My family and I moved this spring, to a beautiful new home, set on 5 breathtaking acres. If you came to visit, you might first notice the abundance of trees. Maple and oak trees surround our deck, providing shade and filling the windows of our sun porch with an array of greenery. The front of our property, the rear, the sides: all are bordered by varieties of pine, sturdy and majestic.
Trees are everywhere. Shade trees. Climbing trees. Flowering trees. Tall trees. Short ones. The trees surround and shelter our property, lining our long driveway and obscuring our home from the road.
We feel very blessed to live here, and grateful to the people who built this home and cultivated this peaceful retreat.
When Mike and Kathy, the previous owners, built their home and moved onto the property in the early 1990s, there were only a few trees here. The aerial photo they framed shows their home in what looks like a wide open field. Back then, you could see the house from the busy road. When they gathered with their three kids for family bonfires, they could see the lights of cars flashing past.
They loved their expansive property and knew they wanted to create a special home, a quiet retreat; they expected to keep this property in their family for generations. They wanted to establish a legacy of tranquility and beauty. So Mike and his son placed an order for trees — 500 of them. When the trees arrived, they fit in a wheelbarrow. Painstakingly, tirelessly, they dug holes. They mounded dirt around fragile saplings. They watered and fed the trees, with hope and expectation of future beauty, shelter, and peace.
When I work with people to help them create legacy with their messages online, I want them to know that making a difference to influence the world for good is very much like creating a beautiful physical environment.
In order to truly make the difference we want to make, we have to have a long-term view, realizing that content we share today and connections we nurture are like seeds we’re planting for the future. The more we plant, the more abundance we will receive, in due time.
We have to continue to work, consistently and with focus, keeping our vision for the world we want to create clear and in focus. We must cultivate patience, because building online influence takes time, lots of time. It takes years, decades even.
When we invest in planting seeds of influence online, we will create relationships, opportunity, personal growth, learning, and — ultimately — legacy.
I want to be the one who will plant 500 trees and wait for them to blossom.