(Principles are basic truths that, when applied, cause success to come to you easier and quicker.)


Grow where you’re planted is ancient advice, but have you considered its attributes? They fall into two categories, the plant and the soil. And a surprise.

At our timber farm in Arkansas we grow Loblolly pines. At maturity these wonderful trees are some 40 feet tall, straight trunk-ed, and knot-free. They will become the basis of fine flooring and furniture. Loblollys have been called “the closest you can have to a stainless steel tree” because they are so hardy, resisting disease, pests, and wild weather. Fire is their primary mortal enemy.

Why the information about trees? Well first, like the Loblollys, for you to prosper in your life you will want to be of good stock. Oh, not at the DNA level, it’s hard for you to change that. But good stock in the sense of knowing your core values and strengths, having clarity of the vision for your life, being prepared and conscious about your intentions. So the ‘tree’ part of this is to have self-awareness and self-responsibility for your self-care.

The other side of the equation is the ‘soil.’ What are your environments? Who do you hang around? How are you getting fed? Trees don’t do well in rocky, underbrush-choked, pest-filled, nutrient-poor, arid, badly drained, soil. Nor will you do well in the human equivalent.

But you already know all this. What’s the surprise? It’s that, grow where you’re planted doesn’t mean you are planted in the correct place! The old advice to grow where you’re planted meant for you to struggle and suffer and tolerate the poor hand you were dealt. In previous eras a lack of physical mobility, minimal and finite resources, narrow role models, and consistent ‘guidance’ to ‘remember your place’ may have caused people to stay stuck in their circumstances. Not so today.


Coaching Point: What are your desires? Have you done what will you get you what you want? Do you need to replant?


Copyright 2014 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.