wasn’t seeing the gains because I didn’t give them a chance to appear. So I quit.

My mindset and approach was wrong. I need to stop digging up the seeds, or they will never have a chance to sprout.

I may not notice the incremental progress from the work I put in, but I have to believe enough. I have to believe enough to stay strong and continue watering those seeds no matter what.

Because one day… one day they will shoot from the surface and ‘overnight success’ will suddenly be mine.

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