Nature can be very dramatic, we do get violent storms; but nature tends to do things quite subtly. If it’s too hot, water evaporates cooling things down. If it’s too cold, water freezes giving out heat and stabilising temperatures. Yes, it gets a little too hot sometimes, especially when we aren’t close to water and it gets too cold for comfort, but generally stabilises fairly close to freezing point, as water freezes and snow falls. Nature makes subtle adjustments, but there is lots of evidence, such as the polar ice caps melting, that suggests nature is struggling. Can we learn something from nature? Can we make subtle adjustments in our own lives, that will have a stabilising effect in the long term?
Scientists study and observe nature. Isaac Newton is said to have observed an apple falling from a tree which led him to study gravity. We can understand things and people better by observation. We can also copy nature and try to change things by making systems evolve. Instead of grand gestures; try to make small changes. Try a small change and then if it works, we know we’re going in the right direction and can proceed with confidence. Should we build new towns and cities or develop the ones that we have?
We can also change ourselves and our behaviour gradually and that will change how other people perceive us. If you want a promotion at work, maybe you can work harder, work smarter or become more of a leader? If you want your own business. Perhaps, you could do it gradually and start a part time business that leads to a full time business. If you have a problem, maybe you can chip away at it until it isn’t a problem any more.
The British government and other governments have cut spending drastically leading to some companies going out of business that relied on that spending. Perhaps it should have cut spending gradually and instead of grandiose schemes it could be a little less ambitious when spending money. This might lead to less problems in the future? We can take a similar approach to our finances. Be cautious and change our spending gradually as circumstances change. If we resist pressure to buy the latest gadgets and smart technology until we sure we really need them; wouldn’t that save us money and worry?
Sometimes problems can seem like a huge concrete wall ahead of us, but even a small rock hammer can get through a concrete wall if you chip away at it long enough. It does take patience though to keep chipping away to get what we need. In the movie the Shawshank Redemption banker Andy Dufresne spends years chipping away a hole in the wall of his prison cell. He uses the hole to make his escape, but all the time his plan and the work chipping away at the wall give him hope. We become depressed and we despair when we have no hope, chip away at a problem and you create hope and avoid despair. If you can see every day that you are making progress, then you have hope. It might not be making a big hole in a prison cell wall, it might be adding a little money to your bank account each week. When the size of the account has become big enough to attract some interest it will be like the hole in the wall; not big enough to escape through, but big enough to provide hope for the future.
When we are faced with a solid brick wall or a long road to travel down, the first chip or the first step can be the hardest to take. We then see a small hole or we still see a long road ahead, but at least we have made a start. Eventually we can see through the hole or see something in the distance down the long road and we are encouraged to try harder; we have hope for the future. We are motivated to go on, even though we know it will take a long time to achieve our goal. Nature does this, it evolves over long periods of time; it does things slowly, but is very successful.
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