The poetic nature

2014-01-03 12.48.16Rachel Carlson loved nature. You can feel that love in her poetic description of nature, “In autumn, oak and maple and birch set up a blaze of color that flamed and flickered across a backdrop of pine.” and  “foxes barked in the hills and deer silently crossed fields, half hidden in the mists of fall mornings.” The idyllic town and the picture of harmony beckon you to visit.

I have never been a nature person. Growing up in a city block, I only saw a single tree in my neighborhood. The description of plants and various animals in children’s books seemed so far away. Since age 7, the tender age of starting grade 1 in China, I have been absorbed in book reading, exams and competitions. That’s the school life I had, and the only life I knew. Occasionally I visited the city park, and was awed by so many trees and grasses. But that seem a remote world, existing outside my normal realm of life.

After arriving in the United States, I felt like being in the park of my childhood. Everywhere you see are trees and grasses. Squirrels roam around and birds are flying in the sky. Nature surrounds me with its generous greens. However, I was still absorbed with classes, school exams, and making new friends. There is little time to slow down, and smell the fragrance of nature.

It was only until recently, after I started taking daily picture for the social app WeChat, I realize the amazing variety in nature. I saw high-rise pine trees touching the sky, birch trees stripped bare in this winter season, maple trees with reddish leaves hanging on the branch, and bright yellow daisies shine under the sun. It was the first time that I start to open my eyes to the nature, and feel connected to trees and plants. I notice their silent embrace of the sun, the earth and the space. I admire their tenacity of living long and holding on, even though they can be cut down and destroyed by humans at any moment. I started to wonder if there is soul in the living trees.

I have always believed that there is a soul in every animal. Since very young, I was a friend of hens and chicks raised by my grandma. I was eager to catch an egg after a hen laid one. I moaned at their fate of being butchered. I had my pet hen, a pure white gentle hen who I loved dearly. Today I have my cat, who follows me, nudges me, and begs for my massage, and whose joy and sorrow are so transparent. How can he not have a soul?

The concrete-made buildings and streets have alienated us from the nature. The city dwellings, with its many social activities and human interaction, absorbed our attention. There is no time to gaze at the star, or listen to the chirp of insects in the evening. Living in the air-conditioned rooms, we lose touch with the breeze that is supposed to come in. We are comfortable, protected from nature’s heat, rain, coldness, and storms. We are void of insect bites, animal infestation, and other things plaguing our ancestors. But we also lose the joy of that affinity with nature, where you can smell the earth, hearing the flying buzz of insects and seeing the flickering dragonfly. In that living, we are part of nature and we are at home. With deep longing, we look at nature today as if an estranged cousin. We can visit, but we still live in a totally different world.

Let us come outside. Let us smell the flower, the grass and touch the trees. There is poem, and magic in this world where our ancestors lived.

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Commit to Success

Each year, skyscrapers are built, companies go public, fortunes are made, books are published, and battles are won. None of these can happen without determination, hard work, and commitment. Despite our circumstance, intelligence or personal traits, the only thing that matters in the end is success. You either made it happen or did not.

When one dabbles on various projects, years pass by and time is wasted. You end up with nothing while others build upon success after success. Therefore every step you take must be solid. Every project you aim at must be done with success. There is no other option.

Success is full commitment until you achieve the goal. Such absolute determination will move mountain. It requires hard work, mental concentration and overcome your personal weakness. It demands hard work mentally and physically.

It is natural law that you will encounter great difficulty on the road to success. It is how nature filters out the weak and preserves the strong. Only selected few win in the end.  Therefore any difficulty calls for further commitment, further determination and continuous effort. If you stay at it and win that battle, you will emerge triumphantly and much stronger. But you have to stay at a battle and win that battle.

Massive actions come from our commitment. When you commit, you will automatically find many ways to make things happen. You will go full step instead keep looking for way out.

It is time to build your mental and emotional muscle. It is time to practice success session. After all the toil and tears, you end up with the outcome—you coveted prize—and your deep pride. You also gain better position for the next adventure. You become stronger in the process. There is nothing comparing to success. Therefore it is a must instead of luxury.

The path to success may be tortuous. You do not reach the sky like a rocket, you rise up by climbing the mountains, or upward ladders. Many people have slipped away, but you have to keep moving up. A better metaphor would be going through hazard-filled jungle and reach your destination. Many people are deterred but you keep moving forward.

What separates a winner from a loser is a thin thread, a simply decision to stay in the end or not. That will make all the difference. You can cry, beg or pretend. You can be a better friend, funny person or pious believer. But none of these matters. The only thing that matters is final success. When you succeed, you make tremendous contribution to this world. You capacity increases in many folds. Then you have much greater room to be a better friend or giver.

The quality leaps awaits you and you must step up. “Life will never be the same” once you commit to success.

Quotes from Steve Jobs

  • Stay hungry, stay foolish.
  • Great work comes from loving what you do. If you have not found it, keep looking, don’t settle.
  • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it on living someone else’s life.
  • Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the results of other people’s thinking.
  • Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinion drown out your own inner voice.
  • Have the courage to follow your hear and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.