The Most Important Thing We Forget About Growing

13 Jul


As someone who loves to create awesome experiences, I love finding inspiration in the random things of life. I get asked all the time where I get my ideas from and I simply respond by saying that I have long considered myself a noticer and often feel like I have a unique ability to see things in ways most people can’t.

And one of those things I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is gardening.

Yep, gardening.

Funny I know, but seriously over the last several years I have had the urge to learn more and more about gardening and have actually spent a great deal of time practicing on my own home garden.

I started off small with just a few potted peppers and tomatoes. Then finally, this past year I went all in and added cucumbers, raspberries, strawberries, carrots, squash, and several different kinds of tomatoes as well. I even had spinach until my daughter Molly, was helping me one afternoon and pulled them, mistaking them for weeds.

Now I am by no means an expert, or even a fledgling biologist, but I do fancy myself knowing just enough now to be dangerous. And what I’ve learned is that in order for my garden to produce the best vegetables, the conditions of the soil, the plant location, and amount of sun and water all have to be just right. A healthy balance must be struck with all those components, in order for my garden to produce good healthy fruits and vegetables.

The same can be said of life.

And while any ordinary communicator would stop right there, Lord knows there’s enough metaphor already, I’m going to assume that you can grab that low hanging fruit by yourself and press on.

So, do you know where you won’t find good healthy vegetables?

On top of a mountain.

That’s right.

Cause nothing grows on top of a mountain. The conditions aren’t right. And if you ever get the chance to do some serious mountain climbing or talk to the experts that do, they will tell you the same thing.

Several years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Tibet. And while I was there I got to climb some pretty awesome mountains, visiting various monasteries. And one of the most beautiful things was experiencing the view from atop those mountains. I could see for miles and miles. A tiny village here, a tiny village there, they all looked like little ants, like little scaled models on a massive train set.

But after enjoying the view for a moment or two, there was nothing left. If I was thirsty, I was out of luck unless I brought a drink. If I was hungry, I had to have brought something to eat, because there was nothing on top of those mountains.

We are not created on live on mountaintops.

The reality is nothing was meant to grow on mountaintops. As a matter of fact, neither were we. Despite out best efforts to live life on top of that mountain, whatever that particular mountain may be, it just doesn’t work out. Even Jesus, along with all the other great leaders of the Bible came down from the mountain. They recognized those experiences were short lived.

So where does that leave us?

Where are we supposed to spend most of our energies?

Where growth happens.

Where the conditions are right.

In the valley.

Cause life happens in the valley.

And that’s the point. 

We waste so much time trying to climb the mountain that we miss the opportunities right in front of us, in the valley.

Opportunities to grow, and reproduce, make change, share our stories, engage our audiences, and impact the world around us.

I know I’m certainly guilty of this and I bet you are too.

That’s the invitation crying out to you and I today.

What opportunities are you missing out on in the valley right in front of you?

-Josh Collins


Simply put, Josh Collins is a Communicator. He is a Speaker, Writer and Experience Architect who lives in Franklin, Tn. His passion is to create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences and help you do the same. He can be found at You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

Photo Credit: looseends via Compfight cc

One Response to “The Most Important Thing We Forget About Growing”

  1. Glenn Taylor July 14, 2013 at 17:40 #

    excellent post Josh–it is in the valley where everything significant happens…the mountaintop is only for the celebration but we can’t live there

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: