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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 September 18, 2020

                        13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                        13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                        For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                        “We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

                        “It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

                        Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

                        You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

                        Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

                        1. Take a step back and evaluate

                        When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

                        1. What is the problem?
                        2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
                        3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
                        4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
                        5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

                        Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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                        2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

                        If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

                        At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

                        Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

                        3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

                        Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

                        4. Process your thoughts/emotions

                        Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

                        1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
                        2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
                        3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
                        4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

                        5. Acknowledge your thoughts

                        Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

                        By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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                        Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

                        6. Give yourself a break

                        If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

                        7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

                        A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

                        Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

                        After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

                        8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

                        As Helen Keller once said,

                        “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

                        Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

                        9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

                        In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

                        1. What’s the situation?
                        2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
                        3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
                        4. Take action on your next steps!

                        After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

                        10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

                        A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

                        Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

                        For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

                        11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

                        No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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                        12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

                        No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

                        13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

                        There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

                        After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

                        Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

                        Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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