Lessons From The Bamboo

Garr Reynolds (http://www.garrreynolds.com) made an excellent and very interesting presentation at a recent TED conference in Tokyo.  The presentation was titled Ten Lessons From The Bamboo.  Reynolds used superb pictures and content to describe important life and success lessons we can all apply for greater personal and professional success.

The first 3 lessons Reynolds discussed are as follows:

  1. Remember: What looks weak is strong.  The body of even the largest type of bamboo is not large compared to the other much larger trees in the forest. But the plants endure cold winters and extremely hot summers and are some times the only trees left standing in the aftermath of a storm. We must be careful not to underestimate others or ourselves based only on old notions of what is weak and what is strong. You do not have to be big and imposing to be strong. You may not be from the biggest company or the product of the most famous school, but like the bamboo, stand tall, believe in your own strengths, and know that you are as strong as you need to be. Remember too that there is strength in the light, in openness and transparency. There is strength in kindness, compassion, and cooperation.
  2. Bend but don’t break.  One of the most impressive things about the bamboo is how it sways with the breeze. This gentle swaying movement is a symbol of humility. The foundation of the bamboo is solid, yet it moves and sways harmoniously with the wind, never fighting against it. In time, even the strongest wind tires itself out, but the bamboo remains standing tall and still. A bend-but-don’t-break or go-with-the-natural-flow attitude is one of the secrets for success whether we’re talking about bamboo trees, answering tough questions in a Q&A session, or just dealing with the everyday vagaries of life.
  3. Be deeply rooted yet flexible.  The bamboo is remarkable for its incredible flexibility. This flexibility is made possible in part due to the bamboo’s complex root structure which is said to make the ground around a bamboo forest very stable. Roots are important, yet in an increasingly mobile world many individuals and families do not take the time or effort to establish roots in their own communities. The challenge, then, for many of us is to remain the mobile, flexible, international travelers and busy professionals that we are while at the same time making the effort and taking the time to become involved and deeply rooted in the local community right outside our door.”

What looks weak is strong!  Bend but don’t break!  Be deeply rooted yet flexible!

These 3 lessons are not new.  But, they are overwhelmingly important to your personal and professional success.  Spend some time planning how you will intentionally and increasingly apply each of these critically important lessons in your life.

As Garr Reynolds puts it, “It is up to us to put these lessons (or reminders) of resilience into daily use through persistence and practice. You do not need to be perfect. You need only to be resilient. This is the greatest lesson from the bamboo.”

We will examine more of the Ten Lessons From The Bamboo next week.  Until then, don’t just remember, but intentionally apply these critically important lessons in your life… What looks weak is strong… Bend but don’t break… Be deeply rooted yet flexible!

 

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I am a leader, speaker, and author who is passionate about Leadership Excellence and Achieiving Greater Success. I am the author of the books Be An Inspirational Leader(2016) and Presidential Leadership (2013), and deliver keynote presentations on those topics and several others.

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