July 9, 2022

Japanese Maple

Have you ever seen a Japanese Maple?

If not, I can tell you that they are absolutely beautiful ornamental trees.

Like most trees, Japanese maples prefer to stay put, and therefore, strenuously resist any attempt to move them.

I can attest to this fact first-hand.

This week, my wife requested that I move our Japanese maple approximately three feet north of the spot where it had been chilling quietly for the past five years.

Neither the tree nor I were particularly enthused about this prospect, but we both soldered on undaunted as one does when orders come down from the top.

After forty-ish minutes of exhausting yet clumsy shovel work, our Japanese maple was sitting pretty in its new sunnier uptown location.

I, on the other hand, was suffering from blisters, drenched in sweat, and covered with bug bites.

(I say “covered” in bug bites but that’s an exaggeration. In reality, they were mostly limited to just my face.)

Okay, so why am I telling you this?

Here’s the thing...

Moving that Japanese maple was by far the hardest thing I did all week. Heck, maybe all year.

It was painful, laborious, borderline humiliating, and just generally distasteful.

And what was all that effort worth financially?

Obviously, I wasn’t going to get paid for moving my own tree, but my landscapers probably would have done it for about $20 bucks.

In contrast, I made thousands of dollars this week sending helpful messages that I love writing to people I like from the air conditioned comfort of my home office.

What’s the moral of the story?

Just because something is hard doesn’t make it valuable.

(In fact, I would argue that it’s often the opposite.)

If you believe what you do has to be hard for it to be valuable, then you are doomed to a life of eternal toil where you barely scrape by each month.

Fortunately, you can change this belief at any time.