Wisdom Wednesday: The Root To Success

April 11th, 2012

By Guest Blogger Jon Gordon

There once was a tree that produced an abundant supply of fruit.
Everyone marveled at its ability to produce a record harvest each year.
The owner who sold his fruit at the local market had become one of the wealthiest men in town and he was the envy of all who knew him.

However, as the years passed the owner spent so much of his time counting and selling his fruit that he forgot to nourish the root.
He became so prideful and focused on results that he neglected to see the signs that the tree was dying.
Then one day when the owner went to pick fruit from his tree he was shocked to discover that the tree was barren.
“How could this be,” he asked?
But when he inspected the root he found his answer.
The root had dried up.

He was so focused on the fruit that he neglected the root.
He wished there was something he could do but it was too late.
It was a lesson he would never forget.

How about you? Do you focus on the numbers, the outcomes and the fruit? Or do you focus on the purpose, people, innovation, culture and root of your success.

Always remember the amount of fruit we produce is just an outcome and measurement of how well we are nurturing our root.
If we take care of our root we’ll always have an abundant supply of fruit.
Ignore the root and say goodbye to the fruit.

What is the root of your success? What do the root and fruit mean to you? Has this made you reassess your priorities in any way? Share your thoughts below.

-Jon

About Jon Gordon:

Jon is the Wall Street Journal and international bestselling author of a number of books including The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work and Team with Positive Energy, and his latest, The Seed: Finding Purpose and Happiness in Life and Work. Learn more at www.JonGordon.com. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonGordon11 or Facebook www.facebook.com/jongordonpage.

This is Jon’s second blog post on WomenOnTheFence.com. To read his first, click here.

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9 Responses to “Wisdom Wednesday: The Root To Success”

  1. I surely am a candidate for ‘watch the root and nourish the root.’ Case in point: I taught school for 30 years, a highly-productive career for me, one where I realized–only later in life (via Facebook and my former students)–just how much impact I had (as any successful teacher has) on my students, for they told me, in messages. Then, I went into real estate. In 8 years I made a heady, six-figure salary and knew at that point the major difference between the public and the private sector jobs…But the job of helping people buy and sell homes did not feed my soul and nourish the part in me that I deem critical, so I had a heart-to-heart with myself and determined to walk away from that career…at the top of my game. Now, I write a blog and I am on the brink of putting out a series of children’s stories based on my husband’s career as driver of a big rig, transporting goods across this great land of ours, for 30 years. I do believe in this and it nourishes me, giving me sustenance to go on, despite the fact I am doing it alone (without an acknowledged publisher)..It’s .scary but what-the-heck, I’ve had far scarier as widow and single parent…twice..and cancer survivor. But I do believe as you that you must keep your eye and heart aligned with the core of your value system–the root and not allow yourself to be distracted by all the other. A six figure salary to a public employee was alluring for a while, but in the end, I thought “What will the money give me? More material possessions? Then again–More to oversee.” Then the choice was easier.

  2. Thanks for the reminder, I know that when I get too focused on the outcome I do not have fun with the process any more. I am not present because I’m in the future. I am an artist and when I work on my art and I am totally happy doing it, I feel great, when I concentrate on producing something great, I don’t enjoy it and the outcome no good.

  3. RaquelNo Gravatar says:

    Great post and great reminder! It reminds me of a few years ago when my husband and I where both out of work. We where so busy surviving and focusing on how to get money we forgot to look at our family. Luckily we realized just in time that our family where the roots that we had to nourish, without family we had nothing.

  4. CherylNo Gravatar says:

    I loved this and I know a few people who could use this reminder!

  5. Shannon LNo Gravatar says:

    This is great advice. Sometimes we are too driven and forget to slow down and pay attention to the most important things in our life. Great reminder.

  6. amandNo Gravatar says:

    great post! I must admit I too suffered from the same mindset until I read Russell Simmons “Super Rich” it really open my eyes and mind to not so much thinking on the outcome but the process itself. Thank you for opening me up yet again to this concept! :)

  7. HeidiNo Gravatar says:

    How true. It really makes you question your priorities in life. Great post.

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