Think of a recent experience you have really enjoyed and felt you were totally alive to all the senses. Chances are good that it happened in a natural setting - be it in your garden, a park, the hills, mountains, a lake or river, walking trail, or at the beach. Anywhere you feel at one with nature.
We seem to love getting back to nature, escaping from the stresses of urban life and just enjoying being our natural self for a while.
Natural is a good word, since we humans are in fact part of nature. We can learn much about ourselves by observing life in nature. A gardener can't tell a plant to grow, but simply give it the best possible growing environment in which to flourish and blossom to its full glory.
It's the same with people. You can't make yourself - or anyone else - grow. But you can cultivate the best possible environment in which to flourish and blossom to your natural potential:
- your passionate interests provide the fertilizer, unlocking and enriching your natural-born talents,
- you tap an unlimited, personal source of new emotional energy that drives your enthusiasm and enjoyment
- the outcome heightens your self esteem, self confidence, self belief and your sense of self worth
- you grow as a person in so many wonderful, life-expanding ways.
It matters little whether you follow your passions at work, home, or play. The pity is society tends to think life's successes come only through maximizing your work-related passions. In fact, many people don't get to pursue their passions at work.
Perhaps the most empowering message in this article is to reassure you that the passionate interests you express outside of work are equally as important to your personal growth as those you use at work.
Indeed, the astute business manager will recognize the high productivity and commitment benefits to be gained from encouraging you to express your personal talents in the course of your work.
I find the gardening analogies to be such an easy-to-understand way of explaining the key elements of personal growth, in my efforts to help people realize their natural-born potential:
- You begin life as a seed, with all the power potential that a humble acorn has to eventually blossom into a magnificent oak tree
- your growth is nurtured by you, by positive supportive loved one, friends and, hopefully, your work colleagues
- sometimes you have to prune dead wood activities that have lost their relevance to your growth, in favour of allowing new growth to take place
It's good to also mix often with positive, like-minded people. Finally, however, it's up to you to take control of your life. You are your own destiny.
Financial and social success play an important role in today's living. You will be best remembered by society, however, in that you cultivated and nurtured the seeds, talents and passions of your natural self, enabling yourself to blossom into the full glory of realizing your unique potential.