The plants you choose to water are the ones that will grow. Soon they’ll expand well beyond your initial investment and the pattern of their growth will be wild and exciting and unpredictable.
That analogy holds true for pretty much anything you focus on in your life. If you value knowledge and you invest in it, the knowledge you gain will take on a life of its own and grow beyond your original investment. You’ll have more to talk about, so you’ll talk to more people, and more interesting people, and you’ll in turn learn more and more. Those pathways will open and the branches will grow.
If you value stuff, you’ll be buried in it. If you value experiences, you’ll have more and more. If you value money, it’ll gather size and speed like a snowball rolling downhill. If you value family, your family will grow and grow and grow.
For a long time, if you stop watering a plant it will die. But there does eventually come a time when the plant has grown so large it doesn’t need you directly anymore. The tree has gone from depending on you to providing you shade as you sit and enjoy it.
It’s worth taking the time to really think about what you want growing in your garden. If you water the tree of violence and conflict, that’s what will grow. If you water the tree of knowledge and experience, that’s probably better. Pull the weeds when you see them.