Talent Development Centre

The Troubles Tree – A Parable

Kevin Dee By Kevin Dee,
CEO at Eagle

This post first appeared on Eagle’s CEO Blog on July 13th, 2012

I thought I would try something a little different with today’s blog … and would like to give credit to the website Parablesite.com for this story.

The Troubles Tree - A ParableA carpenter was having a tough day. It started with a flat tire that cost him an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pickup truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stoney silence. On arriving, he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked toward the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. After opening the door, he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles and he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss. Afterward, he walked me to my car. We passed the tree, and my curiosity got the better of me. I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier. “Oh, that’s my trouble tree,” he replied. “I know I can’t help having troubles on the job, but one thing for sure, troubles don’t belong in the house with my wife and the children. So I just hang them up on the tree every night when I come home. Then in the morning, I pick them up again.” “Funny thing is,” he smiled, “when I come out in the morning to pick them up, there aren’t nearly as many as I remember hanging up the night before.”

Growing up I was educated in Catholic schools and often they used parables to make a point …so they are certainly not a new invention, and perhaps not even trendy.  For some people they may even seem a little “hokey”.

The interesting thing about how people learn is that we are all a little different and different styles of learning will work for different people.  If the visualisation of a parable can help to drive home a point then it seems like it could be a good tool!

This parable has a number of messages … all of which you have heard before:

  1. The extent of your “problems” is largely governed by your attitude.  (Its mostly in your head)!
  2. You can let problems overwhelm you or you can actively “put them in their place”.
  3. It is possible to have a great home life, even if things at work are not going so well … and vice-versa.  When you let one overwhelm the other then you are really just making it all worse.
  4. Very often what seems like a big problem doesn’t seem nearly so bad later.
  5. Remember what is most important to you and protect that … .you really don’t want your family to remember you as “the grouch”.

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