Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Power of Choice

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Have you ever heard of the "Daffodil Principle?" I love this story and use it often when talking to young girls about pursuing their goals.

The story of "The Daffodil Principle" originally appeared nearly ten years ago in Jaroldeen Edwards' book Celebration!

Here's how it goes...

The daughter kept pestering the mother, "Mom, come visit us. We'll go see the Daffodil Garden."

Eventually, the mother made time and visited her daughter's home one Tuesday morning.

The day turned out to be cold and rainy, but the mother made the trip anyway. Before arriving she had already decided she would tell her daughter they would go see the daffodils another day. The roads had been slippery and the fog had set in.

But her daughter wasn't so easily swayed. "No mom. We're going. You must see the daffodils."

The mother, daughter and grandchildren all piled in the car. "It's only a few blocks from here," the daughter said.

After a twenty minute drive they turned down a gravel road. They stopped beside a small church. Posted on the wall of the church read a sign, "Daffodil Garden". They parked and headed in the direction the sign indicated.

As they turned the corner, the mother looked up.

She saw thousands of daffodils. The colors varied: deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. The daffodils covered five acres.

The mother asked her daughter who planted the flowers. Her daughter said, "One woman." She pointed out the house where the woman lived. They made their way to the house. On the front porch they found a sign that read:

"Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking".

The first statement answered the question of how many. It read "50,000 bulbs." The second statement explained how the daffodils were planted: "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." And the last statement answered the question of when the lady started. "1958."

The mother walked away from the Daffodil Garden forever changed. She couldn't stop thinking about the woman who had planted one bulb at a time.

The visit changed the mother's life. She understood the lesson. She realized that it only takes small steps to move forward towards your goals and desires. The mother learned: "When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. "

We too will find that we can write a book, build a business, make new friends, reach our financial goals. Yes, we can change our world one small step at a time.

There's a little more to the story...
In 1999 Gene Bauer's ranch house burned down. The daffodils survived.


Anonymous said...

Lots to be said about one step, or one bulb, at a time.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

After I had cancer, I started weighing requests made differently. When made by my family I am far more likely to clear the way for them. When made by others I try to assess whether they will interfere daffodil time. (-;
Carolyn Howard-Johnson

Prill Boyle said...

Wow, I love this story. Truly, that's how dreams are achieved--one step at a time. When I started writing my first book, I wouldn't let myself go to bed at night until I'd made some tangible effort toward making the book a reality. I didn't set myself a minimum daily page quota (although I did so later when I started writing a novel). No, I counted every little bit of effort I made--every phone call, every interview, every moment of research. Progress was slow. I needed to build up my confidence as well as my writing skills. But each day I came closer to my goal.

Allyn Evans said...

Thanks everyone for the comments. I've gotten more in my email inbox similar to your post Prill.

My first book project started this way too. At first I had questions I wanted answers to. I asked family members. Then, I decided I wanted many more opinions. Before it was over (and one step at a time), I collected interviews from over 50 women. If I had thought about the end product and all that required, I would have never finished. But I could take a few steps at a time towards my goal. Eventually, I did publish that book and now I'm working on step at a time.

Anonymous said...

I also love this story! How true it is that one step at a time is how all things are done. I just told my friends in our accountability group that we could take "baby steps" and it would be more of an effort than what we were doing before. I felt like reading your story confirmed that information. Thanks so much!

Allyn Evans said...

Always glad to be of service!

Beth Blair (DesertMama) said...

What an inspiring story. Thank you for sharing. I feel like I have a new perspective...

Kathe Gogolewski said...

I love this story - isn't it true that so many worthwhile projects (or goals!) are built one brick at a time? I will save this story for my own grandchildren!