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Story: The Power Of Habits Revealed – A Story Of An Old Teacher, A Young Pupil, And A Walk In The Woods

how habits form, stories about power of habits

I heard an interesting story that illustrates the power of habits…

“An elderly teacher took a walk through a forest with his pupil by his side. Suddenly he stopped, because he saw an opportunity to teach an important lesson.

He pointed to four plants that were nearby.

The first plant was just beginning to pop through the soil.

The second plant had rooted itself pretty well into the earth.

The third was further along. It was already a small shrub.

And the fourth plant had grown into a full-sized tree.


The teacher turned to his pupil and said, “Please go and pull up the first plant.”

The young pupil was excited to hear a command that actually encouraged destruction, so he eagerly pull up the first plant. It was such an easy task he only need to use his fingers. 

The teacher gave another command, “Now go and pull up the second.”

The youth pupil excitedly obeyed again, but this time it was a little more difficult than the first one.

The teacher commanded the pupil again saying, “Do the same thing to the third plant, the shrub.”

The boy had to use all his strength to uproot it, but he was finally able to do it.


Now,” said the teacher finally said, “see if you can pull up the fourth plant.”

The pupil put his arms around the trunk of the tall tree and tried as much as he could to pull it out, but it was useless. He couldn’t even shake its leaves. 

The teacher finally explained why he had asked the pupil to uproot those four plants.

He said to the pupil, “This, my son, is the same thing that happens with our bad habits. When they’re are young, we can easily uproot them. But later when they are older, it’s hard to uproot them – even though we pray and struggle ever so sincerely.”


As a small business you have habits that you have allowed to grow in your life. 

Some are positive habits and some are negative ones.

Some are just sprouts and some are full grown and rooted deeply.


2 Questions:

  • What habits do you need to start today?
  • What habits do you need to end today before they become too difficult to remove from your life?


Photo by USFS Region

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About Scott Aughtmon (1872 Articles)
I’m author of the book 51 Content Marketing Hacks. I am also a regular contributor to and I am the person behind the popular infographic 21 Types of Content We Crave. I’m a business strategist, consultant, content creation specialist, and speaker. I’ve been studying effective marketing and business methods (both online and offline) since 1999. ===> If you would like to see ways that we could work together, then please click here to learn more.