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Imagine this scenario:

You glance out the window on the side of your home and see your neighbor out in his backyard. He is pacing around his garden obviously agitated. Every few seconds he shakes his head and mutters unde his breath. After a few minutes he starts kicking at the dirt and getting visibly angry.

Being a concerned neighbor, you figure something is wrong, and given that your neighbor is alone in the backyard, you decide to go outside to see if you can offer any help. As you approach your neighbor, he looks up and sees you, so you ask “what’s wrong?”

To which your neighbor says “I spent the whole day out here yesterday planting seeds and look….nothing grew!”

That sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Everyone knows that if you plant seeds in your garden today, there won’t be fresh juicy tomatoes sitting there tomorrow.

We know either from schooling or from being around stuff that grows, that you plant the seed, and you protect and nurture it while it is growing underground at first, and then protect and take care of it even more once it breaks through the ground, all the way up until the point that you can walk outside and pick the nice juicy tomato.

So the question is…why do we often behave so ridiculous when it comes to our own growth? This can apply to ourselves personally and to any thing we endeavor to do.

We decide to get fit…we go to the gym for a week, but we don’t see a real difference yet. We get frustrated and aggravated. Why? Why are we expecting tomatoes in a week? We are getting fit. We are fitter in a week than we were before the week…its just mostly underground! 

Many times on our path to success in our work, we will have periods where it does not appear that our efforts are producing results…stay at it…you are at an underground growth period…the more you persist, the more likely the sprouts will come up soon.

Most of the significant breakthroughs you will ever have…visible breakthroughs…the kind that seem to just pop up before your eyes…will come after an extended period of underground growth. Periods that test your worthiness to succeed.

Worthiness isn’t a function of talent and ability…its the character of success. The persistence and perserverance of the journey…the willingness to work through the visible dry spells. The next time you are in a place where you are frustrated by the difference between your actions and your results, just remember…you’re in an underground growth phase.

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