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Learning To Water The Boomer Bamboo

Greg Bell via

Greg Bell via

Baby Boomers experience more enlightenment, and non-enlightenment, than any other slice of American pie.

They didn’t invent religion or spiritualism. Boomers just think they improved on the one size fits all choice.

The only problem was discovering one that fit them. They’ve seen more than a few.

Did a friend ever show up as a Moonie in the Unification Church since you last saw them?

Did a date take you to take an est seminar to cement the relationship?

Have you passed scientology’s personality test?

If you’re looking for something more, why not water your bamboo?

Greg Bell is the author of Water The Bamboo. He’s considered a ‘thought leader.’ (You’re a thought leader for reading about Greg Bell on boomerpdx.)

Do you cringe when two words, thought and leader, come together? If so, relax. This isn’t about tinkering with your definitions.

You know what a leader is? They give a broad over-view of what you need to accomplish; they show you how to set and accomplish goals; they role model.

They are authentic.

Mr. Bell learned from his grandfather, a Texas farmer. Is that authentic enough?

It’s hard to imagine how difficult those lessons must have been, but they included college. Greg Bell graduated from the University of Oregon. He lives in Portland, OR.

The lesson to learn? Move to Oregon.

One of the smartest people I know introduced me to Water The Bamboo. He knows everything about growing plants in a great yard. When he said water the bamboo, I heard a farmer talking about a new crop.

He straightened me out with this: “You water the bamboo even when it doesn’t seem like it’s growing. Year after year you water. In the fourth year the bamboo takes hold and shoots up at an incredible rate.”

The lesson to learn? Lay the groundwork for success even when it seems fruitless.



If thought leader Greg Bell learned this from his grandpa’s Texas farm, and it stayed with him, then he’s earned NW Boomer’s metaphoric salute.

As sweet as the idea of watering bamboo is, Mr. Bell takes it further. From book, to website, to classes, to Water The Bamboo University, he’s got the online business model covered. His effort to create an online empire of hope succeeds. It’s uplifting.

Any doubt about his ability to reach out beyond the computer screen comes from his public speaking schedule. The man is busy. People show up to hear him. Time Magazine columnist Joel Stein tried to mobilize his million man followers to participate in a civic exercise. One person showed up.

I did the same with similar results.

Greg Bell is better than that. He wants you to engage, and you should. Here’s your chance.


Top ten reasons you should sign up for the Engaged Leadership Summit in Portland or Eugene:

10. Take a retreat so you can advance!

9. You’ll leave feeling energized and recharged.

8. You’ll be inspired.  Just like food, you need a little bit of inspiration every day.

7. The October 1st Portland Summit is almost sold out! (If it is when you try, consider a carpool to the October 30th Eugene Summit!)

6. It’s guaranteed to be fun and inspiring.

5. Great takeaways are in store, including a signed copy of Water The Bamboo®: Unleashing The Potential Of Teams And Individuals, and a customized program guidebook.

4. Because unlike Allen Iverson, you believe in practice. You know there’s always room to improve as a leader.

3. It’s a great networking opportunity. You’ll meet leaders from all over the region across various industries.

2. Personal and Professional Development.

1. Your registration provides the opportunity for a local youth participating in AVID to attend the afternoon seminar.


What if:

  1. You treated your ideas like a baby?
  2. You believed you were a miracle?
  3. You believed in others?
  4. You were more optimistic?
  5. You showed up every day like it was your first?
  6. You never interrupted?
  7. You never let negativity get to you?
  8. You did not let your past dictate your future?
  9. You learned to be content with who you are?
  10. You were more courageous?

Greg Bell knows where to find the Big Time. It’s right where he is at any given moment. That’s your Big Time, too. Right where you are.


Seven Practical Ideas for Building Self-Discipline:

  1. Welcome and recognize your own responsibility. It’s up to you to take responsibility for your own self-discipline. No one can do it for you.
  2. Remember you’ve done it before. Recall a time or situation where you demonstrated self-discipline, and where it got you.
  3. Expect temptation, but don’t be diverted by it. Pressure to take an easier route or be distracted by another pleasure is inevitable. When approached with a tempting invitation, ask yourself,     “Does this support my bamboo vision?” If not, get back to watering.
  4. Relax. Some think self-discipline has to be tense and strenuous. There is nothing further from the truth. Relax and stay mindful of how you use your time and energy.
  5. Take action one bucket at a time. Enjoy the feeling of putting in the effort of discipline.
  6. Sharpen your focus. Practice focusing on the sense of accomplishment you will feel once you reach your goal. A person or group with a burning desire is unstoppable.
  7. Prepare to succeed. Get yourself organized. Make a plan and create a Bamboo Circle to help you stay on track.

Are you watering your bamboo, or does Greg Bell intimidate you a little? You didn’t grow up in Texas, play D1 basketball at the University of Oregon, or get a law degree?

Take your own inventory. Use what you’ve got right where you are. Apply what works to where you’re going in life.

Hope is a primetime commodity. It’s free, but you have to learn how to find it.

Show you’re a life long learner, Boomer. Leave a comment before class.



About David Gillaspie
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