I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to see the largest and tallest trees in the world on my recent trip to California. These trees, along with some of nature’s other magnificent wonders really put my time on this earth into perspective. I hope that you are able to relate to at least one or both of the lessons I learned from this experience.
None of the trees that are the tallest are void of imperfections. In fact, all of the tallest sequoias are singed with what are called “fire scars.” As it turns out, forest fires are necessary for the reproduction cycle as it helps open up the seeds from the cones. Fires clear the surrounding area to allow present sequoias to expand and new ones to grow.
Much like sequoias have to face fire, life throws many challenges our way. The way in which we face these challenges determines how we will grow and evolve in our life. I think it is also important to note, that we will never be perfect as we grow towards becoming the best version of ourselves. The more we are able to become aware of that, the more we will be able to accept our imperfections and learn from them. I myself, am far from perfect. I am currently on an exciting, yet scary journey of starting this business. I’m also on my own health and lifestyle transformation journey. I have definitely had some major and minor slip-ups on each of these journeys. However, I have recently learned to accept these and learn from them rather than allowing them to overcome me and prevent further progress. Honor your progress over perfection, and use the lessons you have learned to fuel further growth. That brings me to lesson two.
These massive trees come from seeds that are smaller than oat flakes. This is such a mighty demonstration of the infinite potential for life. The same holds true for each of us. No, we won’t grow to be over two hundred feet tall or weigh over one thousand tons. However, we do have the infinite potential for growth within; spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually as we grow to be the best version of ourselves.
For as massive as these trees are, their roots are actually relatively shallow. It takes a large base of smaller roots for sequoias to grow and become as massive as they are. Yet, still they can succumb to nature and fall. The best chance these trees have to stay standing is to be rooted in a community of other sequoias. I believe the lesson to take away here is that implementing small positive changes to function as our foundational roots of life allows us the most potential for further growth and change.
Much like sequoias, it is vitally important for us to have the support of our family and friends (and even a health coach) to keep us standing strong and tall as we embark on the journey of life and living it to it’s fullest potential. Without support, it is much easier for us to succumb to the biggest inhibitor of our growth – ourselves and the voice inside our head that tells us we can’t do something.
Unlike us, sequoias seem to have conquered disease and natural death. They keep growing with age, and some of the oldest are over 3,000 years old. I can accept the fact that one day I will die of natural causes. However, I do not want to be suffering from disease and become a prisoner to my own body before that happens. I believe that is a statement most people would agree with. Unfortunately, I see the exact opposite at my current job working in a hospital. Disease and suffering have become the norm, and people seem to be growing to accept them as the natural course of life. I have not and will not which is why I have embarked on this journey of changing the lives of others for the better.
Why is it that most people would agree that being healthy is of the utmost importance, but the actions needed for achieving that goal are difficult to sustain?
I started reading the book No Sweat by Michelle Segar on this trip. She addresses the question of why most of us find it very difficult to find or sustain motivation to eat healthy and exercise even when we know we need to do those things to be healthy. The problem, she says, is that we look too far into the future or at vague goals of “being healthy.” Us humans are influenced more by immediate gratification. The idea of better health and disease prevention are too abstract to overcome the inertia and hectic schedules of our lives. Thus, it is difficult for us to sustain motivation linked to distant or abstract goals.
Don’t look too far ahead when it comes to your goals for life. Just as the mountains in this picture are hazy and not well defined (partly because of the wild fires in California), so too will your goal of “being healthy.” Focus on what emotions you want to experience as you conquer the challenges and achieve goals along the way. The same concept would apply to a hike towards the mountain top. You would quickly lose the motivation to keep hiking if you lost site of it or it remained hazy along the way.
Strive to thrive,