Today is the January 1st 2016. Happy New Year! I wanted to make at least an entry to my blog to mark the beginning of a fresh new year. It’s traditional that most people make new a year’s resolutions and set goals to improve themselves for the new year. Congratulations for those who have done that and best of luck to your future commitments. However some, if not most, including myself fail to follow through those commitments. It’s funny to watch the gyms get filled in the beginning of the year and later become sparse as people fail to follow through their regiments.
I’ve been wanting to make the connection between bonsai and life lessons. By no means this is a catch all, but I will attempt to offer some lessons as simple as I can.
Here are two things to start with:
- Blemishes and imperfections can add character and beauty – In bonsai, a good material is not necessarily a perfectly shaped and unblemished tree. In fact that is probably quite the opposite, a tree that looks like it has weathered time is a more desirable tree. Trees that were collected from the wild, showing age and character appears to evoke more spirit and thus a more desirable specimen. Life lesson learned – we all go through life’s ups and downs but what builds character is how you weather those times in our life when we were down. Don’t go looking for them, but when you find yourself in those situations, what lessons have you learned or will you learn? Will you look back at this experience and say that it makes you a better person. Don’t be afraid to fail. Learn from other’s mistakes. Failure (blemishes) are part of life’s success (beauty).
- Small things can make a big difference – I’ve learned in bonsai that if “it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing good”. Bonsai is a commitment in time and resources, when I decided to do it, it was just a hobby. I was doing it because I like it and I want to try it. As time went by, the trees improved but they were no where close to the trees I’ve seen pictures of from Japan. Until I committed myself to creating quality trees that my trees started to improve and looked a lot better. One keystone change was committing to doing everything correct and at highest quality. That means every little detail such as wiring must be done right. The small details mattered. Life lesson learned – making a commitment to improving your life starting with one keystone habit (by the way I heard this from an audio book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg) will eventually become part of you and will have a domino effect in changing other parts of your life. This one lesson is helpful especially for those of us who are committing to a New Year’s resolution. Instead of committing to going to the gym 3 x a week. Try this – reducing your sugar intake to 10% less than what you are use to. When you make this small change, it will create a health consciousness that is very simple but can eventually lead to bigger onces. Small things can make a big difference