Advertising
Advertising

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

        Advertising

        – 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.

            Advertising

            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.***

                    Advertising

                    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

                      Advertising

                      – 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

                        More by this author

                        8 Ways to Ensure Your Social Enterprise Can Make Ends Meet Everyone Should Not Miss These 15 Life Lessons Plants Teach Us 7 Things Millenials can do to Beat the Quarter Life Crisis

                        Trending in Communication

                        1 Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion 2 18 Ways to Have Effective Communication in the Workplace 3 How to Make Changes in Life To Be The Very Best Version of You 4 Adapting to Change: Why It Matters and How to Do It 5 Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

                        Read Next

                        Advertising
                        Advertising
                        Advertising

                        Last Updated on February 20, 2019

                        Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion

                        Building Relationships: 11 Rules for Self-Promotion

                        It’s no secret: to get ahead, you have to promote yourself. But for most people, the thought of promoting themselves is slightly shady. Images of glad-handing insurance salesmen or arrogant know-it-alls run through our heads.

                        The reality is that we all rely on some degree of self-promotion. Whether you want to start your own business, sell your novel to a publisher, start a group for your favorite hobby, or get a promotion at work, you need to make people aware of you and your abilities. While we’d like to think that our work speaks for itself, the fact is that usually our work needs us to put in some work to attract attention before our work can have anything to say.

                        Advertising

                        The good news is that self-promotion doesn’t have to be shady — in fact, real self-promotion almost by definition can’t be shady. The reason we get a bad feeling from overt self-promoters is that, most of the time, their efforts are insincere and their inauthenticity shows. It’s clear that they’re not building a relationship with us but only shooting for the quick payoff, whether that’s a sale, a vote, or a positive performance evaluation. They are pretending to be our friend to get something they want. And it shows.

                        Real self-promotion extends beyond the initial payoff — and may bypass the payoff entirely. It gives people a reason to associate themselves with us, for the long term. It’s genuine and authentic — more like making friends than selling something. Of course, if you’re on the make, that kind of authenticity makes you vulnerable, which is why the claims of false self-promoters ring hollow: they are hollow.

                        Advertising

                        The main rule of self-promotion is to be the best version of yourself. That is, of course, a little vague and is bound to mean something different to everyone. But here’s a few more specific things to keep in mind when working to get the word out about you and your work:

                        1. Add value: What separates you from everyone else who does what you do is the particular value you bring to your clients, customers, or users. The same applies to your marketing efforts — people tune out if you’re just blathering on about how great you are. Instead, apply your particular expertise in demonstrable ways — by adding insightful points to a discussion or blog post comments, by creating entertaining and informative promotional spots, etc.
                        2. Be confident: If you are telling people something that adds value to their lives, there’s no reason to feel as if you’re intruding. Stand up tall and show that you have faith in yourself, your abilities, and your work. After all, if you don’t have confidence in yourself, why should anyone else?
                        3. Be sensitive to context: Always be aware of and responsive to the person or people you’re talking to right now, and the conditions in which you’re relating to them. You can’t just write a pitch and deliver it by rote every time you meet someone — you need to adapt to changing environments (are you at a cocktail party or a boardroom meeting?) and the knowledge levels and personalities of the people you’re talking to (are you describing your invention to an engineer or a stay-at-home dad?). The idea of talking points is useful here, because you have an outline to draw on but the level of “fleshing out” is based on where you are and to whom you’re talking.
                        4. Be on target: Direct your message towards people who most need or want to hear it. You know how annoying it is to see someone plugging their unrelated website in a site’s comments or in your email inbox — if we only got legitimate offers for things we had an immediate need for, it wouldn’t be “spam”. Seek out and find the people who most need to know about what you do; for everyone else, a simple one-line description is sufficient.
                        5. Have permission: Make sure the people you talk to have given you “permission” to promote yourself. That doesn’t mean you have to start every conversation with “Can I take a few minutes of your time to tell you about…” (though that’s not a bad opening in some circumstances); what it means is that you should make sure the other they’re receptive to your message. You don’t want to be bothered when you’re eating dinner with your family, in a hurry to get to work, or enjoying a movie, right? In those moments, you aren’t giving anyone permission to talk to you. Don’t interrupt other people or make your pitch when it’s inconvenient for them — that’s almost guaranteed to backfire.
                        6. Don’t waste my time: If you’re on target, sensitive to context, and have permission, you’re halfway there on this one; but make sure to take no more time than you have to, and don’t beat around the bush. Once you have my attention, get to the point; be brief, be clear, and be passionate.
                        7. Explain what you do: Have you ever come across a website or promotional brochure that looked like this:

                          Advanced Enterprise Solutions Group has refactored the conceptualization of power shifts. We will rev up our ability to facilitate without depreciating our power to engineer. We believe we know that it is better to iterate macro-micro-cyber-transparently than to matrix wirelessly. A company that can syndicate fiercely will be able to e-enable faithfully.
                          (With thanks to the Andrew Davidson’s Corporate Gibberish Generator)

                          Some people (and corporations too) have a hard time telling people what they do. They hide behind jargon and generalities.

                          Don’t you be one of them! Explain clearly what it is you actually do and, following #7 below, what value you offer your audience.

                        8. Tell me what you offer me: Clearly explain what’s in it for your audience — why they should choose you over some other freelancer, business partner, employee, or product. How is what you have to say going to enrich their life or business?
                        9. Tell me what you want from me: You’ve made your pitch, now what? What do you want your audience to do? Tell them to visit your site, read your book, but your product, set up a meeting with you, promote you, or whatever other action you want them to take. This is rule #1 for salespeople — be sure to ask for the sale. It applies just as well if what you’re selling is your talents, your capabilities, or your knowledge.
                        10. Give me a reason to care: Be personal. Explain not only what you do but why what you do will make my life better. Both iPods and swapmeet knock-off mp3 players play music; but iPods make people’s lives better, by being easier to use, more stylish, and more likely to attract attention and make their users look “cool”. Part of this is showing that you care about the people you’re marketing to — responding to their questions, meeting and surpassing their needs, making them feel good about themselves. With few exceptions, this can’t be faked; even when it can, it’s far easier to just genuinely care.
                        11. Maintain relationships: Self-promotion doesn’t end once you’ve delivered your message. Re-contact people periodically. Let people know what you’re up to, and show a genuine interest in what they’re up to. Don’t drop a connection because they don’t show any immediate need for whatever you do — you never know when they will, and you never know who they know who will. More importantly, these personal connections add more value than just a file full of prospective clients, customers, or voters.

                        Self-promotion that doesn’t follow these rules comes off as false, forced, and ultimately forgettable. Or worse, it leaves such a bad taste in the mouths of your victims that the opposite of promotion is achieved — people actively avoid working with you.

                        In the end, promoting yourself and your work isn’t that hard, as long as you a) are genuinely interested in other people and their needs and b) stay true to yourself and your work. Seek out the people who want — no, need — what you have to offer and put it in front of them. That’s not so hard, is it?

                        Advertising

                        Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

                        Read Next