5 Pieces of Life Advice from a Bamboo Farmer

Photo by JFXie on Flickr.

Photo by JFXie on Flickr.

1. Shed – let go of the unnecessary.

In life, as with in Bamboo Farming, there are no guarantees. If your harvest is less than you desired for the year, appreciate what success you did have, recognize those who contributed to it, and learn from the lessons provided in the experience. Hauling around extra weight will only negatively affect your harvest next year.

2. Remember your roots.

Your roots are your values – remember who and what is important to you. Reaching your goal while sacrificing your values and your relationships is not an achievement at all. The view from the top will only be lonely one if you forget who you are while climbing, and if you don’t bring those who are important to you along for the climb.

3. Bend with the wind, go with the flow.

We expect to be able to do big things without creating a mess. Ask yourself, what in your life so far has gone exactly as you planned? I bet the answer is nothing. Everything in the world is messy; we are far too complex of creatures to be anything but. In order to grow bamboo you are going to have to dig up a lot of dirt, and if it rains, there will be mud. If you are afraid of sloppiness, you may never start. If you try to prevent each mess along the way, you risk stunting the growth of your bamboo. Let messiness happen. Better yet, revel in it.  

4. Be patient.

Whether you plant your bamboo seed and water it or not, the years it takes to grow will pass. You cannot speed up time, but you can make every moment you live worthwhile—choose what you do with your moments wisely. The effort you put in today may not show results for five, ten, fifteen years. Remove yourself from this instant gratification world and remember that it takes a lot of long nights to be an overnight success.

5. Stand tall – enjoy the view.

Be proud of your accomplishments and your failures, for they make up the organic nature of your success.

Copyright Statement: Permission to use, copy and distribute materials from this document is hereby granted with the explicit instruction to cite “Greg Bell – Water The Bamboo” when using this material for any purpose. All other rights reserved.