“Does a flower stop blooming when winter caresses it with a frozen breath? Even upon its end, the rainbow of colors remain. The hope of life against all the odds.”
1. The purpose of a frozen rose. Sustainability.
We may face great and challenging odds in our lives. Some seem to run through life unscathed – others, fighting for every breath. I never stopped to wonder about nature. I love photographing nature fighting against all the odds. A tree that has fallen into a lake – a few roots still grappling for a dry land, a sapling that has struggled to grow on a rock, a yellow rose that has continued blooming despite the first frosted November mornings.
These moments remind me of the words by Martin Luther; “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” This and similar quotes are often interpreted as guidance to find happiness. To me, they represent a more profound understanding of life. His words remind me that we are not here to live for ourselves, but for others.
A life of giving is not equal to happiness. It is a means to build a future for humankind and beyond, a future with or without us. The world does not stop because of the burdens that it has, nor should we.
Instead of trying to search for happiness – settle for content and peace with yourself. Learn to believe that what you do today, whether small or big, is a step towards another future.
“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”
2. Living in digital footprints. Heritage.
When I follow people and how they cope with the digital transformation, I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the demands it places on organizations and individuals. As an example – in some kindergartens, tablets are now part of the curriculum from the age of two.
I feel great sympathy for staff trying to keep the Duracell-ironmen in one piece while trying to teach them the fine arts of a smart device. Digital natives are absolutely brilliant in learning new things. No question there. It just gives a very concrete example of what digital demands vs. a real-life setting gives to a kindergarten teacher today.
Instead of feeling that you need to jump on the digital speed train with all the bells and whistles – imagine what kind of a digital heritage or legacy you would like to create. What is the organic way to introduce digital in your life?
It might be sharing some of your favorite recipes, or the best shops and apps for finding car parts and tools, sharing best tips and places for self-education, rating your travel destinations and tips where to get the best photographs. Perhaps you become the best 140 character poem writer for Twitter or spend more time with your to learn how they interact in social tools. There is no limit to ideas. Neither is there a ready-made formula that works for everybody.
Your culture is what makes digital living real. It is always unique.
3. Winter of motivation. Slow living.
It happens to all of us. Moments of transition followed by a self-transformation. The blank paper syndrome. You cannot draw or write even one line. Sometimes, it is physically impossible simply because of health trauma or physical requirements we have.
The yellow rose in my garden eventually became frozen. The flowers disappeared under a thick blanket of snow. The new generation of roses took seven months to appear.
This is the natural cycle of seasons. It is also a natural path for people. We think that the pace of business and digital 24-hour living have somehow altered the human condition. It has not. We cannot push ourselves out of a situation where for example stress has driven us to a winter of motivation.
Physical and mental health drive creativity and passion. When the two are at an imbalance, the body and mind adjust to guard the most precious: our internal organs and capability to survive. Always respect that priority order. It is necessary and typically momentary even if it took weeks, months or years. “Plant your apple tree” whenever you have that inspiration, but do not try to grow a forest before you have enough capacity and resources.
4. Delta. The river and the gap.
There is a natural flow to living, to creativity, to working and only one source who knows when these are at a balance. You.
I recently read a comment by someone indicating that working smartly does not necessarily mean working less. That comment is very perceptive when you understand it correctly. Working smartly is the most important discovery you can make in your life because it applies to everything you do from household chores to social media engagements, relationships and business in general.
By working smartly you may end up spending less time doing a task, although you may collect more tasks to do – or simply have more time to let yourself offload and meditate, walk and perhaps watch the stars.
We very often we imagine that the delta is much wider than it is! Looking at your situation from the outside it may seem entirely different. By varying your tasks, changing your perception points, you start to see the situations in different angles. The picture of a frozen rose may represent sorrow, cold, passing – or hope, color, and life. Find the hope and hold on to it, no matter how small.
Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.
Special thanks to my followers and people around me providing inspiration!