15 Minutes

Financial, Relationship and Spiritual Growth. Personal Development. Leadership.


How Do You Like Them Tomatoes?

When I was in elementary school we had a garden (interesting side note, no matter what you plant in Hawaii you will yield mostly eggplant). My dad took care of it and I, being a kid, I carefully avoided it. From high school until today I’ve only lived in a town house with no lawn space, and have had no particular interest in potted plants so I’ve never grown anything.

A few years back I had the urge to start an herb garden (when I had a turkey and basil leaf sandwich that was really good). And since I haven’t had a normal 9 to 5 job in quite a while, a few months ago I thought I’d try it out. I got some plastic trays, some soil, some seeds and started flexing my farming muscles.

Basil is easy to grow, so those seeds sprouted quickly. Then I decided that fresh basil tastes gross and let them die.

I planted some Rosemary seeds, most of which never broke the soil surface. When one of them finally did I was overjoyed. My next discovery was that a kitten will eat a newly sprouted Rosemary plant right down to the roots.

That brings us to today. Check out my tomato plant:

Not bad for someone that never grew anything in his life. When I actually get my first tomato, expect a five-part blog detailing the process from harvest to sandwich-eating.

Why am I rambling about my mini-garden? Here, I’ll quote from David Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big.

Most of us have friends who grow things for a hobby. And we’ve all heard them say something like “It’s exciting to watch those plants grow.”

I’ve read this book several times before but glossed over that section because I never had any personal experience with it. In this particular season of my life though, it was pertinent to me so it jumped out at me.

Now let’s take a look at the next paragraph (of the book and my blog)

To be sure, it is thrilling to watch what can happen when men cooperate with nature. But it is not one-tenth as fascinating as watching yourself respond to your own carefully administered thought management program. It’s fun to feel yourself growing more confident, more effective, more successful day-by-day, month-by-month.

Here are my insights taken from my recent experiences in farming and reading:

  • First, Dr. Schwartz sums up nicely the reason that I am so passionate about personal growth. It’s fun. It’s challenging. And when you are growing yourself, it is significantly more rewarding than having a fresh tomato. (See my past blog on Always Choose Growth)
  • Second, you should always re-read books in your success library. Certain phrases and principles will speak to you more strongly in different phases of your own life. Compare what you highlight in a book today to what “college-You” highlighted the first time you read it. It’s a great yardstick to see how much you’ve grown.
  • Third, great things come from tiny seeds (I mean, just look at that photo! That plant is like 5 cats tall!) Metaphorically, words are seeds. Ideas are seeds. Thoughts are seeds. My life’s ambition is to spend it planting good seed and yielding a great harvest in the form of adding value to people’s lives.
  • Fourth, good seed is timeless. This book was written in 1959, but the wisdom in it is as valuable today as it was then. So is the wisdom found in the Bible. Seeds discovered in Egyptian tombs were found to still be viable after thousands of years. The same is true for principles of success. Policies change. Techniques change. Popularity is fickle. Principles endure.

These points seem a bit scattered to me, so let me try to bring them all into focus with a few questions:

Do you have principles in your life that you value? Of course, everyone does.

What are you doing to reinforce those principles in your life? In your child’s life?

What good seeds can you plant now to yield a great harvest in the future?