To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
I was in Japan for a business trip in early Spring 2010. The group I was with decided to go see the cherry tree blossoms. Words cannot describe the beauty that surrounded us that day. I love everything about Japan, and this was the highlight of my trip.
With Spring in the air, I remembered the trees and a thought came up for me about how God created the seasons to change. Not just the seasons of nature, but also the seasons of life.
Think about it. Cherry trees in the Spring are full of beautiful blossoms. They are surrounded by colourful butterflies and bees enjoying the flower nectar. Then when Summer comes, they are loaded with delicious dark red cherries ready to be enjoyed by the birds singing merrily in the trees. Autumn brings vibrant colored leaves of gold, red and orange. In the peak of Winter, snow is on the ground and the leaves are all gone. There are no sounds of birds to be heard. All signs of life are gone. The trees look naked, cold, and lonely.
Like the trees, we humans experience different seasons of life. These seasons can have a huge effect on us if we judge our life based on only the current season, we’re in. Every season has a purpose. There’s one thing for certain. No matter what your current season is, it will inevitably change. That’s simply a fact of life. In Jim Rohn’s book, “The Seasons of Life”, he explains the importance of understanding the seasons of life and how to use them wisely.
I remember as a young girl, watching my grandfather go about his days on his farm in Mississippi. His daily tasks aligned with the seasons. He would rest inside in the Winter with a warm fire burning in the fireplace most of the time. I recall seeing him clean and sharpen his tools as my grandmother baked and made quilts.
When Spring came, he would rig up his old mule with the plow to start gardening. First, he would till up the ground and then plant the seeds.
Summer was hard work for both of my grandparents. There was weeding to be done almost every day. Grandmother taught me how to hoe. I must admit, I didn’t like it. I remember getting painful blisters on my soft, unworked hands just after a couple of hours in their garden.
Autumn was harvesting time. A time to see all their efforts pay off.
Then the cycle would repeat itself every year.
That was a long time ago. Nowadays, we typically keep the same daily routines and lifestyles throughout the year. This can make us forget the natural cycles of life and create imbalance in our lives if we’re not careful. Just like nature there are personal seasons in life.
- SPRING – Hope, New Beginnings, and Opportunities
- SUMMER – Growth, Need for Protection from Distractions
- AUTUMN – Results like Success, Achievement, and Failure
- WINTER – Darkness, Sadness and Heartbreak
SPRING is the time to take action and grab opportunity. You could be starting a new venture, a new career, or meeting new people. It’s the time to act, to take risks, and go outside of your comfort zone. There is a quote that reminds us that “risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin, if you skip the risk, you miss the opportunity”.
Massive action in Spring is required for massive success in Autumn. Without hesitation, make the most of your Springs. Don’t miss out on opportunities. This is the time to act on your goals and dreams, not the time to analyze or procrastinate. Work hard and give your best. Don’t look for a quick reward. That’s what most people do, not you. Seize the day!
Remember the story of my grandfather? He worked through the seasons to get his bountiful harvest in Autumn. Don’t give up, no matter what! I see people all the time that are almost where they want to be but, then they have a set back and they just give up and they were so close to winning. I have seen this in myself multiple times. What about you? Our need for immediate gratitude is a main root cause for many bad Winters. Keep that winning image in your mind and go all out for your abundant harvest.
SUMMER is the time to nourish and protect. Things look clearer in Summer. Our efforts start showing progress on the path that we’re on to our goals and dreams. But, like all parts of life, success isn’t easy! Consistency and persistence is needed to come out on the other side of obstacles. Summer is not the time to just lay out in the sun and relax every day. Although, a little of that is nice, right? It’s the time to nourish good habits and pull out the weeds of bad habits. Your progress is going to give you energy and momentum but, know that your progress is vulnerable during this time. It needs protection. It needs to be watered and nourished regularly. Summer distractions can blindside our focus.
Protect your progress like my grandfather protected his plants from weeds and bugs. Persistence is how to make the best of Summers. Apply what you’ve learned in the Winter. Persistence will bring fast and visible progress. Enjoy the momentum but, don’t get complacent. Always keep the image of your end goal in your mind and your WHY for pursuing it.
AUTUMN is the time to reap success and to face failure. It is the moment of truth. In Autumn, we either enjoy our success or we learn from our mistakes. It is where we see the output of all our efforts. If we’ve taken the right action in the other seasons, we will see results that outweigh our efforts. But, if we’ve procrastinated our effort, we won’t have our desired result. This is the Universal Law of Cause and Effect. It applies to every living being.
Remember that the wise save what they reap, first for the Winter and then spend what is left. Set yourself up for a pleasant Winter. Accept your results to make the best of your Autumns. Own your results, celebrate your successes, and learn from your disappointments. Share your success with the people in your life. Put what you need back for the Winter and enjoy spending the rest. If you didn’t get your desired result, find the lessons. Reflect on your actions to understand what you need to do different next time around.
WINTER is the time to rest, prepare, and learn. When life’s Winters arrive, we’re either prepared or unprepared. If we’ve had a successful Autumn, it’s likely to be easy and a time for rest and relaxation. But if our output in the Autumn didn’t go well, we must use the Winter to prepare for the next season. Winters are the best time to prepare. Sharpen your tools and take the time to reflect, plan, and learn Just like Benjamin Franklin said “by failing to plan, you are preparing to fail”. Use Winters to improve the skills you’ve learned and to learn new skills and knowledge. Read books, take courses, attend webinars… Reflect to identify past obstacles and mistakes you need to avoid in the future and learn how to do that. Hire a coach or mentor to support and guide you. Create an action plan for yourself.
Remember that Spring is just around the corner. Straighten your crown and hold your head high. Keep getting ready for it. Know that your Autumn harvest depends greatly on Winter’s preparation.
In the end, happiness and success depends upon ourselves for all the parts of our life. We can’t change the seasons but, we can change ourselves. Taking action toward the want-to-be state for all the areas in our life is necessary for us to have a joyful and remarkable life. Maximize your Life to Live it to the Fullest!