Do Not Give Up Before Your Time

Posted on 25. Apr, 2011 by in Blog, Character, Lead From Within, Leadership Development, Mission, Personal Development, Purpose, Values

A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard and he went to look to see if there was any fruit. He couldn’t find any and he became extremely frustrated. He went to find his gardener and  when he did – he said, “For the past three years I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and I have not found any and I want you to cut it down right now.”

 
 
The gardener replied, “Sir, leave it alone for one more year and I will dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, that will be great. If it does not, then we will cut it down.
 
 
How many times in our lives do we sound like the man in the garden?
 
 
How many times have we looked at ourselves with harsh judgment and have been frustrated by all the hard work we have put into our lives and business?
 
 
We expect our lives to cultivate without errors and without blunders. And when we fail, we are devastated and we want to cut it out-cut it down and walk away.
 
 
We all want growth just like the tree owner and when we don’t see the fruits of labor we judge ourselves and we do so without compassion and without kindness.
 
 
I am here to say. Give yourself a break.
 
 
Do not cut down your trees. Stop and see what is your truth.
 
 
Do not walk away feeling like a failure. Stop and think why have you failed.
 
 
Do not feel frustrated. Stop and think what is the problem? Does it need more sun? Does it need more water? Does it need more time? Is it planted in a place that cannot support it?
 
 
Do not give up on your tree. Think how else can you nurture it and reflect what is your truth and how you can move toward grace.
 
 
Dig deep into your weeds and keep your soil (soul) watered and fertilized do not let your judgments and harsh treatment of yourself soil (clutter) your mind.
 
 
Lead From Within: Give yourself time to be the person you are meant to be do not cut yourself down before your time.
 
 
The fig story was sent to me by my amazing client Sydney Rothenthal which inspired this blog post.
 
 
 

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26 Responses to “Do Not Give Up Before Your Time”

  1. Sharon Reed

    25. Apr, 2011

    Great post, Lolly.

    It’s an important reminder that every step we take is a part of our larger journey and can move us towards our dreams. I particularly love your question, “is it (your dream) planted in a place that can’t support it?” So often we spend our lives swimming upstream, against the current, instead of following the path that will allow our most authentic selves to shine.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us.

    -Sharon

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      25. Apr, 2011

      Sharon,
      You are so right when you say….So often we spend our lives swimming upstream, against the current, instead of following the path that will allow our most authentic selves to shine. As always your insights are brilliant.
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  2. John Bass

    25. Apr, 2011

    Interesting that your story is from the Gospel of Luke 13:6-9 Yet it is not referenced? The story to me is about a difference of opinion, not about cutting yourself down. If after three years something bears no fruit, you must decide am I holding on to patterns, methods or ways of thinking that are in need of change? Sometimes a distinct break from the past is required other wise we find ourselves in a rut. What will be the factor that makes the fourth year so distinct that we can’t wait a fifth year? We can get trapped in an endless cycle. Decisions can be uncomfortable. However by removing the old and making space for the new we open ourselves to wider possibilities.

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      25. Apr, 2011

      John Thanks for the reference of story. (This story as indicated in my blog was sent to me by a client) I am reading your comment and how you perceive the story from Luke 13:6-9 and as you see we each have different perceptions and different translations of stories. I like your conclusion by removing the old and making space for the new we open ourselves to wider possibilities.But my take away from the story was different- for me it was about looking deep inside ourselves to see what is working and what is not and not to uproot ourselves before our time.
      Thanks for stopping by
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  3. Lolly Daskal

    25. Apr, 2011

    There is a time to keep and a time to throw away.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Lolly Daskal

    25. Apr, 2011

    There is a time to embrace and a time to refrain

    Reply to this comment
  5. Living the Balanced Life

    25. Apr, 2011

    Thanks Lolly, this is very timely for me today! I am struggling with some direction I need to take and this was helpful for me!
    Bernice
    Is it time to sharpen your saw?

    Reply to this comment
  6. LeAnna Carey

    25. Apr, 2011

    Lolly,
    Great encouraging post to keep your vision in sight. Every business hits a point where they consider moving on..but, try to stir up those creative juices first – you never know what will breathe new life into a business, or your own thoughts! Be well,
    Lea

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      25. Apr, 2011

      LeaAnna,
      Your thoughts ring so true. As you said, you never know what will breathe new life into a business,
      Stay strong and keep nurturing, harvesting and planting. Allow all the seasons to pass on by. And watch the fruit of your labor blossom.
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  7. John Feskorn

    25. Apr, 2011

    Thank you, Lolly, for another thought provoking and deeply inspirational post (it was for me). Like Sharon, I too appreciated your question, “Is it planted in a place that can support it?” Too often a noble heart is squandered because it is living in the wrong house. John

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      25. Apr, 2011

      John,
      It is always so nice to see your smiling…oops what happened to your avatar. I miss the real YOU.

