Plant trees now. Plant them well before you need the fruit.
If we aren’t careful, our life and careers can become an exercise of searching for answers to the question – “But, what can I do to make that happen now?” This could be about looking to build a strong collection of referrals to a job we want. It could also be about meeting the desire to work on a fulfilling side project. But, we can rest assured that the moment we ask the “But, what can I do now?” question, it is already too late.
It is impossible to find the perfect referral for a job we want tomorrow, unrealistic we will find a great story filling that gap in our application for our essays to university day after and unlikely we will get healthy enough to pass our annual physical in a week.
But, how could we have known?
By teaching ourselves to think longer term and continuously investing in ourselves and others. Every minute we spend thinking long term is a minute spent planting trees. Every minute we spend investing in our growth or that of others is also a minute spent planting trees. This includes all the time we spend studying, connecting, helping, thinking and working toward becoming our best self. This isn’t about moving toward specific goals as much it is moving in their direction. Want to be a healthy person? Start today by making small changes to your lifestyle. Want to work in virtual reality in year? Start today by connecting with people in Virtual Reality with no intention but to learn about what they do.
There isn’t a shortcut to this. There’s no point looking back at lamenting un-planted trees either. For a more healthy, fulfilling life, we need to plant more trees than we’ll ever need. As the Chinese proverb goes, the best time to plant them was twenty years ago. However, if we let that pass us by, there’s no point in fretting.
After all, the second best time is today.