Moving On

CLF - Olmstead Parks

It’s usually a numbers game; everything in life, that is. How does a tree ensure that baby trees take root and grow? It spreads many seeds. Many, many seeds. After all, most of them land in disadvantageous spots. Some of them don’t land at all. In the end, perhaps only a handful get to sprout. Of these, only one or two really become trees.

When we first start in anything, we tend to be pretty darn horrible at it. We fail so many times, it feels so terrible, and we’re tempted to give up, and throw in the towel completely. But it is at this stage where seed propagation is effective. We’ve nothing much to lose anyway! So go forth, and accumulate as many failures as possible (within understandable boundaries of course).

Like trees we also grow, and learn. Over the course of many centuries and thousands of years, trees would learn what genetic expression would lead to more successful propagation of offspring. Thankfully, we learn a bit faster than these verdant ancients. Our session of failure accumulation was not just for the sake of racking up numbers, but with the experience we’ve gained, we are now able to sit down and analyze what went right and what went wrong. Bit by bit we change, and slowly (or phenomenally, if we hit onto a jackpot strategy!) we see our results improve.

Even then, we still fail. Every once in awhile, we fall hard from quite a height, and it hurts. We could even abandon everything and choose to give up. But if there’s one lesson to bring with us from our newbie days, that’s to keep moving on. If we could pick ourselves up after so many humiliating failures then, why can’t we now? Granted, the stake are higher. Yet, like Rudyard Kipling says,

“…you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss”.

So indeed, if we have gotten that far before, we can do it again, and get even further. All we have to do is mourn and weep for awhile, then dust off that dirt, and keep moving on; because one day, that beautiful tree – that’s going to be us!


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