For three years I have been trying to attract butterflies to my butterfly garden. This summer will be my fourth year.

In the first year I saw one. In the second year, I saw four. In the third year, I just about gave up on it, but by the end of summer I tallied 10. Word of mouth advertising among butterflies must be working. Word must be getting out there in butterfly world since more are visiting each year. I look forward to this summer when many more may come.

What is it that is attracting butterflies to my garden?  Is it me?  Of course not. It is beautiful, colored flowers. Once word gets out among the butterflies that I have plenty of colored flowers, they ought to come in massive numbers…I hope. But what created those flowers?  Seeds, of course.

It is the same thing that grows huge trees to permit people to harvest those trees and convert it into lumber for massive, great homes. It is the same thing that grows into 100-foot tall trees with a girth about the size of two driveways.  It’s the seed. At the heart of greatness is a “seed” that starts it all.

In business, in research, in tracing history, in just about every endeavor, if one takes the time to peel away the layers, peel back the research, dig around for the seed, one can almost always find it. Nothing is more useful and more beautiful than that item of originality, the seed that started it.

James Allen was at the forefront of what amounted to a massive industry worth multi-millions of dollars of books sold on the topic of personal achievement and of positive thinking. His original, (seed), work, titled, “As a Man Thinketh”,  was tiny, but powerful; small, but motivating. It was originally published in 1903 and remains a MUST READ for everyone who hopes to succeed in any activity.  Later, hundreds of variations played off that seminal work. The market that developed from Allen’s ideas and philosophies grew into a plethora of writers claiming to teach people the hidden secrets to success, richness, and a variety of other topics which were first contained in Allen’s small text.

I mention Allen’s original work and the massive opportunity for motivational and self-help books that sprang from it as an example of how people copy success and how simple ideas can be buried in complexity and confusion, partly to hide the original source, the seed, and partly because people have a tendency to overly complicate both communications and plans.

You can “clear the air”, and “cut through the smoke and mirrors”, in many instances, to allow yourself to progress much farther and faster if you can discover and clearly understand the “seed of the matter”.  What’s the root cause?  Where did the problem originate?  What is it, specifically, that the boss wants?  Who are the troublemakers? What is clearly the singular, over-riding objective or output and result required?

Often, the seed is something very simple. Some point of origination, or even some endpoint, that, if understood well, provides you with great clarity for appropriate or more effective strategies and tactics. Every thought, every plan, and especially every problem has, at its core, at its inception, a seed of thought, or an original action, that if uncovered and understood well can accelerate your achievements. Look for and study the SEED, the “heart of the matter”.  Once discovered, take the time to understand it well.

Within the seed lies your best opportunities.