Remember the book, The Giving Tree. Maybe you read it as a child or shared it with your kids or grandkids?
It’s about a boy who keeps going back to a tree and taking whatever he can get from it.
He takes the branches, the apples, even the trunk of the tree. Until one day, he returns to the tree, but the tree has nothing more to give. It is just a stump in the ground.
That can happen to the best of us. Your kids or employees or friends keep taking from you until you have nothing more to give.
Therein lies the value of planting seeds.
By “seeds,” I mean those little actions that have the potential to take root and grow into a forest of giving trees.
“Planting seeds” means taking the very first tiny step on a new chapter in your health. If it’s been on your mind, this is yet another reminder. Healthy starts now!
“Planting seeds” means starting a new habit, like waking up earlier in the morning. I’ve been going to sleep at 8:30pm and rising at 3:30am. LOVING IT.
“Planting seeds” means upgrading your mental software with a new and positive way of thinking.
For example, author David Hawkins is my all-time favorite inspirational author. He wrote Power vs Force and Letting Go.
Hawkins explains that “desire” is really resistance.
When you “desire” something, it’s your way of saying “that does not belong to me but I want it.”
Desire is an obstacle. Desire is struggle. Desire is not necessary.
Remove the resistance.
Set the clear intention for what is already yours.
It’s the seed of a new way to think, a new way to live… that is so empowering.
These are tiny actions like a first step, a new habit, a new thought…that you can plant in your life, today.
But let’s get one thing clear. Seeds may take time to bloom.
This is not exciting news for instant gratification junkies. I’ve been such a person my whole life and it is a big weakness.
The ability to delay your gratification is possibly the single most important life lesson.
You may have heard of The Marshmallow Experiment?
In the 1960’s, a Stanford researcher offered children a marshmellow.
The researcher told each child that he was going to leave the room and that if the child did not eat the marshmallow while he was away, then they would be rewarded with a second marshmallow.
The footage of the children waiting alone in the room was rather hilarious.
Some kids totally spazzed, jumped up and ate the first marshmallow ASAP!
Others tried their best to hold back, but eventually swiped up their marshmallow.
And finally, a few of the children held off, the entire time!
The researcher stayed in touch with the children as they grew up, tracking their progress in a number of areas.
“The children who were willing to delay gratification and waited to receive the second marshmallow ended up having higher SAT scores, lower levels of substance abuse, lower likelihood of obesity, better responses to stress, better social skills as reported by their parents, and generally better scores in a range of other life measures.”
This series of experiments proved that the ability to delay gratification was critical for success in life.
Never mind the kids…delayed gratification is a major struggle for adults too.
When you’re hungry, that piece of pizza is way more tantalizing than those 5 pounds you want to lose.
When you’re tired, an extra hour of sleep is way more delicious than making time for your morning workout.
When you’re bored, it’s much easier to turn on TV than to pick up a book.
Why bother planting seeds for the future when you can have what you want…RIGHT NOW?
It’s a habit that you pass on to your kids, and it’s a habit that you can change…RIGHT NOW.
It’s taken me 43 long years to finally realize… a fertile garden with a beautiful future is much more awesome than a fallow garden with a storied past.
SEEDS FOR YOUR WHOLE FAMILY
Mindfulness spreads the seeds of positive thinking, peace of mind, mental focus, and resilience…to your kids, your teens, your partner and…YOU.
MINDFUL FAMILY starts Tuesday. I’ve reserved 2 spots for those of you who want to sign up…last minute!
There are so many mindfulness programs out there but this is the only one that gives you a chance to spread the seeds to every member of your family.
If you feel like your family could spend more time together, talking with each other instead of zoning out on your gadgets…
If you want to help your family members overcome their stress, enjoy their life more, and sleep better at night…
If you want to do something really nice for your whole family that is half the cost of one night in a nice hotel…
Mindful Family is super simple. 10 minutes during the week. 10 minutes on the weekend. If you miss a week, no worries. You can catch up anytime.
This is the long game, something that will be with you and your family for the rest of your life.
Little habits can create massive changes in the way you think, act, and live.
Mindful Family begins Tuesday.