“No one can grow a tree faster than it chooses, but we can celebrate the fruit each new season brings.” ~ Michael Goodman
The minute I read this quote, I started thinking about asparagus farming. Once planted it takes three years before the asparagus can be harvested. Imagine planting something and cultivating and working it for three seasons before you can actually enjoy the fruits of your labor. In a world where many of us have come to expect instant gratification on our efforts, this would be almost impossible to deal with.
This is why so many people struggle at staying engaged in working toward a goal. Effective and sustainable weight loss programs say that losing two pounds a week is ideal. Under that formula it would take twenty weeks to lose forty pounds. That is why so many people go for a secret formula of pills and shakes to lose forty pounds in half the time. Unless they have developed some understand of what really causes the weight gain in the first place, all that weight usually returns. Instead of learning how to manage a balance and healthy diet with exercise, which is sustainable, our society chases the quick fix, get it fast solution that offers no real long-term results and benefits.
In reality, much of what we want to accomplish will take work, discipline, and time. The successful experience of 100 Pedals was not accomplished in 100 days. It has been an ongoing process of over eighteen months of learning, exploring, failing, and finally, success. The challenge of the ride — the bike rides themselves — was achieved in 100 days. The experience and the power of the journey started over eighteen months ago and continues on today after the rides have been celebrated. This was a long and challenging and rewarding experience that started long before I got on the bike over 100 days ago.
The key to any of us realizing our goals and celebrating and sustainable and joyous outcome to our ongoing journey is understanding that it may take longer than we would like to get there. There are no shortcuts to enlightenment and achievement. The journey in itself is the lesson. It is just like the asparagus farmer spending several years cultivating and developing his crop. There are no shortcuts.
When done right, with love and care, there is a wonderful outcome. Our dreams and goals can all be realized when we discover that learning, patience, discipline, and commitment are all part of the process. Without it, we may be able to reach the finish line; however, we will have little understanding of how we got there and how to leverage the experience and the lessons along the way. It is those experiences over time while we work on our goals that strengthen us through the rest of our journey. Without them, we have little to guide us in what is guaranteed to be future struggles. Skip the shortcut, do the work, and celebrate the little accomplishments that you experience along the way. The fruits of your labor will be worth it!