This is a picture of the side of my house. The most neglected side of our property, for sure. That thing growing maniacally is a tomato plant. One that we did not plant.
Upon spotting this unusual growth and learning that we really need to pay more attention to this side of the house, I realized a few other things that can be applied to business and life in general.
Intention and Results
First, it struck me as funny that my daughter had planted tomatoes from seeds in tiny cups in a window this spring. Once they sprouted and seemed like they could endure the great outdoors, she planted them in our garden on the other side of the house. It wasn’t long—maybe a week—before the birds or other critters had snatched away the sprouts leaving nothing behind. That the intention was to grow tomatoes and there are tomatoes growing on our property is what we wanted. That the tomatoes grew by means wholly unknown to us, is startling.
Things like this happen all the time and it’s okay. Life just doesn’t always follow the path we expect or that we are trying to pave for the result. The key is to keep your eye on the result and not worry about who gets the credit or how the route changed. We have tomatoes and that’s what matters, right?
We don’t know how long this rogue tomato plant had been trying to grow over there but it succeeded. The seeds that my daughter planted and nurtured inside for a few weeks were decimated quickly with no sign that anything was ever planted there before.
Where did the seeds for this plant come from? Did they blow down the corridor between the house and the block fence? Did some mysterious gardener plant them as a gift? And does it matter? I don’t think it does, but it is mysterious.
That this tomato plant did so well is certainly amazing considering there is no water source over there, the soil is little more than silt, and hardly any sun shines over there until the late afternoon, and then it is blazing. Evidently, the critters have yet to venture over there—at least critters who would be interested in tomato plants. Somehow the ideal conditions naturally converged and tomatoes emerged.
Neglect or Freedom?
That we had no idea this plant was growing on the side of the house can be looked at positively or negatively. We could say that when things are neglected or ignored they become out of control and go wild! We could also look at the other side of the coin and consider that things or people left to their own devices, can thrive and exceed expectations, if there even were any expectations.
We reap what we sow, but this harvest is so far away from the plan, that it’s just a happy coincidence. One we appreciate.