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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 August 19, 2019

                        How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                        How to Be True to Yourself and Live the Life You Want

                        We live in a world that constantly tells us what to do, how to act, what to be. Knowing how to be true to yourself and live the life you want can be a challenge.

                        When someone asks how we are, we assume that the person does not mean the question sincerely, for it would lead to an in depth conversation. So telling them that you are good or fine, even if you’re not, is the usual answer.

                        In an ideal world, we would stop and truly listen. We wouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves. Instead, when we answer about how we are doing, our mask, the persona we show the world, tightens. Sometimes even more so than it might have been before. Eventually, it becomes hard to take off, even when you’re alone.

                        Imagine a world where we asked how someone was doing and they really told us. Imagine a world where there were no masks, only transparency when we talked to one another.

                        If you want to live in a world that celebrates who you are, mistakes and all, take off the mask. It doesn’t mean you have to be positive or fine all the time.

                        According to a Danish psychologist, Svend Brinkman, we expect each other to be happy and fine every second, and we expect it of ourselves. And that “has a dark side.”[1] Positive psychology can have its perks but not at the expense at hiding how you truly feel in order to remain seemingly positive to others.

                        No one can feel positive all the time and yet, that is what our culture teaches us to embrace. We have to unlearn this. That said, telling others you are ‘“fine”’ all the time is actually detrimental to your wellbeing, because it stops you from being assertive, from being authentic or your truest self.

                        When you acknowledge a feeling, it leads you to the problem that’s causing that feeling; and once you identify the problem, you can find a solution to it. When you hide that feeling, you stuff it way down so no one can help you.You can’t even help yourself.

                        Feelings are there for one reason: to be felt. That doesn’t mean you have to act on that feeling. It just means that you start the process of problem solving so you can live the life you want.

                        1. Embrace Your Vulnerability

                        When you are your true self, you can better self-advocate or stand up for what you need. Your self-expression matters, and you should value your voice. It’s okay to need things, it’s okay to speak up, and it’s okay not to be okay.

                        Telling someone you are simply “fine” when you are not, does your story and your journey a great disservice. Being true to yourself entails embracing all aspects of your existence.

                        When you bring your whole self to the table, there is nothing that you can’t beat. Here’re 7 benefits of being vulnerable you should learn.

                        Can you take off the mask? This is the toughest thing anyone can do. We have learned to wait until we are safe before we start to be authentic.

                        In relationships especially, this can be hard. Some people avoid vulnerability at any cost. And in our relationship with ourselves, we can look in the mirror and immediately put on the mask.

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                        It all starts with your story. You have been on your own unique journey. That journey has led you here, to the person you are today. You have to be unafraid, and embrace all aspects of that journey.

                        You should seek to thrive, not just survive. That means you do not have to compete or compare yourself with anyone.

                        Authenticity means you are enough. It’s enough to be who you are to get what you want.

                        What if for the first time ever, you were real? What if you said what you wanted to say, did what you wanted to do, and didn’t apologize for it?

                        You were assertive, forthcoming in your opinions or actions to stand for what is right for you, (rather than being passive or aggressive) in doing so. You didn’t let things get to you. You knew you had something special to offer.

                        That’s where we all should be.

                        So, answer me this:

                        How are you, really?

                        And know that no matter the answer, you should still be accepted.

                        Bravery is in the understanding that you still may not be accepted for your truth.

                        Bravery is knowing you matter even when others say that you do not.

                        Bravery is believing in yourself when all evidence counters doing so (i.e. past failures or losses)

                        Bravery is in being vulnerable while knowing vulnerability is a sign of strength.

                        It’s taking control.

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                        2. Choose Your Attitude in Adversity

                        You can take control of your destiny and live the life you want by being true to yourself. You can start anytime. You can start today.

                        You can start with one day at a time, just facing what happens that day. Most of us get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of a big change. Even if the only thing we change is our attitude.

                        In one instant, you can become a different person with a change of attitude. When you take control of your attitude, you become able to better understand what is around you. This allows you to move forward.

                        Originally, you may have had a life plan. It could have started when you were little; you were hoping to become a mermaid, doctor, astronaut or all three when you grew up. You were hoping to be someone. You were hoping to be remembered.

                        You can still dream those dreams, but eventually reality sets in. Obstacles and struggles arise. You set on a different path when the last one didn’t work out. You think of all the “shoulds” in your life in living the life you want. You should be doing this…should be doing that…

                        Clayton Barbeau, psychologist, coined the term “shoulding yourself.’[2] When we are set on one path and find ourselves doing something different. It becomes all the things you should be doing rather than seeing the opportunities right in front of you.

