Trees and humans share traits many of us aspire to: Strength, resilience, deep roots and upward mobility to name just a few.
The largest of all trees is the General Sherman, a giant sequoia located in Sequoia National Park and named after the American Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman.
This beast of a tree comes with some gargantuan stats.
Age: 2,300–2,700 years
Height: 275 feet / 84 meters
Weight: 2.2 million pounds / 997920 kilograms
Diameter: 37 feet / 11 meters
Circumference: 104 feet / 32 meters
As impressive and imposing as these stats are…we must remember that this majestic tree began its life as a tiny seed, much the same way that our greatest accomplishments began with a small acorn of an idea.
In the words of John Dryden…“Mighty things from small beginnings grow”.
An acorn is a dream…a symbol of strength, durability and potential which holds the promise of what shall one day be.
It reminds us that seemingly small and humble beginnings have the greatest growth potential.
Without a doubt, your little idea is going to grow…and I’m rooting for your acorn to turn into a mighty oak.
To do so, you must expose your goals, dreams and ideas to the elements of failure, rejection, and attack…just like the General Sherman has been exposed to rain, sleet and fire.
“The strongest oak of the forest is not the one that is protected from the storm and hidden from the sun. It’s the one that stands in the open where it is compelled to struggle for existence against the winds and rains and the scorching sun.” — Napoleon Hill
In the beginning…nobody’s impressed by an acorn. A little seedling hardly captures anyone’s attention other than your own.
But a towering beauty like the General Sherman with its elegant, far reaching branches supported by a super-sized trunk is a site to been seen. People look at it in awe.
They admire it, see the strength and are impressed by how huge it is. But it started as a tiny seed.
When starting…the odds are stacked against you. During this time you’re highly vulnerable and tempted to quit…to throw in the towel and give up on your little acorn.
That’s when you must shine a flashlight to your soul and inspect yourself for will, courage and commitment.
Growth of any type requires personal struggle and perseverance keeps hope alive. Amid challenges and uncertainties, and in the face of stern obstacles and setbacks, you need to keep moving forward, however tempting it might be to give up and let go of your dreams.
The truth is…no great achievement in your life will ever come without obstacles: physical limitations, the unpredictability of nature, Murphy’s Law, or resistance from the outside world.
Here’s my promise to you…
As long as you are willing to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes, no one will be able to stop you from turning your acorn into a strong, resilient, deep rooted and towering oak tree in the same way that no force can stop the sun from rising or the tide from advancing.
Gary Ryan Blair