Monday, July 24, 2006

The Daffodil Principle

A friend of mine sent this to me and I thought I would pass it along to all of you.

My daughter has telephoned me several times to ask me to come see the daffodils before they finish blooming. I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from my house, so I told her I would come next Tuesday. Tuesday turned out to be a cold and rainy day, but since I had promised I reluctantly drove over to my daughter's house. I told my daughter we should forget about going to see the daffodils as the fog is really bad. But she smiled and said, "But mother, we drive in this weather all the time. Besides I was hoping you'd take me over to the garage to pick up my car. It's just a few blocks away. However since the weather is bad I will drive"

After several minutes, I asked where we were going since I noticed she wasn't driving in the direction of the garage. My daughter informed me that we were taking the 'scenic route' by way to the daffodils. About 20 minutes later, we turned onto a small gravel road where I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden." The two of us got out of the car walked down the path. As we turned the corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight. It looked as though someone had taken a huge pot of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and it's surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue.
There were five acres of flowers in all. When I asked my daughter who planted this lovely garden she told me it was planted by a woman who lives on the property. She lives in a small house in the middle of all the daffodils. We walked up to the house and on the patio we saw a sign which said,

"Answers to Questions You Are Dying To Know"
#1. 50,000 bulbs.
#2. One at a time, by one woman.
#3. Began in 1958.

For me, that moment was life-changing. I thought of this woman who more than forty years before, had begun planting one bulb at a time in order to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration there is - learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time {often just one baby-step at time} and to love the process by learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world.

In a way it made me a bit sad as I wondered what I could have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal 35 or 40 years ago and had worked away at it one bulb at a time through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said. She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask,
How can I put this to use today?

Use the Daffodil Principle and Stop Waiting.....
Until your debts are paid off,
Until you get a new car or home,
Until your kids leave the house,
Until you go back to school,
Until you finish school,
Until you clean the house,
Until you organize the garage,
Until you clean off your desk,
Until you lose 10 lbs.,
Until you gain 10 lbs.,
Until you get married,
Until you get a divorce,
Until you have kids,
Until the kids go to school,
Until you retire,
Until summer,
Until spring,
Until winter,
Until fall,
Until you die.

There is no better time than the present to start working towards your dream.

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