The moment of truth with gardening

Today, I started my day with gardening.

Not that I had a lot of time, in fact, consider that I work 14+ hours a day, and often had to push all my personal matters aside (e.g. the quail eggs I bought last week are going to hatch if I still can’t find time to cook it), this is a real luxury.

I had to do gardening was because I had a bunch of flower crops (I don’t know the name) in my hands. I don’t think they will survive (think about the quail eggs).

It was because I had shamelessly expressed my longing towards these flowers with a neighbour, their owner, one of those days. So today, when I returned from my daily sprint sending my toddler to her kindergarten, and talked to her about their upcoming wedding in the house, these flowers promptly landed in my hands.

So there I was, squatting under the scorching sun of 9am Singapore, trying to put the soil together and make a home for these tiny but strong flowers.

The soil was made hard by the fierce roots of weeds and trees, because of long ignorance. I struggled for a long time because I was lazy to get the soil.

Finally I gave up and went to bring some fresh soil from my house. The flowers now stand well and my work was done within 5 mins.

When I had a meeting with my coach later, I described my biggest challenge:


Time is my best friend, which I understand. But I have so many things to do, that I burden her with, I command results of her, by now we have almost become enemies.

I have a huge list:

Maintain my YouTube channel. Finetune my website. Coaching requests. Explore a tech business. Coordinate and chair a few panels and marketing in Chinese for Global Migrant Festival. Write the next story that deserves a Nobel Literature Prize (oh well, if that’s too difficult, then Singapore Literature Prize will do too).

And the thing is I have come to think I need a more fierce reading routine, including all the greatest works in human history, business finance science technology AI trends and poetry, etc. For your mental sanity and mine, I will resist listing the books here.

And as my coach picked on a few key questions on my quest for learning, and reflected to me the keyword “Growth”, this whole imagery emerged: I am gardening.

In this case, I deeply understand the importance of soil (nutrition to my mind). With the soil hard and infertile, I will have a tough time having great results, whether it’s writing or working.

And that is my anxiety too, the desire of focusing on developing the soil has to be countered by commitments of working on my initiatives.

But with the gardening picture, it becomes very clear to me. My long term goal is to learn, evolve and have better thinking, which is akin to the soil that support flowers. But my goal for next one year is to grow some of my initiatives, which is like growing more flowers in my garden. I want these initiatives that I’m working on, to bloom with beautiful colors.

And to do that, taking care of the flowers, watering, weeding, and (maybe stealing) more flowers from neighbour or somewhere, will be important.

The soil is important, always. But I need to be happy with just maintaining a healthy level of nutrition, not to focus too much energy on the soil.

Focus on the flowers.

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portrait_Yolanda Yu_YL_r

Yolanda Yu

  • 𝗣𝗖𝗖 ICF Certified Executive Coach
  • 𝗣𝗲𝗮𝗸𝗣𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲ᵀᴹ Career Coach
  • Ex-Visa Ex-Alibaba business leader
  • 🐧Penguin Author
  • Ex-Headhunter