I’ve always loved the phrase, “Bloom Where You’re Planted”, and never has it been more appropriate than right now. Most of us are “planted” at home and can’t go do our normal routine. We’ve been given the opportunity to take a step back, look at what we enjoy about our lives and what we don’t, and the time to change things. Even if you’re working double overtime right now, the question of whether or not you still want to continue on your current path is being presented.
Some don’t see it this way. A lot of people don’t see it this way. They feel stuck, smothered, or like they are being punished. But now, more than ever, is the time that we all need to bloom where we’re planted. The world needs you to be you, in whatever way that you can.
Let’s clarify first, what this phrase doesn’t mean.
What it doesn’t mean is that you have to stay somewhere that you’re unhappy. It doesn’t mean that you are stuck. People transplant flowers all the time. Sometimes, it takes them a little while to perk back up, but then they grow bigger and brighter than they would have if we had left them in their original spot. We’re just like those flowers. We can move ourselves, and sometimes it takes a little while for us to get settled. If we’ve moved in the direction of our happiness, we allow ourselves the opportunity to shine brighter and to grow into more of our authentic selves. So, don’t use this phrase as an excuse to give up; use it as motivation.
“Bloom where you’re planted” means doing what you can, with what you have, to make yourself and those around you happy, no matter what your circumstances are.
What can you do right now, today, to move yourself one step closer to where you want to be in life? Are there books that you can read, websites that you can learn from, videos you can watch? What classes or webinars can you watch or take? Who can you get in touch with that can give you advice or help you along your path?
Many of us want to wait until the timing is better, until everything is perfect, before we start to move forward. If the “perfect time” is what you’re waiting for, the time may never come. I say this because, often, when we’re waiting for the “right time”, it’s code for, “I’m too afraid to move forward with my plans so I’m staying where I am”.
If not now, when?
Many of us have been handed a blank slate, and instead of using this time to do the things we’ve always wanted to do, we’re complaining because we’re not allowed to live our normal routine.
I know it’s scary, not knowing or understanding what is really going on. It’s frustrating to be kept in the dark, or worse, to have too much information being thrown at you, none of it terribly helpful. I’m not saying that these aren’t weird, hard times.
What I’m saying is, instead of seeing this time as a bad thing, let’s instead see it as a gift. We’ve been given the chance to slow down (something most people wouldn’t do unless they were forced to do so) and really look at where we are. If you find something that you don’t like, work to change it.
Sit down today, right now even, and make a plan.
Write out what steps you need to take to move forward on your path. For those of you who aren’t happy in your job, what steps do you need to take to move away from it? Don’t get bogged down in negativity and what you don’t have. Look instead at what you want to have.
This too shall pass and we’ll be back to doing what we always have. The economy will recover and things will improve again. When it does, do you still want to be stuck in that job you hate; in that relationship you’ve not been happy in for years; or with that group that you no longer resonate with?
Once you write those steps down, focus on what you can do right now, in your present circumstances. Make another list.
It helps me to make lists and get the ideas out of my head, so I always suggest that others do so as well. But also, writing things down solidifies things a little more in our heads. It becomes more concrete. Rather than just being a vague idea in our heads, if we write our goals down, they become more real each moment.
Brendon Burchard recommends writing down your overall goals, and then breaking those goals down by what you can do each month to achieve them. Then break them further down by figuring out what you need to do each week to accomplish those monthly goals. Then further by figuring out what small steps you can take each and every day to make those weekly goals happen. In doing this, you give yourself smaller goals to accomplish so that it doesn’t feel so overwhelming. It also gives you the ability to see progress happen more quickly, which in turn gives you a confidence boost.
While you’re seeking ways to better yourself and your situation, also look at how you can improve yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally, to “bloom where you’re planted”?
Would going to bed at a more reasonable hour allow you to be more productive throughout your day? If you set boundaries with people, would it give you the ability to work more on what you want to be doing? Could giving yourself a break, taking a nap, or going for a walk, improve your mood so that you can interact with those around you more kindly than you have been?
If we’re exhausted because we’re not sleeping well, then we don’t make our best decisions. More often, we make decisions based on fear. Fear of not having enough money, time, or it ruining some aspect of our current lives. When we’re tired, we can’t always see the positive side of things.
Lack of sleep, lack of movement, and overwhelm often means that we also don’t treat people with kindness, respect, or love. We lash out at others when they aren’t doing what we think they should; we get angry or upset over minor slights that otherwise wouldn’t bother us.
Flowers can’t grow and be their colorful, happy selves if they aren’t given the proper care. We humans are the same way.
This is important because, giving back to others is a big part of how we find where we’re meant to be, and what will help us to create our happiest lives.
We don’t have to wait until things improve to help people. Look around you every day and ask yourself, what can I do to be of service to others?
When we consistently ask ourselves this question, we learn to see and understand the lives of others. We step outside of ourselves, and see that our problems are often not as bad as we think they are. The added benefit of doing this is that we start to see that we’re not alone; that there are others out there that we “mesh” with.
Doing something for someone else doesn’t mean that we have to make a grand gesture, or do something elaborate. Holding the door for someone, offering to help carry something, making a card for a friend or buying one, getting someone flowers, taking food to a neighbor, sending someone a smile – any random act of kindness makes a difference.
Find a way to use your unique skills and ways of thinking to make the world better.
We all have unique gifts and talents. Some are better at cooking than others, better at sewing, better gardeners, singers, writers, or problem solvers. There are those who are good at organizing, strategizing, and lifting heavy things. Even if you feel like you have nothing to offer, you do. Can you write poetry, tell jokes, fix plumbing or things in a house? There are people out there who need someone just like you. They need to hear what you have to say and they need to see you doing what you love to do. You can use what you are good at to help others in some way.
Mark Borella said of his team, in the Q&A session that I did with him: “This is a team effort. Without the team, it wouldn’t be a success. Each year I give everyone that works for me an original piece of art that I create. One year I gave each person a puzzle piece. I told them to put them all together. Everyone laid their piece down, fit them together, and they made a Seed of Happiness. Next, I told one of them to take a piece away. I said, “Take one piece away and the whole picture is not the same.”
This is true of the world. Without each of us doing what we love, what we are best at doing, what we can do to help others, the whole picture is not the same.
Now is the time to bloom where you’re planted.
Take the time to find what you would be happiest doing and work to create that life for yourself. But while you’re finding that path, do what you can now to make your life and the lives of others the best they can be no matter the circumstances.
Then we can all grow stronger, brighter, and happier together.