Indulge me for a moment and come on a journey through a part of the world very dear to me – a bush walk on Mount Tamborine, Queensland, Australia.
We step quietly on the dirt path in single file. The rain forest is dense and lush. The path slopes gently down and winds and bends its way through the forest. In the distance you can hear the trickle of a stream and the gentle cooing bird song in the trees. You smell the damp, fresh earth.
The path takes a sharp bend around one of the largest tree trunks you have ever seen. You look up its spine and try to find the top of it. It must be ancient. At least 100 years old.
The light is dappled, obscured by the heavy tree-top canopy. As we get closer to the river, the path becomes steeper. We pause for a moment to take in the view and indulge this quiet moment of reflection…
We hear about business as a dog-eat-dog world, only the strongest rise to the top but nature shows us differently. Imagine this forest is a city and the large trees are massive corporations, millionaires, billionaires – we can only have so many of them but they work together to create a safe and stable community. Perhaps they had an opportunity a long time ago, a larger investment of sunlight that helped them reach that position, but they have had to invest energy for years to craft their roots.
Beneath their leaves we find the most beautiful, electric world – smaller plants, birds jumping from limb to limb. Wallabies hopping along the forest floor looking for grasses and leaves and bugs. Butterflies and lizards and all sorts of creatures drawn to the soft leaves of the smaller ferns. Tangled vines climbing up and around the larger trunks. This is where most of us find ourselves: face-to-face with our customer meeting genuine needs and seeing the results.
This perspective has allowed me to let go of ambition and focus on what I can do in my little spot as a human. By growing a little bigger each day and being a little stronger and a little more useful each day the fruit of that energy compounds. One day I might make it to the canopy but that is not success. Living, experience, giving, creating everyday – to me, that’s success.
I’m on the verge of creating something very new. It’s just a seedling of an idea at the moment. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks so get excited and watch this space…