The Lesson of the Water Hyacinth
The water hyacinth is one of the most beautiful and unusual plants on earth. A delicate flower with six petals, it ranges in color from blue to lavender to pink and floats on the surface of ponds in warm areas around the world.
What makes the water hyacinth really special is that it is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. A single water hyacinth can produce as many as 5,000 seeds and sends out short stems that become new plants. Over time, a single water hyacinth continuously doubles itself - one plant becomes two plants, two plants become four plants, four plants become eight plants, and so on.
One day there was a very beautiful (and very small) water hyacinth growing near the edge of a big pond. Nobody ever noticed it. Nobody noticed the second day either, when it had doubled and there were now two plants. Nobody noticed the water hyacinth on the third day or the fourth day. Even though they kept doubling in numbers, the water hyacinths were so small on the big pond that you’d have to look very hard to see them.
For two weeks the water hyacinths continued to double, but still covered only one square foot of the pond, just a tiny part of its huge surface. On day 20, a person passing by the pond noticed something floating along the shore, but mistook it for a lost towel or a discarded trash bag. But by day 30, it was impossible to ignore the hyacinths, because a blanket of beautiful flowers now covered the pond’s entire surface.
The lesson of the water hyacinth is this: Small actions may not seem like much at first, but over time they have a compounding effect. All that means is that actions add up or intensify over time - you can get big results from small, daily steps. this is perhaps the most important lesson of the slight edge and it applies directly to your life.
Source: Success for Teens, by the editors of the Success Foundation
The water hyacinth in our lives are our choices. We make choices every hour of every day. The impact of these choices will spread throughout our lives like a blanket of water hyacinths covering a pond. We may not see or realize the results of our choices today, tomorrow, or even next year. However, the results of our actions become apparent by the fabric of our life that has been woven over the years.
This concept can be applied to any aspect of your life: losing weight, getting healthy, starting a business, learning to play the guitar, saving for retirement, etc. It sounds so easy. Just make the right choices day after day.
But if it’s so easy, why are we not all successful at the things we pursue? I think it’s because, while it sounds easy to do, it is also easy not to do. It’s easy to think that the burger we order for lunch isn’t going to make a huge impact on our life. But when we order that burger again and again over the weeks and months of our lives, it makes a difference. That doughnut on Sunday mornings? It makes a difference. That workout you chose to do instead of sleeping in? It makes a difference.
We must remember and understand that little steps make a difference. What results do you want? What actions will you choose today?
Zach's Workout of the Day