Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. The desire and ability to press on has and always will solve the problems of the human race and divide those who achieve from those who might have been.Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
What you love to think about, dream about, speak about, learn about and create about is your genius. Don’t water down your natural style or contort yourself into some idealized version of who you think you should be. The impulses that come from deep within are your guide track to greatness. We want you as is.Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
One of the main benefits of walking in nature is that trees inspire feelings of awe. According to research done by psychology professor Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley, awe benefits not only the mind and body but also improves our social connections and makes us kinder.
Spending time outside is also vital as a destressor. One study found that camping gets the stress hormone cortisol back under control. Even sitting near trees at the office help calm us down with “softly fascinating stimulation.”
Spending time outside has many benefits including improving short-term memory, sparking creativity, lowering blood pressure, reducing fatigue, strengthening focus and more.
Nature is a higher power
Knowing how little we stand in a swathe of gigantic trees also puts life in perspective. Wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay Nature:
“Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”
Nature soothes the sense of self. It reminds us that we are less significant we are, and that fact may make us happier we're here.
“Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?' No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?' No it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies?' No, it burns, it shines.”
— Andrea Dworkin, Ice and Fire
Don't compete. Make things.
When we compare ourselves to other, we get detached from ourselves.
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.' — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
[easyazon_link identifier=”0486277909″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Self-Reliance[/easyazon_link] by Ralph Waldo Emerson
To echo Jeff Bezos, be prepared to be misunderstood for a long period of time.
When they asked all graduating seniors to record their favorite quote for the high school yearbook, I pulled one from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”
Even at that moment, I refused to conform. The irony, of course, is that I used a quote to help express myself.
I still have a love/hate relationship with quotes. They are first and foremost someone else's thoughts, and while they can motivate us, even relieve us, and sum up how we think, they can often be as cheesy as Pinterest. They make words look trapped in between a prison of quotation marks.
“Quotation marks” de-energize quotes, just as much as using them as substitutes for our own thinking de-individualizes us. Call it cynical, but we're living in the Internet era–the world's greatest copy-past machine– where everything can be reduced to a shared tautology.
What if, instead, we listened to ourselves rather than allowing others to validated our neuroses. Quotes are merely thought starters; even children like to originate their own opinion.