This summer I decided I wanted to plant a garden. I went to the store, bought some seeds, tilled the ground, and planted the seeds.
The next day I went to check on the seeds I planted. I was so disappointed when I discovered nothing had grown.
I thought immediately there's got to be something wrong with these seeds.
They are obviously defective!
So I dug them up, threw them out and planted new seeds.
Can you believe what happen next? I went back the next day and still, nothing!
The second set of seeds I planted hadn't grown either. What's going on with these seeds?!
So again, I dug up the second set of seeds because they were obviously defective like the first set.
This time I went to a different store and bought different seeds. I spent a lot of time picking them out and a lot of money for quality seeds.
I went home and planted the seeds.
When I checked back the next day I could not believe my eyes!
Still, nothing had grown...
I was so disappointed, but also starting to get frustrated, angry and afraid I wouldn't have the garden I'd hoped for at the beginning of the year.
It's got to be these seeds, I thought. I'm going to march right back to that store and demand my money back.
I'm going to give them a piece of my mind for selling such rotten seeds.
They advertise such great products but it's all lies just to get me to spend my hard-earned money.
I approached the refund counter, receipt in hand. "These seeds are junk," I said. "I planted them yesterday and nothing grew today. I want my money back."
"I don't want to exchange them. I've already tried so many other seeds that didn't grow either so I'm giving up on my dream garden and I just want my money back, please."
The lady at the counter had a puzzled look on her face. I couldn't figure out why she looked confused but at this point, I didn't care.
I was so heartbroken at the realization that I would never have my dream garden, everything else was a blur.
I felt my eyes tearing up but I didn't want to start crying at the refund counter so I choked back the tears.
"Ma'am," she said.
"What!" I snapped back feeling bad that I'm taking my frustrations out on her. I realize she has nothing to do with the quality of the seeds and she is just trying to do her job.
"Ma'am, you have to keep the seeds in the ground longer than a day for them to grow."
What's really going on?
This seed story is obviously a made-up analogy and didn't really happen.
I hope about half-way through reading you realize that and were saying to yourself, "Ummmm, Katherine you have to leave the seed in the ground longer than a day for anything to grow!"
But what's really going on...
All too often we give up on our dreams way before we've given them a chance to grow.
Somewhere along the way we've decided since we're not seeing results fast enough, nothing's happening.
But here's what I'd like to offer.
Every time you set a goal you're planting a seed. You have to cultivate that seed and give it time to grow the same way you have to cultivate your goals.
All too often we think it's outside forces causing us to not be able to achieve our goals so we quickly want to blame the goal.
We say things like...
If only I had more time.
If only I had more money.
If only my family would support me more.
If only my co-workers would do their job.
If only my boss weren't such a jerk.
...I'd be able to achieve my goal.
Every time we blame outside forces for us not being able to reach our goal we think it's the goal that's the problem so we change our goal.
Every time we change our goal, it's like we're digging up that seed, tossing it, and planting a new one.
What I'm trying to say is that it's not the goal that's the problem. In the say way it's not the seed that is the problem.
Because here's another reality, it doesn't matter what the goal is. Just like it doesn't matter what the seed is.
Whatever seed you plant will grow if you leave it in the ground and give it the right amount of fresh air, water and sunlight.
Moreover, you will achieve any goal you set when you are consistent and focused.
Set a goal, cultivate it and give it time to grow.
Stop blaming outside forces as the reason you're not reaching your goal and I promise you will get results faster than you ever thought possible.