Before I got into MMA (and for a very long time throughout my MMA career as both a competitor and coach), I worked in the landscaping and gardening industry.
I’ve always been fascinated by the similarities between seemingly extremely disparate things. On the surface, martial arts and gardening are in totally different categories.
But under the surface layers there are so many principles that hold true between them (and, in many ways, throughout everything we do).
I tend to think of every community much like a garden. When a garden is healthy, each plant has all the resources that it needs: the proper sunlight, proper hydration, and proper soil. No one plant takes over and dominates the others, and all are tended according to their needs.
However, each plant has different needs, and each plant has its season. Some flower in the Spring and wilt away at the first sign of heat. Some produce bold colors in the peak of the Summer. Some mostly stay low and spread across a broad area, protecting the garden from unwanted weeds. And still others stay green throughout the year, offering only reliable and sturdy structure and color throughout the seasons.
The point is, each person has their season and purpose too. It can’t always be our time to flower and take center stage.
It can sometimes be hard to see others receive all the attention, but this is a uniquely human flaw. The roses don’t envy the evergreens, nor do they encroach on each other. Together, along with the other elements of the garden, they combine to create something greater than the sum of their individual parts.
Remember that you have your purpose, your season, and your own way of blooming. Each of our times will come and go. What’s important is to always do our best, regardless, to support the ecosystem in which we exist. Recognizing the value in others, and investing in the health of the garden overall, will always come back to us in spades.