3 Things – Trust the Process, The Unseen Hours & the Power of the Bamboo

Dec 15, 2022

An idea: This is an excerpt from With Intention where I talk about what we can all learn by observing how a bamboo plant grows:

My son, Gabe, often plays basketball at a local place called
Just Hoops. There are a bunch of baskets, and we rent space
and fire shots for an hour or so. They keep track of your
baskets, and it’s a great environment to get reps.
Recently, I saw a sign on their wall that resonated with me:
“If you water giant timber bamboo in the first year, nothing
happens. If you water the second year, nothing happens. If you
water the third year, nothing happens. But when you water
the bamboo the fourth year, it will rocket up an astonishing
ninety feet in only sixty days.”

If you’re struggling with not getting the results you want,
think about this bamboo analogy. Figure out what
your process is and win the day. Keep showing up. Over time,
good things will happen. It may take longer than you think,
but if you trust the process and are doing your “work” the
right way, it’s only a matter of time until you see results.

Every day brings you one step closer to your outcome.

This concept in action:

Gabe, now a 9th grader, barely made his 7th grade basketball team two years ago. In fact, his coach tried to tell me he should focus on soccer as his primary sport. For the last two years, I’ve seen him invest so much time in getting better. On his own, with no one watching. The unseen hours. In the driveway, shooting and driving. Rep after rep after rep. He’d beg me to rent out local gym space and he’d do the same. Rep after rep after rep.

This past Tuesday, his hard work paid off. He played the entire JV game at Point Guard. The Varsity played next. Their coach had the JV players sit on the bench for that game. Down 23 points in the 3rd quarter, Coach Smith looked down the bench and told the under-sized, JV guard (Gabe) to go in. What did they have to lose?

Quickly, the team chipped away at the 23-point deficit. They went to a full court press which is high intensity defense and Gabe was like an energizer bunny out there getting steals, rebounds, assisting his teammates and even scored 6 points. He was fearless. Driving to the basket on multiple occasions with a tenacity I’d never seen before. They fell short at the end and lost by three points, but it was valiant effort by the entire team. They may have found their identity in this scrappy, fearless mindset!

I sent him a text the next day and I told him how proud I was – not of the performance on the court. I told him I was proud of his work when no one was watching. His dedication to the process and to the craft. Performing on the field, in the classroom or in the boardroom is a product of preparation. The unseen hours.

Call to Action: What action(s) can you take that might be boring or you might not see the fruits of your labor for some time – but over time will lead to something special?

Thanks for reading!

This is Gabe the
other night!


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