Counting Tree Rings is Hard

On a recent hike with my son we found a huge log with a smooth cut. My son wondered how old the tree was? Which led to a discussion about tree rings and how you can tell how old a tree is by counting the tree rings. Here’s a photo of the rings:

tree rings

Counting Tree Rings


We both looked at the rings and both decided that this was an old tree. I took this photo so that we could sit down and zoom in to count the rings.

It looks like a daunting task to count them all. What if I lose track of the count along the way? What if I can’t tell what is a ring or just a line as they get closer and closer?

The only way to count all the rings is to start counting the rings.

There will be blips along the way, you may lose your place, or can’t decipher a ring, but the only way to finish is to get started.

There is no grand prize to those that successfully count all the rings, only the achievement that you tackled something that seemed overwhelming at the beginning.

I’ve attempted to count the rings twice. This tree is over 100 years old, and I get lost after that.

Once you decide to start counting the rings, the beginning is fairly easy, the rings are wide apart and quickly things get more difficult. The rings narrow as you move outward and it is really hard to decipher what a ring is. It seemed too hard to figure out so I stopped.

Counting the rings reminded me of Seth Godin’s little book called The Dip, anything that is worth while usually encounters the dip or the tiny rings that are too hard for me to count. Somethings are worth pushing through the dip(i.e. weight loss, getting out of debt, etc) and other times counting tree rings just isn’t worth it.

Once you start there will always be resistance. Deciding to push through the resistance is up to you.