There was a once a successful farmer who needed to travel to a far away land to buy a new crop. Before he left he called his two sons and said, “my dear sons, I am getting ready for a long journey I want you to take care of my farm. Each one will be in charge of an area.” And with that, he left on his journey.
While away the sons took charge of the farm. Mohammad and Ahmed both had a schedule to follow that their dad had handed to them. It stated the time to water and harvest the plants and they both worked diligently to make their father proud.
Mohammad was very precise with the schedule, he watered the plants every other day, weeded once every two weeks and harvested every month as stated in the plan. He sold the fruits to the market on every 10th day of the month.
Ahmed was very hardworking too. He took care of his side and after following the schedule his dad had left him, he harvested 100 fruits during the first month.
Ahmed knew that if he made changes he would be able to be more successful with his plants. So he decided to change the plan in order to harvest more. Ahmed watered his plants everyday and weeded every week. He became so excited when the fruits of the first harvest came earlier than before and was able to sell 150 fruits on the 1st of the month instead of the 10th.
Ahmed had found a method that was better and that produced faster results but as the second harvesting period approached the fruits werent sellable. The merchants complained that his fruits had become tasteless.
Ahmed had a hard time selling his fruits and he ended up selling them at a loss. He also noticed that his plants were getting weak and were tilting to one side. He decided to put in even more work in hopes that he could save the plants. He readded fertilizer and watered them twice a day.
After a few weeks the father came back and went around his farm to look at the state of his plants.
While having dinner he sat with his sons and said. “My dear sons, I see that you both have put a lot of effort in taking care of the plants. Mohammad you did as you were told and you patiently waited for the harvest.
Ahmed you added extra work and stayed up day and night taking care of the plants. You showed resilience and perseverance”.
Ahmed told his dad he couldn’t understand how by adding more work he was not successful in his harvest, “I did everything extra that I could” he reflected.
“My dear Ahmed, patience is a virtue, but learning when to use it is an essential skill. Many times when you overdo things and you think that you are exerting a form of patience by giving up your sleep and your free time, you really end up harming your cause. Imagine if one of your employees came to ask you for a raise in his pay and even though you tell him to give you some time to think about it and find a way to restructure your finances, he keeps nagging at you every time he sees you. How would you react to him?”
“I would ignore him and not try to help him” said Ahmed.
“Precisely, Instead of allowing you the chance to consider his request, he would most likely make you shove his request to the side. But if he was patient, and gave you a chance to think about it you probably would have found a way.
My dear son, when you gave up your time to water the plants and your sleep to weed and harvest them, what seems like a noble thing to do isn’t in the best interest of your plants. They overworked for a while, then they gave up because they couldn’t keep up with your requests and demands.
The reason Mohammad’s plants did well was because he waited and gave them what they needed when they needed it.”
Ahmed reflected on what his dad was teaching him. Although he had put in a lot of effort, persevered and had the best interest of the farm, all the plants needed was some space to grow slowly but surely.