If you’re going somewhere, or if you’re looking to go to the next level in your life (personally, professionally, financially, spiritually), you have to assemble people around you who are on the same journey. If you don’t, then you’ll find yourself surrounded by people are going to look at you and think you’re crazy. They’re not going to understand you. How can they see the dream you have for yourself if they’re not seeing anything better for themselves? How can they understand your motivation for yourself?


Negative people will pull you down. It’s true that misery loves company. Negativity is like a weed; it needs no nurturing. Weeds will grow without fertilizer, without good soil, without being taken care of at all. Flowers, though, must be nurtured. They have to be tended to. There is a special process and formula for growing and taking care of them.

I heard a story once about a man growing a Chinese Bamboo Tree. The Chinese Bamboo Tree doesn’t break through the ground for 5 years. But once it does, it can grow 80 feet tall in 6 weeks. Can you imagine? A man standing in the yard, watering this spot and keeping the weeds away from this spot on the ground from which nothing is seemingly growing, for 5 years? Imagine the neighbors response. The ridicule. Day after day, watering. Day after day, fertilizing. Day after day, weeding. Day after day, for 5 years.

Then one day. One day everything changes. The tree breaks ground and it grows, and grows and grows.


Now to the amateur, it looks like the tree grew overnight. “6 weeks and that bamboo tree grew 80 feet,” they’ll say.

But the gardener, the man or woman who tended to that tree, knows the truth. It didn’t take 6 weeks. It took 5 years and 6 weeks. Other gardeners know the truth, too. Gardeners can talk about the process of watering, being made fun of, and being looked at like they are weird or different. Gardeners can talk to one another about what their Chinese Bamboo Tree will look like one day. One day it will tower over the house. One day everyone will have to crane their necks to see the top; they’ll have to shield their eyes from the sun to see the highest point. One day. That’s what other gardeners will talk about.

The story of your next level is like that of the Chinese Bamboo Tree. You’ll work day in and day out. People won’t see the progress you’re making because it’s inside of you, and it might not have yet manifested into the world. But your greatness is there, it’s inside of you. It’s training.


Surround yourself with others on this path, so together you can talk about your process, your training, and your journey. Surround yourself with people who will talk about the vision they have
of their future and who will listen to you talk about yours. And not just listen, but they believe it and see it for you!

My team and I do a daily affirmation session. We spend 5 minutes going around the room and saying 2 nice things about the other folks on the team. We look each other in the eye and we call each other by name. These affirmations are incredibly important for us as we tend to our own Chinese Bamboo Tree. I encourage you to put this practice in place for yourself.


Get rid of people who don’t support your journey. Surround yourself with people who see you for who you are becoming. Affirm them and allow them to affirm you. And finally, don’t stop. Keep going. Your next level is worth it. You are worth it!


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