Thursday, 5 February 2015

[breathing #17] life is a bamboo tree

Nothing happens by chance. This is one thing I believe on. I discovered Les Brown today. I never heard about him before, let alone hear one of his talks.

He's a great motivational speaker: inside him there's passion, knowledge and the will to share. I also admire his strength, however what most inspires me in his life story is: he never gave up. That's a great lesson we need to learn.

"If you can't see it, it doesn't mean it isn't working".

In this video I'm sharing with you, Les talks about nurture, constant nurture. That metaphor of the Chinese Bamboo tree is a great reminder, and the seed I needed to continue to pursuit my goals. To remind myself that I'm capable enough to achieve them.

We live in a world of instant rewarding, he says. We want what we want, right here and right now. But life isn't a one ladder stairway. Or has a trampoline that let us jump from the first ladder to the last. I lack this asset: of being patient. It's something I need to work on.

Right now, I think I wouldn't be able to water that bamboo tree every single day for 4 years. One day I would forget it, another I wouldn't feel like having all the work to just water it (and just tell myself "it's just one day, what harm can it make?", and then make of this an habit), the following day I'd question myself "What's the purpose? I can't see any outcome" or "I must be doing something wrong. But what?". One day, I'd be so full of excuses that I wouldn't be even conscious that I haven't gave any chance for that tree to grow. Here's my opportunity to change and grow.

I do it with most of my dreams: I do something and nothing happens. I continue doing it for some time and, still, nothing happens. I change here and there, but, well, nothing happens! So I quit and try another dream. I do this in a loop, growing to infinity. This talk taught me that I'm doing everything wrong, even when I'm thinking "I must be doing something wrong". My efforts are an Escher painting, with all that climbing and downing stairs.

Nothing happens by chance, and yet it's curious that, once again, another big lesson in my life is carried in the voice of Chinese history and culture (and nature!). I admire Chinese people very much for all this reasons (and correct me if I'm wrong):

  • They fight endlessly, no matter the obstacles;
  • Everything in their lives has a purpose and is useful (aesthetics aren't a purpose);
  • They search for an equilibrium in all areas (mind and body, traditional and western medicine/philosophies/wisdom, history and innovation, among others);
  • They are always polite and grateful.

I once read a wonderful article by Garr Reynolds in Presentation Zen (still one of my favourite blogs!), which talked about this bamboo tree. I think you should read it too.

On my endeavours about this awesome Chinese plant, I discovered a great YouTube video, with all the lessons we can learn with a simple seed:

Also, even if you don't like animation movies, you need to watch Big Hero 6. This is one of the best Disney movies I saw for some years now. It teaches us to persevere, even when everything goes wrong or we don't know what to do any more. The motto is: keep doing and keep failing until you make it.
I've made a clip with all the tests Tadashi ran, in order to Baymax to work (84!). Subtitles are in Portuguese, because it's my mother language. After the clip, I'll transcribe the whole dialogue, in English.

Baymax - Tadashi is here.

Tadashi - Here is Tadashi Hamada. And this is the first test of my robotics project.

Baymax - Hello. I am Baymax.

Tadashi - Stop, stop, stop, stop, stop.
Tadashi - The seventh's test of my robotics project.

Baymax - Hello. I...

Tadashi - Ugh! Wait. W-wait. Stop there. Stop.

Tadashi - Tadashi Hamada again. And this is the thirty third test of my robotics project.
Tadashi - *sights* I'm not giving up on you. You don't understand this yet but people need you so let's get back to work.
Tadashi - This is... uh... Tadashi Hamada and this is the eighty fourth... test... *sights* What do you say, big guy?

Baymax - Hello. I am Baymax. Your personal healthcare companion.

Tadashi - It works. It works! Oh, this is amazing! You work! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! You work, I can't believe it! 
Tadashi - Ok, ok. Right, big moment here. Scan me.

Baymax - Your neurotransmitter levels are elevated. This indicates that you are happy.

Tadashi - I am. I really am. Oh man. Wait until my brother sees you... You're gonna help so many people, buddy. So many!... 
Tadashi - That's all for now. I'm satisfied with my care.

This scene was my favourite one, from all the animation. Here you can see a young boy, trying to change the world by helping people. Quoting a wise man, he is mad enough to believe he can change the world, so he changes it. His early efforts are unsuccessful, but he has faith in the project so he keeps going. He wants to help people so much that giving up is not an option. So he tries and tries again: one, seven, thirty, eighty four times. And then he gets it. Can you see the excitement on his face? How much is he happy? He can't contain himself. And then, we wants to share his victory with his brother, Hiro.

Love and confidence can really change the world. So, don't ever give up on your dreams. Don't listen when others say you won't make it. Erase your thoughts when your conscious whispers on your ear that you don't have the skills yet. Those are all lies, obstacles you need to surpass. And those obstacles are the ones that will show how much you want this dream. So, open your wings and fly. Open your heart and be amazed. You can do it!

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