Have you ever noticed how the human life cycle emulates the plant life cycle?
In plant life, there are annuals
that seed, grow vegetation, flower, and die all within one year. Biennials
live approximately two years with a vegetative growth cycle, dormancy, and another vegetative growth cycle before the flowering and death cycle. Perennials
have many vegetative growth, flowering, and dormancy cycles before they reach the death state. Most humans, if fortunate enough, are like a perennial plant.
What else do you have in common with plants?
In plants, the primary or terminal shoot from which everything blossoms is called a leader. In humans, the leader inside is your heart, mind, and spirit. When working in unison, the leader inside sprouts your joy, success, and unique human gift.
If you stem the leader of a plant, you will stunt the growth of the flowering cycle or it will wither and die before reaching its full potential. The same is true of your human potential.
True human success is a fruitful end to interactions, efforts, or events.
You too are born from seed, live and grow, are sometimes dormant, and will die. Your ability to develop quality relationships and achieve your goals and dreams defines your ultimate success in the end. But unlike plants, each human has a unique purpose and aim that when realized empowers a meaningful life and contribution to humanity that only you can provide.
How do you harvest your unique purpose and aim so you will flourish and blossom?
It is an organic process of scrambling who you A.R.E.: actions, results, and experiences by plucking your E.A.R.S.: experiences
, and results
Early on we are taught a linear process of human achievement. Take action (do) in order to produce a result (have) so we can have the human experience (be) that we desire. This particular framework of goal setting and achieving results could easily be called the human “doing” conditioning model. Yet, we are human “beings.”
While cause and effect does apply in all plant and animal life, humans are much more complex. We think, we feel, and we “be-have” in repetitive ways that shape all aspects of our life.
Inventing a unique purpose and aim helps you take full charge of your life experiences.
You begin with the experience you desire as a way of being. For example, if you want joy and happiness, taking action as a happy and joyous human being will produce a different kind of result than taking the same action when frustrated or angry. You may produce the same result, but the experience you have of your effort is greatly diminished. That is why people can work so hard at achieving success - financial or otherwise - and still feel unfulfilled and dissatisfied.
Money will only buy a certain level of happiness and can’t buy positive and fulfilling human relationships (an ingredient necessary to enrich the human experience). Money is only a temporary fix when dealing with systemic human relationship problems. Consider this:
The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.
- Henry David Thoreau
Therefore, if you don’t experience joy and happiness from what you achieve and your relationships are in shambles, you may be trapped in the human doing model of attaining success.
When combining the experience, action, and result you want as a synergetic (non-linear human process) you are able to have a genuine sense of accomplishment and flourishing relationships.
In the process of plucking your E.A.R.S., your true success becomes about how you lead your life, how you feel, and what you can achieve and sustain on both a material and non-material basis. The two are not exclusive, yet there is little human joy in being materially rich and dying sad and lonely.
We can learn a lot from Mother Nature - if only we pay attention.
While there are many common features and universal laws we share with plant and other animal life, we are unique thinking, feeling, and be-having human “beings.”
True human joy and success requires you redefine what it means to lead a life with a unique purpose and aim that enriches your human relationships. This is your passageway to harvesting your inner joy and success.
But remember, your ability to stem or nurture your personal growth and human relationships is a direct result of how you choose to think, feel, and behave as a leader.
Choice is an innate human ability and makes us distinct from plant life. It is irrefutable, that we create our unique experience of life and human relationships - regardless of what we achieve in the material world.
What experiences will you choose to harvest at the end of 2010?
Debra J. Slover, founder of the Leadership Garden® Legacy has a goal to seed and nurture 11 million Leadership Gardens by 11/11/11. Author of the U.N.I.Q.U.E.
line of empowerment books for youth and adults; she is an educator, speaker, and advocate for creating positive home and school climates. Her expertise stems from seven years as a classroom teacher, 20 years directing a statewide youth leadership in prevention program in schools, as well as organizing 20 state and national youth-led conferences. A mother of five/grandmother of six, she resides with her husband in Albany, Oregon. To learn more visit: www.LeadershipGardenLegacy.com.