The Daffodil Principle

The Daffodil Principle

(Dear readers, I read something highly motivating, so I would like to share it with you.) 

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, “Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over.” I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead “I will come next Tuesday”, I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn’s house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.

“Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!”

My daughter smiled calmly and said, “We drive in this all the time, Mother.” “Well, you won’t get me back on the road until it clears, and then I’m heading for home!” I assured her.

“But first we’re going to see the daffodils. It’s just a few blocks,” Carolyn said. “I’ll drive. I’m used to this.”

“Carolyn,” I said sternly, “please turn around.” “It’s all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this experience.”

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, “Daffodil Garden.” We got out of the car, each took a child’s hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight….        


It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow.
Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers. “Who did this?” I asked Carolyn. “Just one woman,” Carolyn answered. “She lives on the property. That’s her home.” Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. “Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking”, was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. “50,000 bulbs,” it read. The second answer was, “One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain.” The third answer was, “Began in 1958.”For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration. 


That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time–often just one baby-step at time–and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world …It makes me sad in a way,” I admitted to Carolyn. “What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it ‘one bulb at a time’ through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!”


My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. “Start tomorrow,” she said.


She was right. It’s so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, “How can I put this to use today?”


Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting…..


Until your car or home is paid off


Until you get a new car or home


Until your kids leave the house


Until you go back to school


Until you finish school


Until you clean the house


Until you organize the garage


Until you clean off your desk


Until you lose 10 kgs.


Until you gain 10 kgs.


Until you get married


Until you get a divorce


Until you have kids


Until the kids go to school


Until you retire


Until summer


Until spring


Until winter


Until fall


Until you die…There is no better time than right now to be happy.


Happiness is a journey, not a destination. So work like you don’t need money.


Love like you’ve never been hurt, and, dance



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8 Responses to The Daffodil Principle

  1. V V B Ramarao says:

    Following the daffodil principle right from the moment on has read it and digested it. would make all the difference that one may wish for. copy-book maxims cannot work the wonders that real life stories or experiences can. let’s be inspired to start planting bulbs. thanks broca ji

    vvbramarao, noida
    May 5, 2010

  2. t s chandra mouli says:

    Great motivation Jatinder saab. Only one bulb a day will do. Regards.

    T.S.Chandra Mouli, Hyderabad.
    May 5, 2010

  3. g s p rao says:

    Jeetu, the narration strongly presents a case for ready action without any procastination, and to make steady progress in small steps and remain focussed. Thanks for sharing. There are several motivational messages doing the rounds on the net.

    G S P Rao, Hyderabad
    May 5, 2010

  4. jasneet kaur says:

    This principle if applied then would pave a way for bliss in our lives.

    Jasneet Kaur, New Delhi
    May 6, 2010

  5. Tyra Diveley says:

    There is visibly a lot to know about this. I believe you made some good points in features also.

  6. nilouffer says:

    Jatinder, do you remember the Daffodils by Wordsworth we did in school? It really reminded me specially the last verse -” For oft wn on my couch I lie, in vacant or in pensive mood,they flash upon that inward eye, which is the bliss of solitude, and then my heart with pleasure fills and dances with the Daffodils.” Dancing daffodils – happiness; And the thought of building your goal one step at a time -“One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.” BEAUTIFUL.

  7. King Lin says:

    I have the same view with most of what you wrote. I bet some people will not agree with you. Overall, fantastic post.

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