Here’s a little secret that is slowly changing my life.

The common advice is to take on any new opportunity that comes your way, especially when you’re young. This will help you achieve big things in the long-run and open yourself to a plethora of different learning opportunities. Fair enough, I still generally stand by this and I’ve written about it previously.

But more often than not, time and life don’t allow us to take on every opportunity. Sadly, we have to say no and move on. But what if it didn’t have to be this way?

This is where I tell you that it’s pretty obvious advice — just plant the seeds for some time in the future. In other words, make some effort to do what you can in the current moment to build an ongoing relationship whilst preserving your chance for future opportunities. Importantly, what you must not do is completely shut down or burn bridges before they’ve even formed.

As I age, plants have become a normal purchase I make here and there — apparently they make you more creative and look cool in YouTube videos. So that’s where the planting seeds analogy originates for me. I’ve noticed a few new leaves appearing from time to time just from very low-effort watering for about 1-minute each week.

This is similar to you building an ongoing relationship with a person, startup, or community by offering a tiny proportion your time, value, or input on an ad-hoc basis whilst you aren’t able to commit to anything permanently. Trust me, no one has ever told me, ‘you know what Yath, I don’t want your free advice, I want all or nothing’.

When the time eventually comes, luckily for you because you’ve been watering all these various relationships over some time, you’ll be able to get stuck in with the right opportunity at the right time in a much deeper way.

Some opportunities may never fruition to life and that’s fine. You’ll have still made some incredible connections and advocates for your work by offering your free time in a way that makes complete sense to you.

As a final-year medical student, my time is never completely available and now as I create regular content, I have to select my projects sparingly. However, through keeping all doors open, I’ve been able to stumble upon even bigger opportunities down the line.

Plant those seeds today.


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