      I loved the depth of your insight when you said, Too often a noble heart is squandered because it is living in the wrong house.
      I couldn’t agree more!
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  8. J.J.Brown

    25. Apr, 2011

    Hi Lolly, Thanks for putting this great story in context for caring about ourselves. Too often we take more care with the garden, the meal, the presentation, than with our inner life. Yet inside us is the place that nurtures all of those outward things. I love hearing your point of view. –J.J.Brown

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      25. Apr, 2011

      Hi J.J.
      So happy you stopped by. Your precious words....inside us is the place that nurtures all of those outward things is the key principle of lead from within.
      I hope to see you tomorrow night on our chat. #leadfromwithin- Your insights last week were priceless and thought provoking,
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  9. Becky

    25. Apr, 2011

    Lolly,

    Thank you for this post. I think that it is easy to get impatient as we look for results in our lives. I do.

    I very much appreciate the reminder to be kind to myself, to think about my life with compassion instead of judgment. It is much easier to view others with compassion when I am compassionate with myself, first.

    I am continually amazed by your gift in speaking words of truth into people’s hearts. Thank you for sharing your gift so generously with me and others.

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      25. Apr, 2011

      Dearest Becky,
      You personify compassion towards others with such grace and honor.
      For all of us. Myself included -we must constantly remind ourselves
      to be compassionate, kind and not judge ourselves to harshly.
      You are a true gift in my life.
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  10. Robert C. Vogel

    26. Apr, 2011

    Thanks for an interesting and thought-provoking post. Have a great week. Peace.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Wim @ Sales Sells

    26. Apr, 2011

    Hi Lolly,

    I think the valuable advice in this article is very welcome to many people. As we’re constantly surrounded by voices telling us to push ourselves, it’s nice to be reminded that it’s ok to cut yourself some slack from time to time. As business owners, leaders and people in responsible positions we’re always evaluating people, results and behaviors so that it’s easy to get stuck in this mindset.

    Thanks,
    Wim

    Reply to this comment
  12. John G. Dewberry

    26. Apr, 2011

    Lolly,
    What a wonderful nudge into the future. Considering the emotional and personal stake one may have invested into a venture, time is a luxury. I’ve noticed in this story and maybe in my own story that depending on a gardener for results from this tree may be the problem. This gardener is gentle and has seemingly the best interest in heart but your message to me is spiritual and actual. Spiritual in the sense that I have a tree, actual in that fruit or fruitfulness is in my surroundings. For that Lolly Daskel;The Gardener, I say… Thank you!

    Reply to this comment
    • Lolly Daskal

      26. Apr, 2011

      John G,
      Let that tree BE your true teacher: teaching you purpose, passion, perseverance and patience.
      Good Luck let me know if next year the tree bears fruit.
      Blessings
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  13. Simran

    26. Apr, 2011

    Hi Lolly,
    Good day and yet again another wonderful post! I know i sometimes dont get to play catch up on ur posts but i try to read all ur posts :) i totally agree with what you said… Sometimes i do tend to feel that way but now ive learnt to jus focus on the present do our best even the smallest of things will lead us to success and patience is a virtue cos its the most imp ingredient for success :) and yes v def must not rush and treat ourselves with compassion and kindness thats the only way v will succeed! :) thank you for inspiring us :) cheers! Have a great day! :)

    Reply to this comment
  14. Simon

    28. Apr, 2011

    Those that loose patience and want to quit because thing are not going as they thought should learn from the tree, it first grows its tap root deep so then it can grow strong to weather such times. This unseen deep growth, for many of us, has been rushed or we have stopped short and shallow. Adding fertilizer may stimulate growth, but this often results in unbalanced growth. A short term fix for the sake of instant results, little longevity or depth to this route.

    The best remedy for this tree is understanding, by man and gardener.

    The gardener needs guidance from the man to know what it is he wants. Is it a sizable crop year after year on a small tree, easy to pick, or a large shade tree with that offers fruit but harder to pick.

