Be The Redwood

“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always.

No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree.

The feeling they produce is not transferable.

From them comes silence and awe.”

~John Steinbeck

Redwood trees are the largest trees on the planet. They can live for thousands of years, and their sheer size cannot be grasped in a photo or written word. Like every tree, they need a specific environment in order to thrive. One of the fascinating things about a redwood’s environment is that their roots don’t grow very deep, which you’d think they’d need in order to stabilize their sheer height. Instead of growing deep roots, they grow close to other redwoods, and let their roots intertwine, which strengthens and stabilizes the entire group.

But what would happen if you grew a redwood alone in a pot?

For the first year or two it would be just fine, growing a few feet per year. But after that the tree would naturally outgrow its’ potted surroundings and would have to be planted in the ground. If it stayed in the pot the redwood’s growth would stunt and eventually it wouldn’t survive. With a simple change in where it’s planted the redwood would go from one of the most powerful, awe-inspiring sights on the planet to something much less remarkable.

I think humans are much the same way. Our growth as individuals is dependent upon where we plant ourselves. Thankfully for us, we get to choose where we plant ourselves, and the conditions in which we give ourselves to grow (or not grow). But it starts with choosing.

  • We can choose to live in a place that gives us an opportunity to succeed.
  • We can choose to surround ourselves with people that inspire us.
  • We can choose a career path that is driven by passion.
  • We can choose to be a continual learner, and dedicated to improving our craft.
  • We can choose to make healthy lifestyle choices like exercising and eating clean.
  • We can choose to allow our roots to intertwine with those around us, making the whole group stronger.

Our life story is written by the sum of the small choices we make every single day. We can isolate ourselves. We can pursue a career path we aren’t happy in. We can surround ourselves with others that bring us down. We can stop learning. We can let our health deteriorate.

Or we can choose to to grow outside of the pot, to create an environment that allows us to thrive & like the redwood “leave a mark that stays with others and leaves them in awe.”

Be the redwood.

Published by Adam Griffin

Adam is an entrepreneur & writer. He is the former founder of Bodeefit, and is the author of Redwood: A Guide to Leading a Remarkable Life. He lives in Denver, CO with his wife and kids.

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1 Comment

  1. Awesome stuff here Adam! As humans, the number one thing we can do to change our life is to change our environment. Our environment determines whether we reach full potential or stay in a mediocre level.

    You are definitely a redwood my friend.

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