There's No Overnight Success: The Story of the Mango Tree and Grass

overnight success

It takes 20 years to become an overnight success

The struggle takes place in the farm. The mango tree growing at a slow and steady pace must compete against the wild grass which grows out of nowhere.

Both plant species are out there in the wild and must follow the rule of the jungle; Survival of the fittest. Let the stronger specie win the race of life.

Years later, the mango tree would be standing strong above the wild grass. It would spread out and bear fruits. Whereas, the grass dies season in and season out. With the farmer’s hatred for grass, he can’t help but smile as they perish.

So what does mango tree and grass have to do with your life and success?


Your answer in 4 words; 

“Sustained success takes time.”

The mango tree represents the sustained success. It doesn’t just appear on the stage of life out of nowhere. In the first years, it spreads all of its energy establishing a healthy tap root system, digging deep into the ground. Then year after year, it builds onto that strong foundation.

It grows slowly, but reinforcing its trunk in the process. As such, it is able to withstand the storms during the heart of the rainy season. As the rainy seasons come and go, it builds its resilience. Its growth comes from strength and character, having withstood the harsh winds and storms.

The mango tree prepares for the long future ahead, not just for one season under the sun.

Just like the mango tree, your success should be built on a solid foundation. It takes time to rebuild such strength. You need to master the basics. It would take a lot of time and you would wish you could write the GCE A Levels in Form 4 so as to get right into the glorious University life ASAP.

University life just like most things in life comprise of basic moves in what is apparently a complex situation. If you haven’t mastered the basics, your advanced moves would be shallow.

When you invest time in mastering your craft, you build experience and resilience through failures. You learn from them. You learn how to spot traps and potential problems. You learn how to deal with challenges because your foundation is rock solid. Because of your rock solid foundation, you don’t bend at any wind or storm.
 r overnight success

You just can’t drag a mango tree out of the soil, especially when it is has taken years to establish. Even King Kong would need a whole lot of efforts.

My point; your hustle and success should be rooted by a strong foundation like that of a mango tree. When someone tries to knock you down, you can and would stand your ground (with a smile).

Take time to build your foundation. Everything else depends on it.

Did you forget about the grass already?

Yeah, you should. But there’s something about the grass which we are familiar with. It comes from nothing and grows into an established plant in no time. That sound like overnight success right? Beneath the growth is a shallow and weak foundation, one that can be uprooted with so much ease by a baby creeping around.

Grass comes and goes every season. It flashes brightly for a moment then rot away, and probably serve as nutrition to the mango tree.

If face with making a choice, which is it going to be for you? Momentary success of grass which last a season or the legacy of a mango tree which lasts for generations?

I have faith in your wisdom (no matter how small you think it might be), you would take time to build a strong foundation like the mango tree.

Come to think of it, the mango tree produces succulent and tasty fruits. Please remind me; when was the last time someone enjoyed the fruits of grass as much as mango?
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