Are You Like A Rosebush Or A Hydrangea?

I love planting seeds and watching them grow into beautiful plants and flowers that provide natural fragrances whenever I get the opportunity to sit on either of my front decks. The fragrances are wonderful, but there is another reason I love planting plants and flowers. The maintenance of them nourishes my spirit and educates my soul.

While purging the weeds and helping my flowers to reach for the sun, I always listen for the tales of Nature. Nature always provides a training session that I can apply to my life, if I just slow my pace and listen. Just like a bee knows where to find the nectar of the flower, if I listen, I find the nectar in Nature’s life lessons.

Recently, while pulling weeds I noticed something about my hydrangeas and my knockout roses. I planted them right after I built the house. They hydrangeas were puny and didn’t look like they were going to make it. I became worried if they would survive those first years with all the snow we had.

 

Actual 2008 picture of Hydrangea Plant

I think the hydrangea was actually mowed over once. Poor thing, it didn’t look to well. One year, I think it decided not to even try to grow. The knock out roses received praises from everyone from the neighbors to the mailmen to the random passerby. They were glorious and went well with the previous color scheme. They stood tall and proud. I would receive cuts and scrapes every time I tried to pull weeds from killing them. Ouch!

The Hydrangea, was self-contained, but solid. it kept the weeds away and grew tightly knitted so weeds were easily removed without any problems at all. I noticed that the rose bushes had all types of weeds, although it was full of thorns for protection, it would constantly allow whatever predator invade its space without any fight at all. It looked good, but it never protected itself. The only person it protected itself from was ME! Ouch! Every time I tried to kill the weeds, I was attacked by the rosebush! It loved hanging with weeds! It enjoyed being diseased. It seem to enjoy being crippled and attacked. The rosebush enjoyed the abuse so much until it was hard for me to tell where the weeds started and the rosebush ended. In what seemed like overnight, soon there was no sign of the rosebush at all, only a big tree in the place of what used to be a rosebush. The tree looked nothing like the rosebush at all. Although it fought me every single time; it gave over to the tree without any incident at all.

In the meantime, the hydrangea continued to grow in its many colors and became huge. It only had an occasional weed and soon overpowered anything that came for it. It was determined to survive. Nothing could overtake it. It would adjust its color to the ph balance in the ground and go from purple to blue to white. It was a huge beautiful plant that although it did not have all the beauty of the roses starting out, it endured until the end and actually lasted longer than the roses. I purchased ten rosebushes and two hydrangeas. I now have two each. The hydrangeas are just as big as the rosebushes. They are continuing to grow.

Moral: It doesn’t matter what you started out with. If you are determined to grow and survive, you are built to last. Apply yourself toward learning. Learn how to become stronger…more knowledgeable of those things you don’t know…be like the hydrangeas. Nothing can stop you.  It’s not how your start out, but how you end. You were built to ENDURE.

#ThinkHigher

Linda Murray Bullard, MBA

Lead Business Strategist

Are You Reacting Or Are You Responding?

Extrovert people tend to raise their voice, throw things and try to be heard when they are frustrated. The effects of their behavior can be seen in the strained relationships around them. Most of them are not bad people, they just haven't been taught how to communicate effectively in order to be heard.

 

HERE’S A TIP:
When responding to someone in a relationship that matters (i.e., job, spouse, children, parents, friends) what if you take a moment and ask yourself, “Am I reacting with emotions?” “Or, am I responding to be heard?”

 

If you are reacting, you can easily say and do anything without thinking about it. But, if your goal is simply to be heard, you carefully choose the words, tone and actions in order to optimize the response. You are a winner and you seek to help the other person to win, as well. There are no losers in a conversation that matters.

 

It is hard to be heard when you are shouting…sounds crazy, huh….but your emotions can overshadow your words.

 

This week…strive to respond more and react less. Self control is key. Only you can control you!

 

 

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