HealthLearnWellness

Nature has an incredible way of creating and rebounding. There are countless lessons we can learn from nature if we just look close enough. At times, it’s hard to accept what happens in our lives. We begin to draw inwards, closing ourselves off from what’s going on. Looking outside, however, could be just the thing we need to help turn things around.

Burying Vs. Planting

When you think about burying versus planting, two very different meanings arise. While the former implies death or stowing away, the latter suggests the opposite with feelings of new birth and growth. Yet they are essentially the same action. The process of digging something up allows for many things to happen. It is preparation for both endings and beginnings, decay and development, vulnerability and hope. We often times bury things in our own lives. Pressing our fears, disappointments, and anger into the backs of our minds or the depths of our hearts in order to hide and forget that they are there. We bury goals when they seem out of reach to save ourselves from being exposed to embarrassment or regret. We cover up as much as we can but by doing so, are mistakenly blinding ourselves from nature’s true process at hand: the growth of perspective.

Sometimes it is necessary for one thing to close for another to open, whether it’s letting go of certain ideas you have grown up with, choosing to say goodbye to negative people, or moving on from an upsetting event. Experiencing any level of loss reminds us of the value of those around us, the time we have, and the opportunity to seize every moment. Burying and planting come hand in hand, and it’s learning the rhythm between them that can help us adjust our thoughts and become hopeful for whatever comes our way.

The Ripple Effect

Like the proverbial pebble dropped into a still pond, the impact of our actions can reverberate outward into reaches far greater than we know. Knowing our capacities to influence the people around us, there should be a conscious and cautious effort towards making that influence a positive one. So much of what we say and do can be channels of inspiration, encouragement, and support for others and even ourselves. Being the first to forgive can help start mending a broken relationship. The mindset you choose to have in the morning can alter your whole day. Journaling can turn into writings for a future novel. Sometimes there are clear intentions with our actions and sometimes there are not. After all, the only thing we have true control over is which pebble we choose to throw. It’s at least understanding the scope of our impact, the fact that our behavior in the present can sway events in both directly and indirectly, that we can begin acting in ways that are most likely to bring positive change.

Timing

Human beings are constantly fighting against the one thing that nature whole-heartedly accepts, understands, and obeys: life’s timing. There are birds that consistently follow migratory patterns throughout the year, flowers that only bloom in favorable seasons, and fish that survive in shallow streams until they’ve grown enough to swim into deeper waters. Nature always follows the progression from waiting to changing. People find it difficult to wait and are uncomfortable with change. It seems unnecessary sometimes to have to postpone plans, or move from one place to the other, or spend time working for others when we could be working for ourselves. All of this, however, is exactly how nature survives and thrives. It’s a lesson we can all learn from. There is a sense of collaboration with time itself when we allow it to just happen, when we accept that certain seasons must precede the others. Just as one chapter in our life can be dedicated to preparation and reflection, the next can be for action and transformation.

Nature is one of life’s most important teachers and its curriculum will always be the same. It’s about embracing the light and the night, knowing how to rest and store our energy, and blooming into our best selves whenever the time is right.

Image: Grzegorz Mleckzek

Skills

Persuasion is a skill that comes in handy in many scenarios, whether it is to get an extension from a professor, to earn your dream job, or to convince the President of a country to give up nuclear weapons. Having influential prowess is a prerequisite to becoming a good leader; persuasion is a leader’s bait to fetching support. Explained below are a few psychological tactics that you may use to develop your persuasive skills.

Understand Your Audience

Before diving into a conversation with your audience, you must spend some time understanding them. Discern why they need to be convinced and what objections they may have. Understand their strong points; to be persuasive, you need to be like-minded and establish great rapport with them. Try getting the details of the person you’re trying to persuade – you may use these to start your conversation and get them interested.

Timing is Key

This is an aspect that is easily overlooked. You must approach your audience at the best time possible, when they are at ease. Mood plays a pivotal role in persuasion. The happier your listeners are, the easier your job will be in getting them onto your side. That’s why starting your conversation with a light topic (preferably a humorous one) is a great way to go. Research also shows people are most persuasive when they feel indebted. In other words, strike when they owe you one.

The Listening Game

Before you jump into your reasoning, you must take a moment to listen to people’s concerns. They might not match up exactly with your own beliefs, but never say “you are wrong”. Sympathize with them, understand how to agree with them, and make them feel comfortable. Appreciate their opinions and use the element of empathy to your advantage. This lays the foundation for the most important part of persuasion, your reasoning.

Framing Your Reasoning

The reason why I haven’t used the word ‘argument’ here is because it is tagged with negative connotations; you should not be authoritative while reasoning. Always put your listeners in context (people first, your ideas second); use a positive tone to elucidate how they would benefit from your ideas. Use logic, facts and, above all, confidence to support your statements. Make sure their worries and concerns are addressed here. You may even use anecdotes to pull the emotional strings of your audience for more impact. Frame your language accordingly to fit the context of your speech.

Image: Gratisography