Every morning, as you probably know by now, I get up early, meditate, do my Deep Work, and hit the Trail (usually before the fam gets up).
Now, the Trail I’m blessed to have in my backyard (technically a 4-minute drive that includes a trip past Byron Katie’s chapel) is part of the nearly 2 million acres of the Los Padres National Forest. My trail comes right up to the north side of our little town in the valley of Ojai.
So… Every day as I start hiking up to the real start of my hike, I pass an avocado orchard on my right. I always enjoy seeing the avocados blossom then bear fruit then ripen and I often recite Epictetus’s wisdom to myself as a sort of mantra:
“All great things take time,” he says in the Enchiridion, “If you tell me you desire a fig, then I tell you that there must be time. First, let it blossom, then bear fruit then ripen.”
Patience is a virtue I continue to work on (🤓), so that mantra has served me well as I strive to remember the natural rhythms of life and creativity.
This morning as I was finishing my hike, I noticed a few tiny little baby avocados on the ground that had fallen off the tree. I was struck by the fact that these little guys WOULDN’T ever arrive at a ripe state. Oops. Didn’t work out. Sad face.
Then I looked back at the avocado trees and reflected on the fact that nature “EXPECTS” a certain % of her blossoming-to-ripening fruit to not work out. And, it’s a NON-ISSUE because the tree is so ridiculously abundant.
Which made me think of our little +1 on the fact that batting .300 makes you a Hall of Fame baseball player AND entrepreneur/venture capitalist and, well, a Hall of Fame human.
Which then led me to think about some of the ideas I’ve tested in my life over the last x weeks and months and years…
I picked up the two cute little avocados that didn’t make it (they were about the size of a walnut) and thought to myself, “Yep. That idea was super exciting and, well, it blossomed then bore fruit then fell off the tree. Hah!”
“Oh, then there was that one.”
“And that one.”
“But THAT one really worked. And so did that one.”
“And who knows about the ones I’m working on right now? Might work. Might not. We shall keep showing up and having fun and we shall see.”
All of which leads us to Today’s +1.
How’re your avocado trees?
Got any almost-epic ideas that didn’t quite get to the ripe stage before they fell off the ol’ tree?
Yah? Which ones?
Please hold a couple of those little “failed” ideas in your hand, squeeze them gently and recite after me: “All great things take time. If you tell me you want an avocado, I tell you there must be time. First, let it blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen. And… I tell you, that’s why we have a lot of ideas and almost-avocados—because a bunch of them will always fall off the tree before they’re ripe.”
Thank you, Seneca! Let’s keep that in mind the next time we have an avocado. 🤓
Unlock this Optimize +1 (and over 1,000 more) for free!
The Optimize membership used to be $100/year. It’s now free. No credit card required. No strings attached. Just more wisdom in less time.