Surprising life lessons learned by growing plants

Most of my life, I did not have plants but when I came to the US, I ended up with plants in my apartment and learned a few interesting lessons.

1. What other people throw can blossom into a strong sturdy tree

When I first came to the US, I ate a date and I was about to throw it away when my mom suggested we plant it in an empty pot. Simply giving it water and sunlight, after a few months, eventually a leaf came out of the ground, then a few more came out. Today, it is a small tree that is growing bigger and stronger.

Because many people throw away something, it does not mean it is worthless. Think outside the box, try something new… who knows where you’ll end up.

2. Persistence, and regularity of something simple has a long term effect

After my first initial success, when I planted second seed… initially, nothing came out. At first I got discouraged but because I had another plant in there, I still gave it water. … and as it grow, they become stronger. Even if I did not see the difference from day to day, I just kept watering the plants on a regular basis. Even if sometimes it was annoying, one tree then another started growing

To get a result, you have to sometimes initially do something annoying and persist even if sometimes the situation seems overwhelming. The same principle applies to exercising, self improvement and anything you set your mind to. Starting from scratch can be discouraging but sometimes you have to see the bigger picture. With a long term vision, a simple gesture repeated over time can yield a result bigger than expected.

3. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get to where you want it to be

After I planted palm trees, I figured I’d try planting mint (People from Morocco are big on mint tea so I figured why not). I ordered seeds and planted them. Shortly, something came out and I was excited but even if all 10 seeds I planted came out, a lot did not survive the change in weather. Interestingly, a few survived and today they are growing strong. I cut those mint plants and divided them… As a result, today I have a large put filled with multiple mint seeds.

As the saying goes, “you have to be willing to break a few eggs to make an omelet.” Failure is part of success, not everything you try in life will work on the first try.

4. The resilience of plants despite extreme conditions is humbling and astounding

One mint plant I left outside and I thought it died. Yet, when spring came, it grew back from nothing and blossomed again.

In life, we all eventually face events that bring us down, make us either doubt our capacity to succeed or even get back up. Yet, when spring comes, forests that seemed dead spring back to life. No matter what happens to you, you have to be willing to get back up, try again, try harder. As the saying goes, it does not matter how many times you fall, what matters is the number of times you get back up… because all that matters in the end is that you are standing and willing to get back on top.

5. It is important to set boundaries

One mistake I made was to mix mint with other plants and even if I really like mint, it started asphyxiating other plants. I learned that you had to give mint boundaries or it will start to grow wildly and it can become an issue.

Sometimes, even something or someone we really like can overtake our lives and in extreme cases even ruin lives. Whether it is work, relationships or any activity, it is important to set healthy/ sensible boundaries so you do not end up asphyxiated with too much of one thing.

6. Have multiple plants.

On a regular basis, I used mint to prepare mint tea. Initially, when I only had one plant, each time I made tea, I could not prepare it until the plant grew again. When I ended up with multiple mint plants, it was a lot easier to cut a little from a different plant each time and yet have them grow at the same time.

As the saying goes, “Do not put all your eggs in one basket.” This means that sometimes you have to delay gratification and invest in “diversifying your portfolio.” Have multiple plans in life, do not rely on a single one.

7. It is gratifying to build something bigger that lasts

What do I gain from planting a palm tree? From a strictly selfish point of view, nothing that directly affects my success. With that in mind, having plants that are growing independently from me is definitely gratifying. With plants and plants losing their leaves in winter, there are days when the view of desolation can be depressing. Having an Island of green inside brightens up the day.

Obviously help yourself but help others as well. Spread the positive vibes, help others. It feels good to see others succeed as well. Some might end up ungrateful but others might actually contribute back something unexpected when the moment comes.

So, I am encouraging everyone to try to grow at least one plant. Also, try new things, go out of your comfort zone... you never know what comes out of it