The changing seasons of life


I’m fortunate to live near Hyde Park in London on a street lined with beautiful trees. As the seasons change and the leaves change colour people come out and take photos of the beauty. It struck me that what they’re taking photos of are dying leaves yet this death produces amazing beauty. The leaves eventually fall and, again, we see beauty as they cover the ground.

So it is with the changing seasons of life. Things regularly die. Attitudes change and opportunities, projects or relationships come to an end. As humans we don’t always see the beauty in it. We often see it as painful or frustrating. We want instant change. It takes time however for these leaves to die and time for them to fall to the ground. We can see these seasonal changes as an attitude of something not only beautiful but beneficial – something photo worthy. Something worth noting in your journal.

Walking the streets of London I wondered, “What do we do with these leaves?” People sweep them up and bag them. But what was the purpose of the leaves before we began to bag them? Well, they break down into mulch and become compost for the soil and, as a result, the soil becomes richer and whatever is planted in it grows stronger. In the days before firelighters and newspapers those leaves would have also been dried out and used to start fires.

So, what are the changing seasons in our lives? What are the fallen leaves in your life? Sometimes those fallen leaves and experiences (happy or painful) can be compost for the soil of our heart which ultimately cultivates our character. Those experiences encourage perseverance and perseverance strengthens character. We can embrace letting go of things like pride and fear and embrace humility and love. They are all dying leaves and, as we realise and recognise it, we can begin see the beauty in it. It’s not just about IQ and EQ; this resulting strength is what we call AQ: the Adversity Quotient.

It’s also possible to use past experiences to light a fire in our heart and life rather than bagging them. We often say people have baggage but I believe people have ‘bagged’ attitudes and painful experiences in which they haven’t yet seen the beauty. See the beauty in the fallen leaves in your life. Don’t bag them, just allow them to become compost for the soil or to light a fire in your heart, your mind and your attitude.

Finally take a moment to stop, breath, reflect and record:

  • What are the changing seasons in your life right now?
  • Where can you see the beauty in that changing season? Journal all the good that’s happening.
  • Where are the past life experiences you’ve put in a bag? Decide to open that bag and let the leaves become compost for the soil of your heart. Let some of those leaves dry out and use them to light a fire in your heart and watch the changing life seasons become something beautiful.

Stephen Klemich [CEO, Founder]

HR Summit podcast


Listen to Stephen Klemich talk about how to transform culture in the workplace. Podcast in association with the HR Directors Summit.



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