Last week, I was researching a software tool for my business. After reading raving reviews, I knew that I had to get it. So I posted an inquiry in their community forums.
Imagine my surprise when the CEO responded to me personally.
“Celes, you probably don’t remember but you coached me during some of my tough times. You and Tony Robbins helped me tremendously. Please send me a PM. You helped me do the limitless. ” — Deep
As I reeled back in shock, I scanned through my memory. Deep? From 2009? Yes I remember!! So Deep signed up for my coaching back in Sep 2009. That was 8 years ago. At that time he was in a day job, a senior manager in a top bank, but felt empty with his work and life. He was also feeling negative and low in confidence. During our sessions, we worked on finding his life direction, creating his career vision, and building his business plan, among other things.
As it turned out, after our sessions ended, Deep left his job, freed himself from all baggage, and started traveling. He did that for a year, slowly evolved to be a different person, and then started to build a product… which led him to founding his software company, Invanto. With over 15 million client orders processed, it’s an up-and-coming course platform that’s set to disrupt the market — and it has not even officially launched yet.
When I looked back at our coaching logs, it’s remarkable to see Deep’s vision manifested into reality:
- His life vision: “To generate enormous wealth used to help the human community.”
- His business vision: “To make awesome tools, information products, and online marketplaces to help small business owners across the world. To be a preferred choice for all our clients, customers and partners.”
That’s exactly what he is doing now.
It got me thinking about the concept of planting seeds. How a seemingly small action can blossom and lead to some unimaginable, amazing outcome later.
For Deep, when he decided to act on his emptiness in life, he didn’t have a grandiose plan to start a world-class business. He just wanted clarity on what to do next. He had planted his first seed — to act on his unhappiness. His second seed was when he took the leap of faith to sign up for my coaching. After all, he didn’t know me personally, and the only thing he knew about me was through my articles.
During one of our sessions, I told him: “Don’t restrict yourself with your situation in life. Don’t worry about whether something is possible, realistic or logical. Just imagine this as your anything-goes menu where you can order anything you want from the universe.”
This really struck Deep. Following this direction, he opened his heart, wrote his vision and was extremely inspired by what he wrote. This was the third planted seed. Subsequently we discussed other things during our calls, including his goals, values, and plans. These planted seeds would germinate and grow into his software company today, with him being the CEO of a team of 12 employees across the United States and India.
It is the same for other goals in life. Every goal, no matter how big, starts off as a seed:
- Dating — You want to meet the love of your life. It starts by clearing your limiting beliefs surrounding love. Then opening your heart to others. Then meeting new people. Then building relationships. Then assessing the right guy/girl, if the connection is for you. These are some of the things I teach in Soulmate Journey, my course on finding love, and some of my participants have been updating me on their new-found relationships and upcoming nuptials.
- Friendship — Having best friends you can rely on doesn’t happen overnight. It starts by being there for others first. Giving without expecting to receive. Being responsive. Making the effort to maintain your friendships.
- Health — Having good health doesn’t just come from exercising and eating healthily for one single day. It’s something that you build over time. Choosing healthy over unhealthy food each day. Choosing to be active. Many seeds planted over a long period, every day.
- Family — Having positive family relationships takes time, especially if your family relationships aren’t perfect to begin with. Caring for them. Doing little acts of kindness. I had a client who made the decision to work on her estranged relationship with her mom. One year after our coaching, their relationship is now in a much more positive place, where they talk with love and understand each other more.
- Career — Getting an amazing job doesn’t happen overnight. You have to first plan your career. Build your skills and talent stack. Then network and build relationships with industry peers, recruiters, and headhunters.
- Business — Same for a successful business. It starts with a vision. Then taking an endless series of steps to build your empire. Making endless iterations, adapting every second. Being open to failure and criticism, because these will always be there no matter what you do.
For each seed, you nurture it by giving water, warmth and sunlight. As you do that, it grows into a seedling. Then a sapling. Then a tree.
The tree here refers to what you want to achieve — run a successful business, have a great career, have a great relationship, have great friends, have great health, be financially abundant, be a prominent figure in your field, have your own TV/talk show, move overseas, travel around the world, or some other goal.
The seeds here refer to your first steps to make your goal happen.
Many people often look at the trees, wondering when they are going to get that. Nice, big, gorgeous trees that they want in their garden.
But that’s missing the point. The critical point is not the manifestation of the trees, but the planting of the seeds. Because when you are not planting seeds, how can the trees grow in your backyard? How can you expect to get results, when you have not put in the effort to get things moving?
Planting Seeds in Your Life
This brings me to these questions:
- What goals have you been meaning to pursue, but are putting off? In Love? Health? Carer? Business? Family? Friendships? Pick two areas.
- What is the first seed you can plant to get it going?
- How about the next 3 seeds? What can you do to keep this momentum going?
Say you want to switch to a career in Machine Learning. However, your past experience and skills are not in this area. A possible seed you can plant is to take up a course in Machine Learning. I have a friend who is doing a two-year Masters course in Machine Learning for this very reason — to switch to this field after he graduates.
If you have an aptitude for programming, you can self-learn with free materials online and tools like TensorFlow. You can develop open-source tools using machine learning, get user feedback and market results (e.g., X number of downloads, featured on XYZ magazine), and highlight these achievements in your resume as validation of your skills in this area. This is exactly what my husband Ken did in the past year, though in a different field, and he’s now able to pivot and switch his career to a new field.
Or say you want to get married at some point in the future. You are 35, single, and constantly tied up with work. Maybe a good first step is to draw some boundaries with work. Stop working all the time and create a cutoff. Set aside a few hours each week to meet new people. Examine if you have inner blocks to love, which is very common for long-standing singles, and engage a coach to help you address these blocks. Staying immersed in work, without opening yourself to others, will not help you get into your dream relationship.
Not all the seeds that we plant will blossom. Sometimes there are seeds that just don’t germinate. For example, when you reach out to a friend to build a connection, but it’s not reciprocated. When you want to build a relationship with someone, but he/she is not interested. When you start a project and put in the due effort, but it doesn’t turn out the way you want. When you try to help someone, but get a negative or lukewarm response. When you open your heart and trust someone, but he/she bites you in the head.
But that doesn’t matter. Not all actions will lead to results. But some will. The goal is to plant as many seeds as possible in pursuing your goal. To plant the right seeds by getting advice from the right people and sources, because these shape your day-to-day thinking and long-term direction. To create so many avenues and possibilities of success, that success is eminent. To never stop taking action.
So… what seeds do you need to start planting? Can you get started right away today? Because the sooner you plant your seeds, the sooner you water them and care for them, the faster they will germinate, grow, and blossom into the beautiful trees you are looking for. And how your future will be, 10, 15 years down the road will be shaped by the seeds that you plant today.
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