The Sue Atkins Wednesday Story
Posted by: Sue Atkins
Here’s your Wednesday story from my never ending notebook and everlasting pencil!
One Friday morning a couple of months ago the log man came to our house and delivered our winter pile of logs for our open fire but he dumped them outside my neighbour Helen’s door instead and she sent me a vitriolic text about moving them!
Well I rushed outside completely irate and started to move them by myself – one log at a time. I just didn’t allow myself to look up at the whole pile as I felt completely demoralised and I couldn’t find the wheel barrow. So I focused instead on the pile that was growing bigger by my house…..one log at a time.
Well, it did take me ages, with much muttering under my breath , but in the end the whole pile of our winter logs were all safely piled up on our land and I felt FANTASTIC!!
In fact I reframed the whole incident as a gift – as my neighbour gave me this great analogy for setting my goals for my business. I just do 3 or 4 things consistently every single day to move my passion for empowering parents to be the best they can be forward.
This log story has really helped me feel less overwhelmed as I have a story to fall back on when I feel snowed under or weighed down with too many things to do or feel my goals are not happening fast enough.
Or perhaps you’ll enjoy this simple story about never giving up told to me over 4 years ago by my good friend Mark Hynes.
A young farmer wanted to grow a Chinese Bamboo Tree so she prepared the soil, picked the right spot, then planted the Chinese Bamboo Tree.
She watered it and waited. She waited and waited for an entire year and nothing appeared. No bud, no twig, nothing. But she kept watering and protecting the area and taking care of the future plant, and she waited.
She waited another year and still nothing happened.
She was a persistent person not prone to giving up, so she kept on watering.
She watered, took care of the soil, and even started talking to the ground and dancing in some kind of growing dance that she had read about in the National Geographic!
Another year passed and still the Tree showed no sign of growth.
It had been three years. Should she give up? Someone told her that it might take a while to really see the fruits of her efforts, so she kept on keeping on. More water, more talk, more dancing. Her neighbours, friends and partner were beginning to wonder about her tenacity and persistence and wondered if she was mad to keep trying!
And another year passed. Still no tree.
She had to make a decision.
If there was still no tree on this date one year from now she would stop watering.
So she began year number five with the same passion as day number one. She watered, she waited. She kept watering and kept waiting.
She watered some more and then……….., could it be?…………….. was it really true?
Yes, there it was, something sticking out of the dirt. She rubbed her eyes and came back the next day and WOW it had really grown!
In fact she came back each day for about six weeks and finally the Chinese Bamboo tree stopped growing—but it was over 80 feet tall! Yes, 80 feet in six weeks!
Well, not really. It is 80 feet in five years!
The point is simple. If she had given up for even the shortest period of time, there would be no tree. It took almost impossible persistence. The Chinese Bamboo tree is there for one reason and one reason only—because you never gave up on it.
Find your own story, or borrow mine, and start to relax and enjoy the journey and I think it helps to remember, that the road to success is always under construction!!!
- What’s your analogy for persistence?
- What story could you use from your own life that will help you to move just one step, one log or one action at a time?
- How does that feel inside when you hold that story in your imagination?
- How does it feel to know you are not alone?
I’d really love to hear your stories so don’t be shy post them up here so we can all inspire each other.
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About the author
Sue Atkins is a Parenting Expert who offers practical guidance for bringing up happy, confident, well behaved children. She is also the author of “Raising Happy Children for Dummies” one in the famous black and yellow series published worldwide and the highly acclaimed Parenting Made Easy CDs. She regularly appears on BBC Breakfast and The Jeremy Vine Show on BBC Radio 2 and her parenting articles are published all over the world.
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Sue Atkins the Parenting Expert
T: + 44 1342 833355 M: 07740 622769
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