Grow your Own

Very few gardens are the same.

They may be a similar size, maybe on a modern development where most of the houses look similar.

But the gardens are unique.

They reflect the personalities of those who tend them.

The pots, the types of flower, the layout.

Those who tend them like to spend time there, enjoying what they have planted and nurtured. It helps them feel whole.

At what point did we decide that “work” had to be different?

We benchmark, we measure, we compare, we run scared of variation from what we’ve planned. We fear being judged.

Gardeners revel in difference, and unexpected arrivals. When the dahlia they grew turns out to be a different colour from that they had anticipated, they don’t fire it, they just plant it somewhere else in the garden where it fits.

Weather happens. Forecasts are usually approximately right, but precisely wrong and every now and again we get a real storm and have to repair the damage it caused, but we don’t blame anyone.

And when the sun shines, and all is in bloom, we sit down and enjoy it, until the autumn, and time to enjoy preparing it for the winter we know is coming.

“When we plant a rose seed in the earth, we notice that it is small, but we do not criticize it as “rootless and stemless.” We treat it as a seed, giving it the water and nourishment required of a seed. When it first shoots up out of the earth, we don’t condemn it as immature and underdeveloped; nor do we criticize the buds for not being open when they appear. We stand in wonder at the process taking place and give the plant the care it needs at each stage of its development. The rose is a rose from the time it is a seed to the time it dies. Within it, at all times, it contains its whole potential. It seems to be constantly in the process of change; yet at each state, at each moment, it is perfectly all right as it is.”

Tim Gallwey, from The Inner Game of Tennis

When we run our businesses, our careers and our lives in expectation of what it might be one day (often measured through very narrow criteria) rather than enjoy what it is today, and take pleasure in what it might one day be, we pay a heavy price. Our lives have an expiration date. Each day matters, and mortgaging it to the future generates burden rather than joy.

We can run our businesses and careers in the same way as we garden. For the love ot it.

Wonder, appreciation and joy are not restricted to snatched moments or holidays, unless we choose to live that way.

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