Growth is Invisible
“Trees fall with spectacular crashes. But planting is silent and growth is invisible.”
—Richard Powers, The Overstory
All it takes is one setback to get our attention. One botched presentation convinces us that we'll never be effective public speakers. One argument with our spouse makes us sure our differences are irreconcilable. One setback in our career proves once and for all how foolish we are—perhaps we should have listened to our parents and gone into finance or practiced medicine.
But growth? Growth is different. Growth is invisible.
It's not complicated. If we want to be successful at <insert endeavor here>, we simply have to do the things that people who are successful at <insert endeavor here> do. Repeatedly.
But here's the catch: it won't feel like anything is happening...
When you get up before the sun to write every morning.
When you redirect your anger before engaging in that tired old spousal argument.
When you meditate for twenty minutes every day.
Consider the last time you looked at a picture of your children from a year or two ago. The change is striking. Look how much they've grown! But that's the thing: growth was happening every day. Nay, every moment! You were just too close to see it.
Growth is invisible.
It works the same way with our own growth and development. We cannot see the change as it is occurring. This unfortunate reality robs us of precious feedback that would otherwise serve as fuel to propel us forward. We have to find motivation elsewhere.
Have faith. Trust in the process. The rest will take care of itself.
Recognize that you are planting seeds; and that even the most towering trees start as saplings. Their growth slow and steady. Invisible to the human eye. But undeniable all the same.