The Idea Forest

My co-worker told me a quick story about a client she’s working with: the client wanted to follow some creative pursuits away from her demanding career. She felt a particular burst of inspiration in that vein, and in that moment bought a desk plant so that she could associate that plant with the creative inspiration every time she looked at it.

I liked this, and it gave me an idea.

Imagine if every time you set a goal for yourself, you also bought a small plant to put in a window box or on a shelf in the sun. And you made a label with the title of the project, like “Exercise” or “Write That Novel” or something.

Then you only watered that plant on days when you worked towards that goal.

What would you have? A lush, growing forest of successfully completed or in-process tasks? Or a bunch of dead plants?

Imagine what this rule would do for your visualization of your ideas. First, you’d have a constant reminder to work on your goals every single day. Sure, the lives of the plants depend on it – but so does your life. The plight of the plants is just more immediate, more visible.

Second, it would be a great, intuitive way to see when you were taking on too many projects or ideas. You only have so much room in the sunlight for your plants, after all. Only so much time to water them. Oh yes, it’s a great idea to start painting again – but which plant will you move aside to make room for this one? Priority and focus are necessary in your life.

The tree that grows is the one you water. Treat your goals thusly.

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