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Everyone Should Not Miss These 15 Life Lessons Plants Teach Us

Everyone Should Not Miss These 15 Life Lessons Plants Teach Us

Plants have always provided fertile ground for humans to learn some of the most important lessons in life from. Living organisms who are driven to exist entirely by nature’s rules do not have to deal with the mixed blessing of ‘choice’ that humans are given on a daily basis. Instead, plants are driven to exist and survive by a choice-less instinctive force and it is from this force that we can learn these important life lessons.

1. Plants don’t set limits for how big they can grow, they grow as much as they can

Holding on to limiting beliefs is one of the greatest destroyers of human potential. The beliefs that we hold in our minds about what we can and cannot do, and what we are and are not capable of, place restrictions on what we will achieve in reality. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford.

Oak Life Lesson the greatest oak skinnymom pintrest
    Grow as much as you can

    2. Their Struggle for existence becomes their Strength

    Trees in particular demonstrate that struggle equals strength. When they find themselves out on their own, directly exposed to the wind and weather, they respond by growing thicker roots and trunks. This makes them stronger and more stable than those that are protected from the storms and harsh weather.

    the struggle Danielle Deneve pintrest
      Turn Your Struggles into Strength

      3. They Take only what they need to Thrive

      Plants don’t needlessly suck all the resources out of the soil in which they are planted. They take out only what they need to grow, survive and thrive.

      4. They turn to face the sun

      Despite everything else in nature that may be going on around them, when plants get down to their primary business of growth, they turn to face the life giving force of the sunshine. They soak up it’s rays and turn it into energy to help them become a better, healthier plants. They do not spend their time focused on the weeds and predators around them.

      Sunflower detail isolated on white background
        Choose to face the sunshine

         

        5. They adapt to the changing Seasons

        One of the greatest lessons we can learn from plants is their ability to adapt to each of the seasons. They have figured out that the seasons are going to come around every year each with their peculiar challenges. So in order for them to continue to thrive throughout their life, in spite of these challenges, they are prepared to adapt to accommodate them. This means

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        – Being frugal with resources during the harshness of winter
        – Being ready to go to work and take advantage of the opportunity for new growth in the spring
        – Making and storing food during the long hours of summer sunlight; and
        – Expecting and preparing for winter each autumn by shedding their leaves which would take up unnecessary resources

        the-Seasons
          Learn to adapt to the seasons of life

          6. They neutralize pollutants

          Having plants around your home can act as a natural air purifier. This is because the process they rely on for survival, photosynthesis, requires that they absorb carbon dioxide through pores in their leaves. However research has now shown that they are also useful for absorbing other common pollutants responsible for many modern respiratory ailments. Some of the plants found to be most useful in removing pollutants include Japanese Royal Ferns, Boston Ferns, English Ivy, Aloe Vera, and Peace Lilies*.

          Perhaps when life’s pollutants show up in our lives in the form of gossip, negativity and time wasting we can make a habit of, not necessarily absorbing it, but by responding in a way that neutralizes it’s existence.

          7. They don’t let their surrounding circumstances define them

          Plants are always on a mission. Their mission is to thrive and grow as much as they can regardless of where the seed of life has planted them. They will not let the fact that they happen to find themselves in a shady spot thwart their need for sunlight – they will climb the trunks of trees to reach the light. They will not accept the fact that their doesn’t appear to be enough water available for them to survive – they will grow their roots down deeper to find it or find a way to store it in their leaves until needed. They will not give in to predators, instead coming up with defenses that keep them protected and ensure their survival.

          The life lesson here is that we too should not let the circumstances in which we find ourselves be a reason for not doing our very best to strive to reach our potential.

          green shoot out of rocks Lori Helmick pintrest
            Your circumstances don’t determine your potential

            8. They are not afraid to shine

            Because of their focus on thriving to the best of their ability, plants do not suffer from the hang ups that humans do about how their growth, their blooming and their individuality shows up to other people. Their refreshing lack of self awareness means that for them, striving to be their best is an unrestrained absolute, a given that is a life lesson to all of us.

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            who am i to be brilliant

              9. They are focused on fulfilling their potential

              Closely related to the above life lesson, plants do not look to the tree, flower or green shoot to their left or to their right and think, “How am I doing in comparison to them?”  Instead, they focus on what they need to do to ensure their own survival, their own growth, what they need to do to flourish and thrive. And in so doing, they focus on fulfilling their own potential.

              wildfower pintrest
                Don’t be afraid to shine!

