As we welcome a new month with the climate and focus transitioning to the fall season, I’m reminded of a favorite anecdote, Charles Francis, my friend and author of Wisdom Well Said, shared with me several years ago. The story suggests that our growth and success stem from immersing ourselves in a nurturing, conducive environment. And so the story goes…
A favorite fish of many hobbyists is the Japanese carp, also known as the koi. The interesting thing about the koi is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will only grow to be 2 to 3 inches. Place the koi in a larger tank, and it will reach 6 to 10 inches. Put it in a big pond, and it may get as long as a foot and a half. However, when placed in a huge lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach sizes up to 3 feet.
An analogy can be made concerning people. Our growth is determined by the size of our world. It is not the world’s measurable dimensions that are important, but the mental, emotional, and physical opportunities to which we expose ourselves. Realizing that growth comes from the inside and not the outside, we come to the understanding that, unless we place ourselves in the right environment, we can never reach our full potential.
Perhaps you’ll be venturing off for a last summer vacation, having a BBQ with family and friends or catching your breath before the busier fall schedule begins. As you enjoy the coming days, take some time to reflect on the ingredients you need to create an environment of success. Will it mean organizing your physical space or mind clutter? Perhaps it will involve learning new skills. Maybe it will be connecting with new people.