If you haven’t read about “The S.Ex.I.E.R Curve,” please do, because the following story will make a lot more sense.
The SExIER Curve has huge implications for anyone doing the Affirmations Experiment. Because I try to keep my articles tight, for pacing reasons, I always have to cut out a few ideas that I love.
This is one of those ideas:
The Seed and The Gardener
One day, a seed is planted in fertile soil by a caring gardener.
The seed is nurtured with love and kindness every day, and to show its gratitude to the gardener, it strives to grow into the best plant that it can be. But the seed worries that the gardener will forget about it, because the seed has yet to sprout.
But the gardener doesn’t forget. Despite not seeing results, the gardener makes sure the seed gets enough water and the soil gets enough sunlight. The gardener has faith that below the surface, good things are happening.
And they are. The seed hatches, reaching its arm toward the surface, stretching and striving to break the soil so it can wave “hello” to the gardener. The seed wants to say, “I’m still here. Please don’t forget about me.”
The happiest day of the seed’s life is the day when it finally pushes through the topsoil and sees the gardener’s happy face smiling from above.
That day, the seed is no longer a seed, but a sprout (this is the “Finally!” moment). But the sprout realizes it has more work to do.
The sprout grows into a plant that is so big and healthy, the gardener doesn’t have to work anymore. The plant’s roots go deep enough that it’s always drinking water, and its leaves are wide enough that it always gets sunlight.
The plant is happy, but surprised to find out that the gardener is sad.
The gardener loved taking care of the seed. Even though it was a lot of work, nurturing the seed added value to the gardener’s life. Because the seed is now a healthy plant, the gardener lacks a sense of purpose.
Realizing this, the plant knows what to do.
The plant grows some fruit. Smiling, the gardener takes the fruit, removes a handful of seeds, and plants them in the garden.
And the plant, the gardener, and the seeds are all happy.
You are both the gardener and the seed. Make both sides happy.
I think that is a great metaphor that can be applied to many things in life. Unfortunately, it didn’t fit with the acronyms SExIER or DIARRHEA, so it was cut. 😛
But the math in “The Seed and The Gardener” story is the same as the SExIER Curve:
A single seed, when nurtured, can produce an entire crop.
The “seed” is metaphorical, of course. The “seed” is the daily action that will lead you to your goal.
But this begs a very important question:
How do you know if your seed will ever blossom into a plant? What if it’s just a “bad seed” and it won’t sprout no matter what?
This is a very valid question. If you want to be a bodybuilder but do nothing but jumping jacks, you’re never going to blossom into what you want to be.
So be smart.
Whatever your goal is, pay attention to how you feel and monitor yourself for “growing pains.”
True change always stings a little bit. If you want to be a bodybuilder, your muscles should feel sore after a workout. If you want to be a writer, you need to look for valid criticism of your work and make adjustments. If you want anything in life, you’re going to experience some discomfort.
But it should be the “good” kind of discomfort. The kind where you know you worked hard and did what needed to be done. If you can do that everyday, the seed will sprout.
This begs another question:
How long will it take for the seed to sprout?
Here’s the harsh but honest truth:
There’s no way to know. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but that’s how life works. Maybe it will take three months. Maybe three years. Depending on the goal, maybe thirty years. How lofty is your goal, and how bad do you want it?
Having said that, here’s a secret I’ve learned over the years:
If you enjoy nurturing the seed, the “When?” won’t even cross your mind.
Be grateful for the journey, not just the destination.