John Chapman (1774-1845), also known as Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer who planted over a hundred thousand square miles of apple orchards in western Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.
Quite a feat when you think of the state of transportation in those days – not to mention the fact that he walked it all barefoot!
The apples that Johnny planted weren’t particularly sweet or tasty, but sour apple orchards caught on because the apples made great hard cider or apple jack.
No wonder Johnny was such a success!
I imagine Johnny Appleseed as a man with a bag of apple seed slung over his shoulder, walking through the fields scattering his apple seed far and wide. But not every seed took root.
Some Trees Grow. Some Don’t.
You have to agree… that scatter shot approach has some merit.
Rather than investing everything in one endeavor, why not scatter your own seeds and see which ones take hold? Then cultivate the seedlings that start to flourish on their own.
Of course, you’ll have to be willing to tolerate the occasional failure.
But think of it this way — apple trees don’t grow in ground that can’t sustain them. In the same way, it could be that some of the efforts you regard as “failures” may not have been viable seeds in the first place.
Say Yes More Often Than You Say No
If you adopt an action-based approach to life, pushing past your fears and doubts, you may well start many things. And some, though not all of them, are likely to flourish.
Rather than hinging your success or failure to a single undertaking, try your hand at a number of things and select among them the ones that seem to grow.
If you’ve ever started something but then let it go because it didn’t seem to thrive, how did you reconcile that with your sense of success or failure?
Let me know in the comments below.