Be Like A Bamboo

by - Wednesday, March 06, 2013

First and foremost, I would like to give credits where I get the article about what I'm going to share to you.
DISCLAIMER I don't own anything unless stated otherwise.
Credit to the author of Presentation Zen.

I've been struggling for the past days in my internship. The surroundings became claustrophobic. I get tired immediately. I blame it with my time travel. 6 hours a day is much. I became emotional, sensitive enough to feel every emotions around me. But I know blaming wouldn't help at all. And geez I'm ranting so much. But I get to be attached with someone, someone who always listens, always there to comfort, to scold me(ehem), to tell me to stay focus, who told me to be like a bamboo. I don't know why but every word coming out from that someone soothes my feeling.

I heard about this "Be Like A Bamboo" from the past. But I want to remember every words of it and came to this article that I want to share with you all.

Be like the bamboo: 7 lessons from the Japanese forest

(1) Bend but don't break. Be flexible yet firmly rooted Bamb007One of the most impressive things about the bamboo in the forest is how they sway with even the slightest breeze. This gentle swaying movement with the wind is a symbol of humility. Their bodies are hard and firm and yet sway gently in the breeze while their trunks stay rooted firmly in the ground below. Their foundation is solid even though they move and sway harmoniously with the wind, never fighting against it. In time, even the strongest wind tires itself out, but the bamboo remains standing tall and still. A bend-but-don't-break or go-with-the-natural-flow attitude is one of the secrets for success whether we're talking about bamboo trees, answering tough questions in a Q&A session, or just dealing with the everyday vagaries of life.

(2) Remember: What looks weak is strong
Bambooi2The body of a single bamboo tree is not large by any means when compared to the other much larger trees in the forest. It may not look impressive at first sight at all. But the plants endure cold winters and extremely hot summers and are sometimes the only trees left standing in the aftermath of a typhoon. They may not reach the heights of the other trees, but they are strong and stand tall in extreme weather. Bamboo is not as fragile as it may appear, not by a long shot. Remember the words of a great Jedi Master: "Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size do you?" We must be careful not to underestimate others or ourselves based only on old notions of what is weak and what is strong. You may not be from the biggest company or the product of the most famous school, but like the bamboo, stand tall, believe in your own strengths, and know that you are as strong as you need to be.

(3) Be always ready
Bamboo_8Unlike other types of wood which take a good deal of processing and finishing, bamboo needs little of that. As the great Aikido master Kensho Furuya says in Kodo: Ancient Ways, "The warrior, like bamboo, is ever ready for action." In presentation or other professional activities too, through training and practice, we can develop in our own way a state of being ever ready.
(4) Unleash your power to spring back
Bamboo_snowBamboo is a symbol of good luck and one of the symbols of the New Year celebrations in Japan. The important image of snow-covered bamboo represents the ability to spring back after experiencing adversity. In winter the heavy snow bends the bamboo back and back until one day the snow becomes too heavy, begins to fall, and the bamboo snaps back up tall again, brushing aside all the
 snow. The bamboo endured the heavy burden of the snow, but in the end it had to power to spring back as if to say "I will not be defeated."

(5) Find wisdom in emptiness
Bamboo_emptyIt is said that in order to learn, the first step is to empty ourselves of our preconceived notions. One can not fill a cup which is already full. The hollow insides of the bamboo reminds us that we are often too full of ourselves and our own conclusions; we have no space for anything else. In order to receive knowledge and wisdom from both nature and people, we have to be open to that which is new and different. When you empty your mind of your prejudices and pride and fear, you become open to the possibilities.
(6) Commit to (continuous) growth
BambooiBamboo trees are among the fastest-growing plants in the world. It does not matter who you are — or where you are — today, you have amazing potential for growth. We usually speak of Kaizen or continuous improvement that is more steady and incremental, where big leaps and bounds are not necessary. Yet even with a commitment to continuous learning and improvement, our growth — like the growth of the bamboo — can be quite remarkable when we look back at what or where we used to be. Even though the bamboo that is outside my window grows quite rapidly, I do not notice its growth from day to day. We too, even when we are making progress, may not notice our own improvement. How fast or how slow is not our main concern, only that we're moving forward. The bamboo grows fastest around the rainy season. You too may have "seasons" where growth accelerates, but is slower at other times. Yet with sustained effort, you are always growing. Do not be discouraged by what you perceive as your lack of growth or improvement. If you have not given up, then you are growing, you just may not see it until much later.

(7) Express usefulness through simplicity 

Bamboo1Aikido master Kensho Furuya says that "The bamboo in its simplicity expresses its usefulness. Man should do the same." Indeed, we spend a lot of our time trying to show how smart we are, perhaps to convince others — and ourselves — that we are worthy of their attention and praise. Often we complicate the simple to impress and we fail to simplify the complex out of fear that others may know what we know. Life and work are complicated enough without our interjecting the superfluous. If we could lose our fear, perhaps we could be more creative and find simpler solutions to even complex problems that ultimately provide the greatest usefulness for our audiences, customers, patients, or students.

Here's the link to the whole article.
I hope in such a way this article helps each of you.


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  1. Ellie! This is such a deep, insightful, and honest post! Thank you for sharing these words of wisdom:)! Keep your head up girl:)!

  2. It does help, Ellie! Inspirational post! Kind of like, what I need now. :)
    Thanks dear!

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