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The Little Seed That Could: A Parable About Success

palo duro yellow flower
I have to say – I am really glad the seed that sprouted this lovely yellow flower didn’t give up when it first encountered all that dirt.

This year I am about to turn 50.

The way I see it, reaching the half-century mark is a pretty big deal. As such, it is perfectly appropriate to buy yourself lots of presents in the year when this type of big birthday arrives.

One of the big presents I have bought myself so far this year is a 7-week life and business coaching online course.

Honestly, I’ve never invested this much money in myself, ever, at one time, before this year. But I have made a lot of mistakes in my first 49 years of life and I’d really like to start out my 50th year on some good, solid ground.

Which means it’s a darned good thing I started the course eight months before I turn 50. In hindsight, I should have enrolled around age 45. Or perhaps at birth.

My new life coach, Christine Kane, is a few chronological years older than me and about three lifetimes wiser. One of the very first lessons she gave us was about gardening.

Specifically, she talked us through the process of planting a seed. Here is a basic outline, in case you are unfamiliar.

First, you dig a hole. 

Next, you drop the little seed in.

Then you water it.

Then you wait.

Guess what happens next?

If you are like me, you guessed “the seed sprouts!”


Because there is a whole lot of dirt in between that seed and the light of day.

The poor little seed first has to push all that dirt up, up, up, up, up before it ever gets its chance to turn into a strawberry bush or an oak tree or a weed or whatever it is destined to be.

So if you sat there and watched it, minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, you might actually be able to see the little volcano of dirt that precedes that first green shoot breaking ground.

You might be starting to see where I’m going with this.

It has to do with misunderstanding the sudden appearance of a whole lot of dirt.

It also seems the right moment to mention that since I started the course last month, I have watched a whole lot of dirt piling up all around me.

There is so much dirt.

I will admit it is tempting to look around, see all that dirt, and sink into failure. I am failing. I am a failure. Such a failure. How could I not be a failure? The evidence is everywhere. There is dirt in my relationships. Dirt in my finances. Dirt in my health. Dirt in my career. There is dirt absolutely everywhere right now.

Yet my coach, Christine, keeps reminding our class that the sudden appearance of dirt is a good thing. It is a sign of progress – potentially of unfolding success – to see dirt determinedly pushing its way up and out of us.

Sure, there may have been failure in our past, whether a little or a lot. But now we have proof we are not failing and we are not a failure.

The proof is all that dirt.

Because underneath all that dirt is a very determined seed that will have its day in the sun.

With great respect and love,


The Little Seed That Could: A Parable About Success

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2020). The Little Seed That Could: A Parable About Success. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 28, 2020, from


Last updated: 15 Apr 2020
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