                        But in all this disarray, did you lose sight of the real you?

                        It may be in our perceived failures and blunders that we lose sight of who we are, because we try to maintain position and status.

                        In being who we really are and achieving what we really want, we need to be resilient: How to Build Resilience to Face What Life Throws at You

                        It means that we do not see all possibilities of what might happen, but must trust ourselves to begin again, and continue to build the life we want. In the face of adversity, you must choose your attitude.

                        Can attitude overcome adversity? It certainly helps. While seeking to be true to yourself and live the life you want, you will have to face a fact:

                        Change will happen.

                        Whether that change is good or bad is unique to each person and their perspective.

                        You might have to start over, once, twice, a few times. It doesn’t mean that everything will be okay, but that you will be okay. What remains or should remain is the true you. When you’ve lost sight of that, you’ve lost sight of everything.

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                        And then, you rebuild. Moment after moment, day after day. We all have a choice, and in this moment, that matters.

                        You can choose to have a positive attitude, seeing the silver lining in each situation and, where there is none, the potential for one. Maybe that silver lining is you and what you will do with the situation. How will you use it for something good?

                        That’s how you can tap into yourself and your power. Sometimes it happens by accident, sometimes on purpose. It can happen when we aren’t even looking for it, or it can be your only focus. Everyone gets there differently.

                        You can rise, or you can remain. Your choice.

                        When the worst happens, you can rely on your authenticity to pull you through. That’s because Self Advocacy, speaking up to let others know what you need, is part of finding the real you.

                        There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Or sometimes, helping others can help us deal with the pain of a hurtful situation. You decide how you’re going to help others, and suddenly, you become your best self.

                        3. Do What Makes You Happy When No One’s Looking

                        Being the best version of you has nothing to do with your success or your status. It has everything to do with your Character, what you do when no one’s looking.

                        In order to create the life you want, you have to be the person you want to be. Faking it till you make it is just a way to white knuckle it through your journey. You have the fire inside of you to make things right, to put the pieces together, to live authentically. And Character is how you get there.

                        If you fall down and you help another up while you’re down there, it’s like you rise twice.

                        Along with attitude, your character is about the choices you make rather than what happens to you.

                        Yes, it’s about doing the right thing even when obstacles seem insurmountable.  It’s about using that mountain you’ve been given to show others it can be moved.  It’s about being unapologetically you, taking control, choosing your attitude in adversity and being the best version of you to create the life you want.

                        How do you know what you really want? Is it truly status or success?

                        Unfortunately, these things do not always bring happiness. And aspects of our image or “performance driven existence” may not achieve satisfaction. Materialism is part of our refusal to accept ourselves as enough. All the things we use to repress our true selves are about being enough.

                        “Enoughness” is what we truly seek, but ego gets in the way.

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                        Ego is the perception of self as outer worth. It’s not REAL self worth.

                        Ego represses our true self with a new self— the self of chasing ‘“Am I ever enough?”’ questions. And instead of filling our true selves with self-love and acceptance, when we “should ourselves” and chase “enoughness,” we feed the ego or our image.

                        It’s important to realize YOU ARE ENOUGH, without all the material trappings.

                        Stanford psychologist Meagan O’Reilly describes the damage of not thinking we are enough. One of her tactics for combating this is to complete the sentence,[3]

                        “If I believed I were already enough, I’d ____”

                        What would you do if you felt you were enough?

                        By believing you are enough, you can live the life you want.

                        So many fake it to try to get there, and they end up losing themselves when they lose more and more touch with their Authenticity.

                        Final Thoughts

                        By being yourself, you are being brave. By acknowledging all you can be, you tell the universe that you can until you believe it too. The steps are easy, and you are worth it. All of it is about the purpose you are leading and the passion that is your fuel.

                        Being true to yourself is all about mastering how to live life authentically rather than faking or forcing it. Having the life you want (and deserve) is about being trusting in yourself and the purpose you are living for. Both need passion behind it, fueling it each second, or you will experience burn out.

                        When you are authentic, you can call the road you walk your own. When you live your life for you and not just the results of all your actions (faking it till you make it), you can let go of what you don’t need. This clarifies and pushes purpose to you, living for something that is greater than you.

                        You will find that making decisions based on what will actually achieve your goals, will help you attain the life you want, and your success with each step, will allow you to enjoy the process. Good luck!

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                        Featured photo credit: Ariana Prestes via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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