                10. They create something of value for others

                By their very existence, plants are constantly providing a benefit in one way or another for someone or something else. The endless benefits of plants would be difficult to list but nutrition, shelter, and the air purification that we looked at in life lesson 6 are good places to start.

                The calming beauty of plants, medicinal value, and their role in keeping the earths ecosystem in balance are other benefits that we can be grateful to plants for.

                In learning this life lesson we can be prompted to ask ourselves, “What value am I bringing to others and the world around me?”

                tall tree
                  Focus on Fulfilling YOUR Potential

                  11. They are content to just be themselves

                  Plants don’t require another plant’s – or anyone else’s for that matter – validation to be who they are. They are content with the purpose that they have been given and diligently go about fulfilling that purpose to the best of their ability.

                  While we as humans do have the challenge of first identifying what our purpose is, there are ways to go about this, and once identified, the life lesson is to be bold in our execution of that purpose, content in the knowledge that like a plant, we are blooming just as we should be.

                  Bloom quote
                    Be Yourself

                    12. They give out more value than they use up

                    As we saw in life lesson 10, plants create value for others. But interestingly, they do this even when it comes to resources that they themselves need to survive. Take oxygen. Plants produce approximately ten times more oxygen during the day than  they consume at night**. And they only use one percent of the water they absorb, releasing the rest back into the atmosphere as purified water.***

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                    With mounting concerns over the mass production of waste, and the dwindling levels of some of the earths natural resources, this is a life lesson that the human race should be paying close attention to.

                    13. They are Persistent

                    Plants are persistent. The best examples of this are the plants you try to get rid of. They just won’t go away right? They keep coming right back at you despite all attempts to thwart their growth. Laying a patio or some decking? Plants will find a way up through the gaps regardless of your efforts to prevent their presence.  Trying to keep your flower bed free from weeds? Those little guys will not go away. They will assert their right to thrive in the face of whatever onslaught the most avid gardener throws at them.

                    The life lesson? Don’t let other people’s attempts to put you off or put you down affect you. Keep getting back up to show them you mean business.

                    14. They need just a few simple things to be their best

                    Despite their massively valuable contributions to life on earth, plants don’t ask for much in return and have a very short simple list of things that they need in order to thrive:

                    – Sunlight
                    – Water
                    – Air
                    – Nutrients from the soil

                    In reality, humans need only a relatively simple list of things to thrive as well but we sometimes over-complicate things by adding endless ‘essentials’ that we ‘must have’ in order to be happy or successful. How could you simplify your list?

                    there is always a way kickstarter.com pintrest
                      If you are persistent there is always a way

                      15. They build up their defences

                      Plants have developed the ability to repel and defend against the host of herbivores that might seek to eat them. This includes

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                      – Reducing their digestibility if eaten.
                      – Producing toxins that kill or repel herbivores.
                      – Attracting the natural enemies of their would be attackers.^

                      The life lesson here is to be aware of where attacks against your own growth might come from. Be ready to defend against these attacks whilst protecting your right to thrive and fulfill your purpose.

                      One of the best ways to do this is to ensure that you are not attractive to the people or things that could limit your growth.

                      Sunflower Brandon Hirt Photo Etsy
                        Use what you have to become Your Best

                        *Livescience.com

                        **ScienceLine

                        ***http://www.ucar.edu/learn/1_4_2_18t.htm

                        ^ Science Daily

                        Featured photo credit: smblake via pixabay.com

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                        Last Updated on July 3, 2020

                        30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                        30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

                        In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

                        1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

                        Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

                        2. Focus on your breath

                        Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

                        3. Get organized and purge old items

                        A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

                        4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

                        Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

                        5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

                        Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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                        6. Smile more

                        Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

                        7. Don’t worry about the future

                        As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

                        8. Eat real food

                        The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

                        9. Choose being happy over being right

                        Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

                        10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

                        Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

                        11. Make use of filtering features on social media

                        You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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                        12. Get comfortable with silence

                        When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

                        13. Listen to understand, not to respond

                        So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

                        14. Put your troubles in a bubble

                        Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

                        15. Speak more slowly

                        Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

                        16. Don’t procrastinate

                        Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

                        17. Buy a coloring book

                        Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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                        18. Prioritize yourself

                        You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

                        19. Forgive others

                        Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

                        20. Check your expectations

                        Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

                        21. Engage in active play

                        Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

                        22. Stop criticizing yourself

                        The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

                        23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

                        Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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                        24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

                        Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

                        25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

                        Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

                        26. Manage your money

                        Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

                        27. Stop trying to control everything

                        Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

                        28. Practice affirmations

                        Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

                        29. Get up before sunrise

                        Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

                        30. Be yourself

                        Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

                        Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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