The Lessons Trees Teach Us - Sarah Spence
Autumn is typically my favourite season of the year, the beautiful colours that surround us, the crisp bright days. I find myself looking at the trees so much more this time of the year, so what can we learn from the trees and apply to our lives and business.
Trees teach us that to take care of others, we need to take care of ourselves first. If a tree doesn’t take care of itself, if it doesn’t take in water or sunlight, it won't be robust, healthy, or beautiful enough to offer anything of value to others, whether that be life-sustaining oxygen, food, resources, or shelter.
People who run their own businesses are often terrible at taking care of themselves. They pride themselves on working long hours and not leaving their desks. Create “me time” throughout your working week. Whether that is found in meditation or just stepping back from the computer and stepping outside in nature, finding these moments where you can quiet your mind and check in with yourself helps to gather your thoughts, reflect on your day or the task at hand. So make sure you take that lunch break! You are worth it!
Grow Strong Roots.
Another important life lesson you can learn from trees is to always stay grounded or connected to your inner being. The taller and bigger a tree becomes, the deeper its roots take hold. Being strongly grounded helps the tree withstand the strongest winds without getting uprooted.
Trees grow where they are planted, and root themselves firmly to the ground they live in. Grow and maintain strong roots for yourself by knowing who you are, where you come from, and where you want to go so that you can experience each moment fully. Having strong roots also means staying grounded, clear, and focused. Short trees with weaker roots are destined to die
“A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance.” Wangari Maathai.
Only after you have focused for a long time and scaled dramatically do you branch outward and diversify again. Business owners are tempted to do this too soon and waste needed resources. But when do you diversify? After you have hit critical mass and have lots of resources flowing.
Then it is a good time to branch outward while you keep growing your root system for other water supplies.
But only after you hit critical mass in one area. And only after sending tap roots for more water (testing.)
Trees don’t compete
Working in a community is woven into our past survival. However today we lose the need for such cooperation, we isolate ourselves within virtual worlds, online meetings, texts rather than phone calls - It has never been so high as much as this past 12 months! However older trees cooperate with and assist the smaller trees, they use their underground networks to transfer water, carbon, and other resources, this ensures that a new generation of trees can survive. So reach out for support, together we can accomplish so much more.
What is your USP?
No two trees are the same, each grows and bends of its own accord. The ridges of the bark and veins of a leaf are just like our own fingerprints, individual to the owner. So don’t be afraid to be different, embrace your flaws, accept them, and never feel the need to adhere to other ideals. Be yourself.
So, in summary, here are some lessons from the trees that you can embrace and adapt to in business and in your personal life.
- Go out on a limb
- Remember your roots
- Drink plenty of water
- Stay grounded
- Enjoy the view