“Too many souls shall pass idly through life without blooming into their fullest and most vibrant of colors.”

Life lessons can be found in the simplest of places.

Whether you frequent my blog or have merely stumbled upon it, chances are pretty good that you’ve spent some time searching for, reflecting upon or sharing valuable lessons about living a happy and well-balanced life.

There is no shortage of means through which we can learn an invaluable amount about ourselves, developing stronger senses of compassion and inner balance, and helping others lead better lives. Although we can discover life lessons through infinite avenues — in texts, movies, the workplace, in our relationships and so much more — we can learn amazingly valuable life lessons from nature, especially when we observe the characteristics of flowers.

1. Embrace the Sun (Focus on the Good)

Flowers grow towards the sun. They embrace the light that shines, which they depend upon for life. As human beings, we too must focus on the light. The light of human life is not physical brightness and sunshine, but the light that constitutes illuminated virtues of goodness, generosity, happiness, moral integrity and good will. We must always focus on the positive and good. Life is difficult and, at many times and in many instances, certainly dark and depressing. But without the darkness there could never be light. Like flowers, we must always embrace the sun and focus upon the good, in spite of the darkness that we are sure to endure.

Human emotion and feeling are genuinely contagious. As human beings, our mental and emotional well-being is  influenced by the happiness or sadness of others around us. As flowers embrace the sun, the lesson taught to us by nature is to always be reminded of, to reflect upon, and to cherish the light that shines in our lives. Without this integral focus on all that is good and positive in life, our own happiness wanes and we cannot aptly be a source of light for others; those who suffer in darkness and long to grow towards the sun.

2. Be the Warmth (Nurture Your Compassion)

Flowers need warmth to awaken from the winter’s frost, to sprout and to grow to their fullest potential. Human beings likewise need the warmth of human compassion, kindness and understanding to develop into their fullest, happiest and most balanced states of being. Right from our birth, the compassion that is embodied by our mothers and fathers is required for our very survival: without parents to protect us and provide for us, human babies cannot survive.

Compassion nurtures human happiness; it isn’t an emotional “bonus” that, if we’re lucky, we might experience in our relationships — immediately from birth, compassion is an absolute necessity for our very survival. As flowers need the warmth to grow, develop, and become whole, nature likewise teaches us that nurturing the warmth of compassion is an unmistakable, irreplaceable element of personal happiness, healthiness and lasting relationships.

3. Open Up (No Matter What’s Inside)

Flowers bloom regardless of the looks of their faces, no matter their true colors. Although the faces that flowers display are physical and visual only, every human being owes it to oneself to open up and fully embrace one’s uniqueness — to accept, appreciate, and maximize who you are on the inside.

Every person is completely unique, both in physical appearance and in personality. In order to live the happiest, healthiest and fullest of lives, we owe it to ourselves to fully explore who we are: our interests, our passions, our fears, our strengths, and our weaknesses. Through opening up — no matter what is on the inside — we can learn a vast amount about ourselves. By maximizing our strengths, minimizing our weaknesses, and finally harnessing our interests and passions, we give ourselves the greatest opportunity to be happy, balanced, and fulfilled in life. Doing so also allows us to provide happiness and balance to the men and women around us whom we care about.

5. Stand Tall (In Spite of the Fall)

Flowers grow to their highest height, in spite of the fact that come winter, they shall wither and die. Flowers grow, live, and thrive regardless of their finiteness; their mortality. No different, we as human beings will all encounter the inevitable.

In our society, so much about our lives surrounds pursuits: pursuing dreams and goals, pursuing careers, pursuing a soul mate and the perfect relationship, pursuing a family, and so on. The pursuit-oriented nature of our lives places so much focus on the end goal — the objective, the sought-after achievement of our pursuits. But what about the pursuit itself?

Each flower has a purpose. In spite of the inevitability of their demise, they live because they can. In our lives, there are many passions and interests and noble objectives to pursue. As we seek out different achievements and successes, we must always remember that we live because we both have purpose and because we can. Grow strong and stand tall. Become the best “you” that you can be. Embrace the life lessons that nature provides us: bloom into your fullest and most vibrant of colors.