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Are you a leaf or the tree?

“Don’t be a leaf … be a tree!” Charles M Schultz

This past week I read a very poignant article regarding the challenges of accomplishing personal growth in the public eye and it reminded me of the quote above by Charles M. Schultz, creator of the beloved Peanuts cartoons.

As someone with a national newspaper column, this is something that I can personally relate to and the impact that my words and actions have on others is never far from my mind.

How this responsibility impacts the success of my personal development varies from one project to the next and also, as it turns out, from one medium to the next.

As any would-be golfer will tell you, if only they could wield a two iron with the same dexterity that they flip burgers on a grill, the world would be a happy place – at least for the golfing crowd, if you get my meaning.

For as much as we always try to do our best and appear flawless, if we never step out of our comfort zone (only taking on work that we “excel” at), then all we are doing is churning the same old chestnuts over and over – growing more stagnant by the minute.

The vainer among us use this as an opportunity to bask in the distinction of being at the “top of our game” – striving to be the largest, most striking leaf that ever there was. It usually comes as quite a rude shock to those people when they wake up one morning to find that their influence has withered, and their moment has passed.

How much more exciting it is to be a tree branching out in all directions tackling any type of creative project that comes your way – from writing, to television, to radio, to podcasting, to video creation. Yes, some of your ideas might bloom better than others but as every gardener knows, a tree only grows taller and stronger by strengthening its root system.

After all, why let a little thing like the fact that you have never been to acting school dissuade you from starting a YouTube channel? Or a lack of knowledge of film editing hold you back from deciding to edit the footage yourself?

Yes, a couple of those first videos might be a wee bit wobbly and yes, the audio might not be Dolby surround sound but the only way to improve your artistic ability is by actually creating and posting content and learning what works and (cough) what doesn’t.

In short, sharing your life on social media is very much like being a tree – we shed our leaves in public and strive to spring up in as many places as possible. Sometimes our social media posts gather moss like flowers that have not been pollinated and sometimes, when we least expect it, we attract quite a buzz.

For some very Bermudian visual inspiration and a glimpse of my latest project check out Robin’s Paradise on YouTube. Any ideas for future videos and comments welcome.

Robin Trimingham is the managing director of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a business consultant, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://bit.ly/3nSMlvc or robin@olderhood.com

Robin Trimingham and Charles M Schulz, the creator of the Peanuts cartoons, say we should all strive to be trees rather than leaves

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Published October 26, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated October 25, 2021 at 8:23 pm)

Are you a leaf or the tree?

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