The Acorn and the Oak Tree; How to Let Go of Striving so You Can Grow

acorn growth oak tree striving

treeMost people don't think much of acorns, but are very impressed by oak trees. Thus, most people think of an acorn as nothing more than a means to an oak tree. The acorn itself is worthless. All that matters is the tree that comes out of it.

But then we may make the mistake of creating an environment that is ideal for a fully grown oak, not a young acorn.

Or we simply don't appreciate the acorn, rushing it or failing to give it the care and cultivation it needs.

The result will be that the acorn never grows and you never get your oak tree.

The point of the story is that we can't afford to diminish ourselves now, no matter how incapable we feel, in favor of focusing solely on the life we wish we had. The reason is that the life we  want and the person we want to be are the result of the life and person we are right now.

To deny this moment is to deny every moment that might grow out of it.

To diminish this person is to exile the person that we might grow into.


Sometimes, I get caught up in striving, constantly reaching for something better, something bigger. It's gets so bad that just walking by nice apartment buildings sends me into a spiral of jealousy.

This mindset leaves me bitter and frustrated. I used to take out my frustrations on my current life, focusing on all the things I was missing, instead of all the things I had.

I get so focused on my oak tree that I can't be the acorn.

To use a martial arts metaphor, it's like being constantly off balance, reaching forward, with the result that you never really have your feet and you have a weak foundation from which to act or move.

Only by being solidly Where You Are do you have the resources and the presence to act with effectiveness.

So, when I learned this lesson, I tried be grateful for my acorn-ness. It contains within it all the makings of a great oak tree.

If we only let ourselves be who we are now, we can grow from a foundation of strength into what we could be.

Where in life are you striving, focusing on what you would rather have, do or be, instead of appreciating what is and how it could transform?

- (**