Our minds are a lot like oak trees. They are full of potential and hold the possibility for greatness. But there are enemies and obstacles that get in the way of reaching that potential. In this two-part series, (you can read Part 2 here) I will explain how this is true and how we can learn to guard and grow our minds more carefully.
Here’s what I mean.
Each year, an oak tree produces thousands of acorns. In fact, a huge oak tree can produce close to 10,000 in a mast year. There are so many acorns, in fact, that one tree has the potential of populating a decent-sized forest all by itself! But it doesn’t ever happen that way. Why is that?
There are two main reasons and, as you’ll see, these reasons are not so different from what keeps you and I from our potential for greatness as well.
The reasons? Squirrels and the hard ground at the foot of the tree.
In this short conversation, I want to look at how this relates to us and give a few, simple ways that we can change this.
An oak tree produces acorns at an alarming rate. Squirrels know this well. They hang out by the trees, wait for the acorns to drop, and then steal a large majority of them before they can ever germinate and grow.
The other factor at work against the oak tree is the ground around it. In many cases, the hard ground beneath the tree doesn’t give the remaining acorns any chance of turning into the potential they possess.
I assume you know where this is going.
Our minds are a lot like the mighty oak tree and our thoughts and ideas are a lot like the acorns. Everyday, we have thousands and thousands of ideas. Yet very few turn into the greatness that they possess.
Guard Your Mind
Thoughts and ideas must be carefully guarded. After all, there are squirrels all around us. The little thieves are seemingly friendly and rarely thought of as harmful. Yet, every day they are stealing away, bit-by-bit, the dreams and potential of the oak tree.
For many of us, the people around us are a lot like these squirrels. The majority are seemingly harmless. They are friends. Some are even cute! So how much damage can really be done?
The reality is that people steal our dreams every single day. Most of the time, unbeknownst to them or us. Sadly, it’s often the people closest to us that steal our joy and transfer their fears to us.
“This is as good as it gets.”
“Take it easy! Don’t push yourself so hard.”
“It’s too late.”
“I’m just playing the hand that was dealt to me. You should too.”
Do you hear it? Those are the words of the squirrels. They slowly eat away at the dreams planted inside of us. They are subtle, soft, and often come from kind sources. Yet, they slowly erode our capacity for greatness and cause us to settle for less than God’s best.
To protect ourselves against this we must guard our minds more carefully. In many cases, you can do this by doing what you are right now: elevating your thinking. Far too many people are floating through life with an unguarded mind. They let the squirrels and the hard ground around them take away so much and never see the damage until it’s too late.
But life is too short to allow this to happen.
Your dreams are too big to let something so preventable keep you from your destiny.
Guard and grow your mind. You have greatness in you!
Where have you seen this idea proven to be true in your own life? What are some examples? Please share your experiences or comments below.
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