The Fable of an Apple Tree


This seems to be a famous story circulating around the internet. The original text is in Chinese (English translation follows):

成长的寓言:做一棵永远成长的苹果树


一棵苹果树,终于结果了。
第一年,它结了10个苹果,9个被拿走,自己得到1个。对此,苹果树愤愤不平,于是自断经脉,拒绝成长。第二年,它结了5个苹果,4个被拿走,自己得到1个。“哈哈,去年我得到了10%,今年得到20%!翻了一番。”这棵苹果树心理平衡了。
但是,它还可以这样:继续成长。譬如,第二年,它结了100个果子,被拿走90个,自己得到10个。
很可能,它被拿走99个,自己得到1个。但没关系,它还可以继续成长,第三年结1000个果子……
其实,得到多少果子不是最重要的。最重要的是,苹果树在成长!等苹果树长成参天大树的时候,那些曾阻碍它成长的力量都会微弱到可以忽略。真的,不要太在乎果子,成长是最重要的


心理点评


你是不是一个已自断经脉的打工族?
刚开始工作的时候,你才华横溢,意气风发,相信”天生我才必有用”。但现实很快敲了你几个闷棍,或许,你为单位做了大贡献没人重视;或许,只得到口头重视但却得不到实惠;或许……
总之,你觉得就像那棵苹果树,结出的果子自己只享受到了很小一部分,与你的期望相差甚远。
于是,你愤怒、你懊恼、你牢骚满腹……最终,你决定不再那么努力,让自己的所做去匹配自己的所得。几年过去后,你一反省,发现现在的你,已经没有刚工作时的激情和才华了。
“老了,成熟了。”我们习惯这样自嘲。但实质是,你已停止成长了。
这样的故事,在我们身边比比皆是。
之所以犯这种错误,是因为我们忘记生命是一个历程,是一个整体,我们觉得自己已经成长过了,现在是到该结果子的时候了。我们太过于在乎一时的得失,而忘记了成长才是最重要的。
好在,这不是金庸小说里的自断经脉。我们随时可以放弃这样做,继续走向成长之路。


切记:如果你是一个打工族,遇到了不懂管理、野蛮管理或错误管理的上司或企业文化,那么,提醒自己一下,千万不要因为激愤和满腹牢骚而自断经脉。不论遇到什么事情,都要做一棵永远成长的苹果树,因为你的成长永远比每个月拿多少钱重要。

I decided to try my hand and translate it into English (not word for word but rather a re-telling of the original meaning):

The Fable of Growth

An apple tree riped.

The first year, she produced 10 apples, 9 of them were taken away from her, only 1 she was able to keep. She was very upset and angry, so angry that she cut herself and refused to grow any more.

The second year, she produced 5 apples, 4 were taken away and one she kept. She thought, “last time I got only 10% and this time I got twice as much, 20%”. She felt better.

However, she could still keep growing. The next year she could produce 100 apples, 90 could get taken away and 10 left for her. Or, 99 get taken away and 1 left for her… but none of those should matter, she could still keep growing. The next year she could produce 1000 apples…

In the end, it’s not about how many apples she produces. What’s the most important is, she keeps growing! When she finally grows up and becomes a strong, mature apple tree, those which once had impeded her growth on her path will become distant and insignificant.

Remember, don’t count the apples. It’s the growing process that matters.

Analysis (shortened):

When it comes to work we too often focus on the material things such as a raise after a year’s hard work, manager’s notice and praises on what we have accomplished, etc.. When we do not get them, we feel unappreciated and under rewarded and as a result become discouraged and either work less hard and with less enthusiasm or worse, like the apple tree, refuse to grow altogether. By doing that, we are making the mistake of narrowing our focus on what the present reward is, not what the whole process brings. The latter brings growth, which is what life is really all about.

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5 responses to “The Fable of an Apple Tree

  1. Pingback: Another Fable: The Old Man and The Children « Between

  2. How to align the vision and mission of yourself and the vision and mission of the company is always a tricky one. I totally agree that the growth of oneself is more important than the growth of the organization you work for. It’s actually the responsibility of the organization to make sure those two are aligned.

  3. these are great stories~thanks for sharing~

  4. 完全同意,我老弟目前正面临类似的问题,我转了这篇文章给他。

    不过,有时候不是很容易界定,你是在容忍和宽恕中给了自己成长的时间和空间呢,或者在懦弱和惰性中给了自己满足于现状的借口。

    我们要做成长中的苹果树,同时也要时时提醒自己:树挪死,人挪活。

  5. 很有道理。我想如果现状都已经让你几近窒息,没有任何空间可以成长了,那么即使一时有苹果,也应该好好想一想这是否能够持久的环境了。所以,苹果多少不是决定因素,能否成长才是。

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