The Banana Effect

by | Mar 4, 2023

Categories: Mindset
Banana Tree Growing Indoors

“Sometimes parts of us have to die so that we can begin to live again.”

– Ed Mylett

This quote captures something I’ve witnessed taking place in our home over the last 3 years. I’m calling it the “Banana Effect”.

One of the first plants we bought to decorate our new home was a small banana plant. Having watched it grow for some time now, I was hit with a realization.

It’s that none of it’s growth and new life is possible without death. Death holds the ticket for progress towards it’s long term goal and purpose. Which would be to one day grow some bananas.

How Banana Trees Grow

The new leaves it continually produces from within are only made possible by the elimination of the older leaves at the bottom. This is how the banana tree systematically continues to grow. It combines producing new life on one end with death on the other to push toward it’s objective and purpose.

This is by design. This is the only way a banana tree can grow.

Sometimes You Have to Let Go In Order To Grow

By trying to hold on to every leaf it would get stuck and lose it’s capacity to grow. It would plateau. It would never achieve the fullest potential of what it was built for. It would never get to grow the golden fruit in abundance. All because it was attempting to keep everything the same by not letting parts of itself die.

Humans too can only grow through this same process but have to make a choice in the matter.

Whether we end up serving our purpose or not often comes down to the operation of the Banana Effect in our lives. A maxed out Banana Effect tends to lead to fulfilling of purpose, pursuing passion, and a life of growth and adventure. No, or little, leveraging of the Banana Effect tends to lead to a life of discouragement, anxiety, and regret.

It comes down to a choice. One you have to make over and over.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Change

If you’re afraid of change and just trying to keep everything the same you’re making a mistake. You’re not utilizing the potential of the Banana Effect.

You have to ask yourself, “Am I going to stay comfortable and familiar or am I going to shed parts of my present self to serve my future self and who I am meant to be?”

To grow you need to do what the banana tree does. Identify and Shed Your Bottom Leaves.

What Are Your Bottom Leaves?

These are the habits that no longer serve you. An identity you’re clinging to. Your thoughts or view of yourself. Your attitude or ego. This is a job that is absolutely draining you and that you hate. This is elements of your environment that you know are holding you back. This is relationships that are interfering with your growth. This is a lack of self care and time for yourself. This is emotions like chronic worry, fear, anger, and jealousy. This is trying to stay who
you are at that expense of who you’re meant to be.

There will even be good and positive things that must be shed if you’re going to have a chance to go beyond good and into the realm of greatness. This is because good isn’t going to be enough to grow your own personal golden fruit in abundance. It’s going to take great to get there.

We all have our own bottom leaves. If we’re unwilling to identify them and design them right off our tree, we will continue to stay where we are. Continued growth will be impossible regardless of our goals.

The Simple Truth of the Banana Effect

You need to have an aim, an idea of what your personal golden fruit is, your purpose. Then shed the bottom leaves, systematically and one at a time, that are keeping you from getting there.

Only through their death will you achieve your fullest life.

Build on your top leaves by expending the bottom leaves.

Build on your current achievements by the designed death of the things holding you back.

This is the “Banana Effect” and it can change your life.

Our tree still has no golden fruit but it’s a lot closer now than it was three years ago. Through this process it’s made progress.

Stay patient. Keep growing. The world needs your bananas.

Matt Mantai, Author

Matt Mantai

Matt has been consistently strength training for over 25 years and has been a fitness professional since 2011. ARMOURY Fitness & Performance represents all he has learned in the principles of strength training, coaching, and personal development over that time. He lives to see others transform by the power of strength training, and his passion only continues to grow with each passing day. He lives in Didsbury with his wife, Fayth, and two sons, Uriah & Ezrah.

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