My houseplants taught me a valuable lesson. What’s the key to being a successful houseplant-parent?

Is persistence the key to successfully raising houseplants? That sounds busy. Nobody has enough persistence in their tank after work, family, and other life passions to be using it on servicing houseplants.

Besides, if you lack persistence, and miss a watering cycle, most indoor plants can still survive if the conditions are right — temperature, sunlight, etc.

Maybe it’s preparation, then.

If you put the plant in good conditions from the start…

But even if you prepare improperly, with little to no organic material in your soil, or let’s say the plant gets 2 hours of sunlight too few than it really should because of where you placed it, it can still survive. 

Well, what about expertise then?

Average preparation. Average persistence. But a vast and well-read knowledge of successful houseplanting practices? That has to be it, right?

No. Wrong. I know very little. I am self taught via Youtube and Pinterest, but my plants kick ass.

Here’s what you DO NOT need to have successful houseplants.

  • Persistence
  • Preparation
  • Expertise

Ok, what the hell?

This stumped me for a good 10 minutes while I was rolling out my I.T. bands with a lacrosse ball.

Then it hit me.


It falls into the bend-but-don’t-break type of mindset. Not every task in your life needs to be a stress-filled to-do list item that requires 100% focus and attention.

Sure, I know, “how you do anything is how you do everything”, but what if the perfect way to handle houseplants was NOT to worry too much about them?

Some facets of our life have such resiliency, that all we have to do is be elastic. We can miss a watering. We can put the plant in too much shade. We can neglect it for longer than we should, but the plant will survive, so long as we don’t forget about it all together.

Some relationships are like this. Family ties are typically very strong. It’s ok if you don’t call your mom every week, she’ll understand. That said, don’t expect to ignore a friends calls for 3 years and still have the same relationship. Not everything is rigid, but almost everything does require a subtle commitment.

If we identify the areas of our life where “a little elasticity” can go a long way, we can immediately take all of those things off of our must-get-done-today lists. We all know how nice it is when we take things off that list.

Tend a few houseplants. Learn to be more elastic. Realize that your world is not going to crumble to the ground if you forget to water it one time.

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A note from the author:
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Serving you is my sincerest pleasure. Please, don’t hesitate to reach out with criticisms (be harsh), praise (not necessary), questions (answers), or just to say hello and chat (my favorite).

Love & Areté,
Jakob Gollon

I have re-written this section countless times. This is the crisis of our generation, defining one's self in an 'about me' box knowing that 95% of our peers will log that as 'who we are' without ever speaking to us, because reading the long-version is just too cumbersome for our over-crowded, busy lives. // In short: I'm a polymath with a hyperactive mind, curious about and fascinated by the complexities of, basically, everything. I'm firmly committed to living a life of "areté"—omnipresent excellence, and my mottos are 'making the best of this life' (Mt. Botl), and "Do it now or forever wish you had". // I had a 'famed' basketball stint (captaining the 2014 Mercer team that upset Duke in NCAA Tourney + winning a Nat'l Title as a coach). I quit the sports industry all-together, cold turkey, soon after. I had an existential crisis with 'glory' and 'meaning' and other challenging thoughts revolving around how many hours (90+/week) I was spending trying to 'win games'. // Since 2017, I've been in pursuit of several entrepreneurial ideas and am educating myself on a few new areas of focus. The following is a condensed list of the countless curiosities and industries that I've explored, worked in, or studied the last 3 years (of which I will need to choose 1-3 of to focus on sooner than later). Writing, Podcasting, Teaching—Adjunct College Professor, Public Speaking + Workshops, Building & Construction, Sustainable Real Estate Development—Industrial + Urban Repurposing in particular, Negotiation, Marketing—Branding/design/communications, Woodwork, Gardening, Permaculture-based farming and homesteading, Psychology, Industrial Engineering—Process Improvement + UX consulting, Project Management, Renewable Energy, & Executive Coaching for (select) clients focusing on leadership, personal brand + career development, health habits, productivity, networking, and communication skills. Yes, all of it, and since I sleep minimally, and my mind races like an ostrich all day and night, I know a fair bit about each of those topics. I have an obsession with learning. I'm always looking to connect and have conversations with folks, so, hit me up. I hope my work brings you joy, value, a challenge, or a ripe perspective. Much love, Jakob

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