Plant (Metaphorical) Seeds Every Single Day

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island, my favorite fiction book. It’s the famous swashbuckling pirate tale, that made famous names like Long John Silver. Little did I know, he apparently had some good nonfiction quotes, including the golden one above. You should plant seeds every single day to reap later.

When you evaluate your day, or your life, it’s tempting to look at what you received. How much money you made, how many tasks you completed, or how much progress you made. Far more important than any of those things, however, is how many seeds you planted. No, not literal seeds, unless you are trying to grow trees. Metaphorical seeds.

Live in the Present and Prepare for the Future

I think the ideas of “seize the day” and “live in the present” are often misconstrued to mean “be reckless because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.” It’s true that nobody knows when their life will end and it could be tomorrow. But what benefit is it to focus on your potential death? It’s only by focusing on your life today and in the future that you can improve it.

To live in the present moment I think means to pay attention to your senses. Feel the wind, your breath, your heart beating, the taste of food, and the emotions of life. But as for your decisions, living in the present actually means planting seeds to be harvested in the future. I know that sounds backwards, but remember that you can enjoy planting seeds! 

If you plant seeds every single day, you will always have something to harvest.

On the contrary, if you overharvest something, you threaten its very existence. Certain species of animals—they go extinct when we remove them faster than their population can replace. The same concept applies to our lives. If you harvest more than you plant, you will run out of things to harvest!

What is Harvesting in Life?

Sorry, but we can’t speak in metaphors forever. What does it mean to plant seeds and to harvest? Let’s start with harvesting, which is basically “spending” various things without future harvest potential. The big three are…

A night of heavy drinking is harvesting of your health. If you’re healthy, you can likely afford it, but it’s going to hurt your health more than it helps. And if you’re hungover the next day, it can cost you time as well.

When you spend money on your dream vacation, you harvest the seeds of work you planted earlier.

When you take a day off or go on vacation, you harvest time that you’ve hopefully earned from work.

Importantly, you can also spend time and money as a way to invest or plant seeds. But when you harvest, you do it without an expected return.


The best part about planting seeds every single day, or investing in yourself and your future, is you have a constant supply of things to harvest—time, money, good habits, and good health. It makes for a better life!

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