Struggle of the Vine

Struggle of the Vine

This morning on my way to work, I heard a personal story from a leadership coach in a vineyard. I have heard this “personal” story before by a different motivational speaker so it may be time to change it to a parable. Whatever it is identified as, the story is relevant to personal growth so here it goes:


Last summer while I was in Tuscany, I visited a vineyard to learn about the origins of fantastic wine making. Investigating the process from the starts, looking at the seed and how the grape plants take root, we discussed things like fertility of the land, appropriate times of the year to plant, and techniques for establishing a better crop. One aspect that stood out was the lack of irrigation. I asked my guide why didn’t I see an irrigation plan and the response I received struck a chord. My guide said, “We don’t plan for irrigation, we encourage the vine to find its own way. Sometimes the vine needs to struggle to establish strong, deep roots. Only then can the vine survive the varying temperatures and other challenges.”


With life, if we make it too easy for others, they will not create the foundation to learn how to overcome challenges. If everything comes too easy, it is a disadvantage. There will be limited opportunities to develop grit, a key skill in leadership.


So whether you take the struggle of the vine as a personal story, a parable, or a reason to appreciate drinking more wine. The overall idea is that through facing challenges, we increase our coping skills. It also gives us a good source of stories when trying to relay memorable messages to others.


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