Plant Your Tree Now

Treat Thompson



This is a republishing of The Steady Fella Newsletter. Every week readers use the timeless insights on passion, productivity, philosophy, and happiness from this newsletter to build towards the life they want.

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Do you have something you’ve been dreaming of starting?

Do you have something that you’ve been putting off?

Do you have an action that you know deep down you should be making?

What are you waiting for?

Sometimes waiting is good. Like waiting for your tax refund to invest, rather than acquiring debt. Or waiting until you finish a project before putting your focus on a new one.

However, most things are put off to their demise. We delay action for a made-up moment that may never come. We wait and wait until our new idea turns into thoughts of what could have been.

Starting now is one of the best things you can do for a dream.

Dreams take a long time to realize. If you wanted success today, you should’ve started years ago. The good news is that you can still start now.

Two quotes capture this idea:

1. “A year from now you may wish you had started today” - Karen Lamb

2. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second-best time is now.” - Chinese Proverb

Starting properly is the other best thing you can do for a dream.

Our society is obsessed with instant gratification. As a result, it’s hard for us to start something new and give it the time it needs to develop before feeling like a failure.

Expecting immediate and/or effortless success is a good way to never follow through.

We need to start in a way that doesn’t burn us out, but rather sets up a foundation for consistency.

We can do that in two ways:

1. Stop comparing yourself to others.

Comparison is a recipe for a drop in self-confidence and satisfaction.

It also cultivates a mindset where you think you haven't done enough. As a result, you may raise your expectations and put more pressure on yourself.

This is pointless because things worth achieving take time. So we obviously won't compare to the things around us when starting off.

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” – Marquis de Condorcet.

2. Don’t lose hope when you’re not an overnight success.

Overnight successes are the 1% - for the most part, they don’t exist.

In reality what we see as an “overnight success” is countless hours of work finally hitting a tipping point - like bamboo.

  • Once planted, bamboo starts to create a root system underground.
  • Across 4 years the root system compounds and grows more complex without ever growing above ground.
  • In the 5th year the bamboo tree skyrockets to 90 feet tall in only 5 weeks

If it had stopped being watered during the first 4 years, the fruits of labour would never be seen.

Pursuing dreams is a story of patience, persistence, and unseen effort.

What you start now just might become something massive in years to come - no matter how small, imperfect, or lesser than someone else’s it is. But only if you start now and do it in a way that keeps you going.

Your future self will thank you for what you start today.

I have by no means reached the peak of what I’m aiming for, but I’m so happy I started when I did and didn’t wait for a second more.

Featured Quote

I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we’re all cowards. - Alberto Salazar

James Clear said almost all the resistance in a task comes before we start it. That's why turning an idea into action is one of the hardest steps in realizing a dream.

At starting line is where we get hit with self-doubt, the fear of failure, and cowardly thoughts.