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Thursday, February 19, 2015

The worlds largest living organism also needs support

The Giant Sequoia tree is the largest living organism on earth, reaching into the heavens nearly 300 feet.  One of them can produce enough lumber to build thirty-five five-room homes, and you can drive an automobile through the trunk of one. Though this is a trait of the Giant Sequoia tree, the question is whether it can do it alone? and can we achieve anything of our own?
Giant sequoias are the world's largest single trees and largest living thing by volume. Giant sequoias grow to an average height of 50–85 m (164–279 ft) and 6–8 m (20–26 ft) in diameter. Record trees have been measured to be 94.8 m (311 ft) in height and over 17 m (56 ft) in diameter. The oldest known giant sequoia based on ring count is 3,500 years old. 

Most of us would suspect that anything of the size of the Giant Sequoia tree would have roots that would extend halfway to China, but such is not the case.  Many of the roots are above ground and others extend only a few inches beneath the surface.  

Interestingly enough, you will never see a Giant Sequoia growing in isolation - they're always in groves. Their roots are intermingled with the roots of other Giant Sequoias, so each one draws strength from many others. 

So, the tree itself cannot get that long and high of its needs help. It needs support. It needs the other trees around it to be of lesser height so that it gets the sunshine it needs. It needs the 'luck' not to be eaten or gazed away by a wild animal when it just sprouted. It needs the fortune to have survived man's greed...

There is so much that a Giant sequoia needs before it reaches a stage to be called as the tallest tree in the world. Do not get me wrong here. Nowhere, we are saying that any other tree which gets all the situations right - will grow to be the tallest tree...that credit anyways goes to the Giant sequoia...but what we are only trying to say is that without the support of hundreds and thousands of factors that may influence its true potential to be shown to the world, there is no way the Giant sequoia would be called as the tallest tree.

The same applies to each one of us. 

If you think that you deserve 100% credit of your promotion, and not your family for their indomitable support, your colleagues for their inability to be as competitive as you were, your boss for carrying a perspective about you that made you a deserving candidate or even your organisation, which provides a mechanism for promotion the way it exists today.

If you think that you achieved the sales targets without support from your client who wanted to desperately buy what you wanted to eagerly sell, your competitor whose attitude was not the one that impressed the client, your family who happily agreed to take so many dinners without you - when you were creating your sales presentations, your friends who wished good luck to you on the day of signing the sales deal.

If you think that you were able to put in a hard days work today without support of your office staff who kept your table neat and tidy when you arrived in the morning, the cleaner who made sure that the floor was spic and span, the electrician who ensured uninterrupted power supply while you focused on your work.

Even if you think that you reached office on time without the support of the car mechanic's efficiency which made sure that the car ran smoothly in spite of all the ruggedness with which you drove that day, the other car drivers on the road who allowed you to overtake while you were in a hurry, then I am sorry, but you are mistaken.

The list is endless. The fact is that you cannot achieve anything of your own. You are not designed that way. Yes, you got to do the hard work, you got to persevere, you got to plan, you got to act, you got to get skilled. But having done all that, there are hundreds and thousands of other situations, objects and people who have to come together to make things work for you - the way you want it.

If you are humble about this fact in your success, these situations, objects and people will keep up their support, and you will continue to ride the success. The day you become arrogant that your success was "your" achievement - you lost the plot that day. Humbleness, therefore, is not only a desired, but a very logical virtue.

The book Happiness Unlimited shows you many such lessons to lead a happier, contended life.


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