The Chinese Bamboo Tree: A Parable That Can Be Applied to Everyday Life

Posted on 27. Jan, 2012 by in General


Are you familiar with the story about the miraculous Chinese bamboo tree, in Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families?

I just read this a couple of days ago and it’s pretty much stuck in my mind.  It’s the kind of parable that can applied to everyday life and in particular the difficulties that arise trying to build your real estate investing business.  If you are not familiar with the story, here it is:

“In everything you do in your family keep in mind the miracle of the Chinese bamboo tree.

After the seed for this amazing tree is planted, you see nothing, absolutely nothing, for four years except for a tiny shoot coming out of a bulb.

During those four years, all the growth is underground in a massive, fibrous root structure that spreads deep and wide in the earth.

But then in the the fifth year the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet!”


Many things in life are like the Chinese bamboo tree.

You work and you invest time and effort, and you do everything you can possibly do to nurture growth, yet sometimes you don’t see anything for weeks, months, or even years.

But, if you’re patient and keep working and nurturing, that “fifth year” will come, and you will be astonished at the growth and change you see taking place.

Had the tree not developed a strong unseen foundation it could not have sustained its life as it grew.

The same principle is true for people.

People, who patiently toil towards worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenge, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success.

I’m working on my faith and patience daily because I just know that *we will* reap the fruits in the harvest and all our hard work will pay off – it’s just a matter of time!

Have a great weekend guys.

Taken from The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephen R. Covey (pp. 22-23)

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One Response to “The Chinese Bamboo Tree: A Parable That Can Be Applied to Everyday Life”

  1. Callum

    25. Feb, 2013

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