The Potential to Cultivate

An oak tree may produce thousands of acorns before a single seed finds fertile soil. It may live for two hundred years producing acorns and waiting for random chance to carry one seed to germination.

Each acorn contains the potential of an entire oak tree along with thousands of more acorns. All that's missing from each acorn is an intelligent force of cultivation.

We possess the gift of cultivation. We possess the ability to plant a single seed with intention, tilling its soil and carefully nurturing it to maturity.

This is our human gift, the gift of cultivation. When we plant seeds, how much isn't nearly as important as the focus of our intent.

It's not how hard we work, but rather how our work helps others.

It's not how much money we make, but rather how that money is spent.

It's not the length of our exercise routine, but rather the intensity of each exercise.

It's not the volume of our experiences, but rather what we learn from each one.

It's not how many words we publish, but rather the intent behind those words.

It's not how much time we have, but rather what we do with each moment.

Increasing volume will not increase our potential to cultivate. We don't need to wait for chance to plant roots and grow; our goals and dreams will spout when they're cultivated. Focus on the quality and cultivation of each action and leave volume to the trees.

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    • Doing more (or simply repeating something that we’ve already done) is often far easier than sitting with one thing and taking care of it, polishing it until we know it’s time to move on.

      And as you said, when we feel that we must do more, we pressure ourselves into feeling that we should be getting more out that increase in volume. That rarely happens, so we just end up feeling frustrated and anxious.

  1. I found your message to be beautiful and wise, something I too needed to hear today.

    Thank you for your meaningful words.


  2. Raam-
    I’m reading this from Peru after just getting back from Machu Picchu. The resounding message I continued to receive as I walked through the ruins was how ou potential to do things on this earth so impacting ad significant are so very real. We so often are caught up in the efficiency and productivity of our actions and lose sight of doing something that will be remembered long after our time here on earth.

    I appraiser your words, as always, Raam.

    Talk soon my brother,


    • Patrick, I can only imagine what a reminder of our human ability to leave a legacy Machu Picchu must have been. The past few hundred years has seen some incredible advancements in human evolution, but I think it’s so important that we recognize our true potential lies in our ability to have foresight and create with purpose. It’s easy to create things that grab our attention, but for how long will they have our attention?

  3. As Thich Ntah Hahn talks about our existence as all inclusive, this essay entices me to think over what we mostly ignore. If I have one apple seed and I say – I have just an apple seed, not even an apple. What I miss out is – how many apples in this apple seed?!

    We, humans think that I am just one individual, how can I change the world? How can I make a difference to shape the experience of the world around me?

    What we miss out is how much possibilities are latent within us if we just take out time and cultivate and nurture.

    Truly Raam, your essay resonates with the depth of my being and allures me to ask – How many us within me?

    with gratitude,


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