We all have pre-set emotional reference points that develop within us over the years. We subconsciously install them as we travel through our life. They are based on a series of beliefs that are in line with our philosophical make-up.   Our reference points reflect what we believe and what rings true in our hearts. For me, there seems to be a collection of metaphors, quotes, and life experiences that I’ve gathered over the years. 
There are two quotes that I often share when it comes to the topic of “patience.”  The first is by legendary coach, John Wooden who said, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”  One of my grandson’s was getting frustrated a couple of years back. He was about seven years old and he was working on a project for school. Because he was rushing to finish the project, there were some mistakes. He had to redo the project over again. His seven year old patience was very short and he was getting frustrated. I said to him, “Hey Pal, take a deep breath. You can do this. Remember, be quick, but don’t hurry.” He understood the meaning right away. He looked at me as if a lightbulb went on and he finished his project. 
 
The second quote is, “You don’t plant a seed and get fruit the next day-unknown” Some things will take time. This is especially true with long term goals such as finance and fitness. But the good news is that we can make time work for us by performing “prescribed” tasks on a daily/weekly basis that will lead us to our goals. Time will pass regardless of what we do. We need to make it work for us.   For example: Someone has some health issues and decides that they want to get physically fit. They have an exercise program set up for them that they are to perform two or three times a week. It’s their foundation for growth. They start with an end goal in mind and go into a program knowing that if they stay within the guidelines and are consistent, they will arrive one day at their goal. It’s like gravity. It works every time.
 
In order to succeed, we need to protect and practice our daily disciplines. The problem is that most people lose track of their goal and stop doing what’s necessary on a consistent basis.  I’d like to share a story that I heard from Zig Ziglar many years ago. It’s about a Chinese Bamboo Tree.
 
“When this particular seed of the Chinese Bamboo tree is planted, watered and nurtured, for years it doesn’t outwardly grow as much as an inch. Nothing happens for the first year. There’s no sign of growth. Not even a hint. The same thing happens – or doesn’t happen – the second year. And then the third year. The tree is carefully watered and fertilized each year, but nothing shows. No growth. No anything. So it goes as the sun rises and sets for four solid years. The farmer and his wife have nothing tangible to show for this labor or effort. Then, along comes year five. After five years of fertilizing and watering have passed, with nothing to show for it – the bamboo tree suddenly sprouts and grows eighty feet in just SIX WEEKS!  Did the little tree lie dormant for four years only to grow exponentially in the fifth? Or, was the little tree growing underground, developing a root system strong enough to support its potential for outward growth in the fifth year and beyond? The answer is, of course, obvious. Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.”
 
Yours in Rotary,
Tony Parziale
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