The Story of Two Rosebushes

Once upon a time there were two rosebushes who were neighbors.

The king of the land decided that he wanted the perfect rosebush as a gift to his queen. The bush that produced the most beautiful rose would be rewarded by spending the rest of its life in the royal garden, tended lovingly by the royal gardener.

Both rosebushes wanted this honor, so they decided to blossom.

One decided to increase it’s chances of success by producing as many roses as it could, while the other focused on creating a single perfect rose.

“A single rose!” the other scoffed. “Who wants a bush that only produces a single rose?” The bush laughed at her neighbor, bragging to all around about her certain success for she was filled with many small blossoms. Her branches grew heavy and hung low from all of the small roses she produced.

The other bush ignored her neighbor, concentrating only on that single rose. She poured everything she was into that lone blossom, and that blossom grew and grew and grew.

The king came by to judge the rosebushes. He admired the quantity of roses the first bush produced and all in the forest was certain he would pick her…

Then he saw the single rose. His mouth fell at the beauty of the large blossom and he touched it reverently, ordering his gardeners to gently transplant the bush into the royal garden.

The other bush was upset, and asked tearfully “why? ” to which the king responded:

“You have placed all of your energy into creating as many roses as you could. I only wanted one perfect rose.”

Don’t miss the point

In the story, the king said: The bush that produced the most beautiful rose would be rewarded by spending the rest of its life in the royal garden..

The most beautiful rose not roses.

It can be applied to work as well (I have been guilty of this on a couple of occasions).

I didn’t spend time clarifying what the point of the task was, and I ended up having to redo it all over again.

I started without a clue, wasted a day working on it, and then realized it had to be redone.

I should have spent some time to clarify before starting, instead of wasting time doing something I wasn’t sure about.

Along those lines, don’t miss any opportunities staring at you right in the face by rushing too fast in life.

It could be a new job opening in your department that you have been waiting for, but since you didn’t spend a quick 2 seconds scanning what the email was before deleting it, you found out about it too late before they hired someone else.

Just keep your eyes open.

Figure out what your priorities are

If you say that your #1 priority is _________ then pour your heart and soul into what you consider your prority.

Let’s say it’s getting out of debt.

If it is your #1 priority, don’t let anything derail you — friends, family, sales, temptation on Twitter — and stick to the point.

If you have no clue what you want out of life, how can you go about achieving it?

Don’t waste your time trying to do it all

Like the first rosebush in the story, when you spread yourself too thin trying to do too many blossoms at once, no one will get what they want — they will only get 25% of you, and you will feel like you’re being pulled into too many directions.

So don’t waste your time trying to do everything at once: producing a whole bunch of small, good-enough roses is not as fulfilling or satisfying as producing a single one perfectly.

You  can only do so much in a day and in a lifetime, so choose by saying “No”.

Focus on what you can control

Like in the story, the rosebushes couldn’t control the amount of sun, water, or nutrients they received to grow their roses.

What the second rosebush did, was figure out what it could control, which was its effort to making that one rose blossom beautifully, and tried its best.

Don’t waste time trying to control things that you couldn’t possibly have predicted.

So the recession hit — yes it sucked in 2009, but you couldn’t have really predicted it or controlled it, as it was a culmination of the actions of too many individuals.

What you could have controlled, was what you saved and spent in the earlier years before the plunge.

Accept the negativity in your life as advice

Like in the story, the first rosebush scoffed and said: “A single rose!” “Who wants a bush that only produces a single rose?”

It is easy to say: I can’t do this because _________ or to hear “You can’t do this because _____”.

It is not so easy to follow something you really believe in even when there are naysayers all around you.

You may not succeed all of the time, that’s true. Those naysayers may be exactly right.

So see their negativity as advice in disguise, take it into consideration with a grain of salt, but remember that ultimately: you can’t succeed if you stop yourself at every step and always listen to every negative voice in your head or coming out from others.

But that one rose you put your heart and soul into, might actually succeed, and isn’t that worth the risk and chance of all the others?


About the Author

I'm a 20-something year old girl who lived out of a single suitcase in 2007, and now I'm living with less, but only with the best. You don't have to get rid of everything to become a minimalist! Minimalism can help simplify and organize your life, career, & physical surroundings. You can read more about me as a minimalist. Or come and visit my other blog Fabulously Broke in the City where I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months, earning $65,000 gross/year.