    The man would do well to look beyond the fruit and learn from the tree, that there is a reason why it has not born fruit yet, whether it is water, or the soil or sun or care, there is a reason why.

    It takes patience, knowledge and understanding with an inner feel to know what it is that the tree requires to produce, just as it does to know what others need.

    Nature does not bend to the will of man any more than man bends to the will of other men. Nature will look after man if man does his part in looking after it. Just as man will work for man if they care for each other.

    Neither the man or gardener has understood that they are part of a system and every action or non action has an affect on all three, the man the gardener and the tree. Many of us live thinking others can do what we feel we can not, or do not want to do, while others do their best with little or no direction.

    Meanwhile we ignore the fact that we are all connected, parts of a far larger system than ourselves. Adding a part (fertilizer) just speeds up or slows down the system, it will not give a different result in the long run.

    To get a different result ( a consistent crop of fruit) you need to make sure you listen to the systems feedback. The tree gives us feedback as its leaves change color or are small, its branches change color after a frost to tell us they are damaged. It gives us feedback when it does not fruit. Just as we give feedback in our expressions, how we hold ourselves. What we say or what we do not.

    But feedback is there so that the other parts in the system can adjust to give the system what it needs to be efficient. We must prune, cut back the dead and water when it needs water.

    For us to work together and get the best out of each other, we must listen to the feedback that others give all the time, listen to our own inner feelings (feedback) and make adjustments to get the results we want, and that others need. There are few short cuts I know that bring the dividends that the longer harder route bring. We are each given a certain amount of time to use as we see fit, it is up to us to look within ourselves and ask questions. Perhaps it is our job to make sure the tree grows strong and big so that it may feed many after we have gone.Or to make the connection with our fellow man and be as one. It is the journey that is the prize not the fruit.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Thank you for sharing this amazing story! I have once heard a quote, and it is one of my favorites, which goes “The hardest decision in life is to choose whether you need to keep trying or if it is time to give up.” I find myself always willing to give up when I find myself unsuccessful. My family is like the gardener in this story. They are the ones who tell me that I need to keep trying and wait it out.

    Reply to this comment
  16. John Serpa

    12. May, 2011

    Lolly,

    Your words could not be more accurate. When I was writing my book, the first two iterations went nowhere, endless frustration and wanting to “give up”. Thousands of hours of work and I ended up back at the starting gate. But since we follow each other on Twitter I kept reading your posts, and plodded ahead.

    I then brought in a strategy team and we retooled the manuscript, then a well known editor took the project, then the Twitter following started going up, (tripled in 5 months) then a 3-times NYT best selling author tweeted me, he wanted to write the foreword to my book (never under estimate the power of Twitter!) and the snowball gained momentum.

    Now I’m just 6 months from my book being published and had I not pulled myself back up those “umpteenth” times of failure and “led from within” there would be no book on the shelves of Barnes and Noble this fall with my name on the cover.

    To those that might be new to Lolly’s thought process, it works, and it’s not hard to prove, just ask those that listen to what she has to say.

    I think she should be Time magazine’s thought leader of the year :)

    Sincerely,
    John Serpa
    Vienna, VA

    Reply to this comment
  17. Ketutar

    11. Jun, 2011

    And then in Mark 11:12-14 a man is hungry and goes to a fig tree, finds no fruits (as it’s not time for figs – duh!), so he gets angry and destroys the tree. He didn’t plant the tree, he didn’t own the tree, and he didn’t ask anyone living in the area if the tree bears fruit when it’s time. He is not destroying his own work, but someone else’s work, someone else’s property and someone else’s hopes for harvest.
    Afterwards he brags to his friends about this, and in stead of berating him for being so harsh, selfish and impatient, his friends say he’s a great teacher, leader and example….
    There are all kinds of stories in the Bible.

    Reply to this comment
  18. James Shaw

    14. Sep, 2011

    YES! I totally agree. I am a serial entrepreneur and let’s just say that not a very high percentage of my ventures were successful :)

    Even the one I’m focused on now I had to completely change direction recently after a moment of clarity that I was wasting my time chasing money.

    Far, far better to be the positive change that you want to see in the world – my day-to-day focus now is simple and uncomplicated. I’m doing something I believe in 100% and – money be damned – I’m much happier doing it.

    Of course, I withhold the right to look back on this venture too as a failure to learn from.. but somehow I doubt it.

    Reply to this comment

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