Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books. – John Lubbock
You can learn a lot from nature. All that is required is an attitude to look at things from a conscious perspective.
This article is a collection of 27 nature quotes from some great thinkers that are not only inspirational but also contain important life lessons.
Here are the quotes:
1. “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
– Percy Shelley
Lesson: Everything in life is cyclic in nature. Night is followed by the day and day by the night; winter is followed by spring, so on and so forth. Everything changes.
If there are times of sadness, they will be replaced by times of happiness. All you need to have is faith and patience.
2. “The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy.”
– Henry Ward Beecher
Lesson: The sun which is all powerful is not selective about what it should illuminate and what it should not. It is impartial and inclusive.
Just like the Sun, try to look at things from an impartial and broader perspective. Be more understanding, cultivate empathy and let go of feelings of prejudice.
3. “Look at a tree, a flower, a plant. Let your awareness rest upon it. How still they are, how deeply rooted in Being.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Lesson: If you observe a tree, you realize that a tree is not lost in thoughts; it is not making plans for the future or ruminating about the past. A tree just is; completely present and still.
Every once in a while, it is a good habit to become conscious, let go of your thoughts and tune into the stillness of the moment. There is immense wisdom in the present moment which you can tap into just by being present.
4. “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”
– Rabindranath Tagore
Lesson: This quote is very similar to the previous one. The butterfly lives in the moment. It is not lost in the mind thinking about the future or the past. It is happy to just be and enjoy whatever the present moment has to offer.
This quote teaches you to let go of thoughts in your mind, to become still and experience the present moment fully. The present moment is where the real beauty is.
5. “Adopt the pace of nature. Her secret is patience.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Lesson: Nature is never in a hurry; it is not busy making plans about what to do next. Nature is relaxed, joyful and patient. It allows things happen at their own pace.
What you can learn from this quote is that everything happens at the right time. You cannot force things to happen. So let go of the energy of desperation. Do your work with dedication without worrying about the outcome. Believe that all good things will come to you when the time is right.
6. “In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect. Trees can be contorted, bent in weird ways, and they’re still beautiful.”
– Alice Walker
Lesson: Perfection is just an illusion. Perfection does not exist in nature, neither does nature strive for perfection. Yet nature is so beautiful. In-fact, it is the imperfection that gives nature its true beauty.
Perfectionism is the enemy of creativity cause when you are trying to be perfect, you get into your mind rather than create out of your being. When you are in your mind, you cannot be in flow state. So liberate yourself by letting go of perfectionism and let your creativity flow.
7. “A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
– Chinese Proverb
Lesson: A bird is not out there to prove anything to anybody. It sings because it feels like expressing itself. The singing does not have an ulterior purpose.
In a similar way, express yourself because you feel like expressing yourself. Work because you feel like working. And when you are working, immerse yourself completely in it while forgetting about the end goal.
When you are focused in the present and are not worried about the end result, what you create will be beautiful, just like the bird’s song.
8. “Sing like the birds not worrying about who hears or what they think.”
Lesson: Have you ever seen a bird that is self conscious? Worried about what others might think about its singing? Birds sing because they feel like expressing themselves, they don’t care if anyone is listening or not. They are not trying to impress anyone or seek approval from anyone and that is why, birds sound so beautiful.
If you spend excess time worrying about what other people think of you then you are essentially wasting your creative energy on something that absolutely does not matter.
So stop looking for approval and validation. Realize that you are enough as you are, you do not need anyone’s approval except yours.
This is also how you get in touch with your true self by discarding the masks you wear to please others.
9. “Just as a snake sheds its skin, we must shed our past over and over again.”
Lesson: The past is here to teach us valuable life lessons, but many of us hold onto the past instead of learning the lessons. When your attention is focused on the past, you miss out on the immense opportunities that lie in the present moment.
So just like a snake sheds its skin, make it a point to keep letting go of the past as you progress through life. Keep what the past has taught you and let it go always refocusing on the present moment.
10. “Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.”
Lesson: The tree does not hold on to the dead leaves. The dead leaves had a purpose when they were fresh, but now they have to fall to give way to new leaves.
This simple yet inspiring quote is a reminder to let go of things (thoughts, beliefs, relationships, people, possessions etc.) that no longer serve you and instead refocus your attention and energy on things that matter.
Only when you let go of the past can you open yourself to the future.
11. “Why is the sea king of a hundred streams, because it lies below them, humility gives it its power.”
– Tao Te Ching
Lesson: This is a really powerful nature quote on humility by Lao Tzu, taken from the ‘Tao Te Ching‘.
All the streams eventually end up in the sea because the sea lies low. The streams start from a higher altitude and naturally move toward lower altitudes, finally flowing into the sea.
The sea is vast and yet, it is so humble. It lies below and is ever accommodating. Lying low is an analogy for staying humble.
No matter how much you achieve in life, it is always wise to stay humble and grounded. Staying humble is the secret to attracting all the good things in life. Just like the streams flow in the sea that lies low, good things will keep flowing into your life when you stay humble and grounded at all times, even in the midst of great success.
12. “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.”
Lesson: This quote points us to the fact that the macro is formed by the micro. The ocean looks so mighty but it is nothing but a collection of tiny drops of water.
So don’t get overwhelmed looking at a huge target in front of you. Break it down into smaller more attainable goals and you will reach your biggest goals easily.
Realize that it’s the little stuff that eventually makes the big difference.
13. “The giant pine tree grows from a tiny sprout. The journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath your feet.”
– Lao Tzu
Lesson: The sprout looks tiny, but to everyone’s amazement, it grows up to be a giant pine tree. This quote points you to the fact that to achieve big things, you need to start small. Small steps taken consistently have the potential to generate massive results.
14. “Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.”
– Bruce Lee
Lesson: Because the bamboo is flexible, it is able to withstand strong winds without getting cracked or uprooted. Just like the bamboo, sometimes in life, you need to become flexible and accommodating. You need to let go of resistance and go with the flow. In the midst of turmoil, when you are open, calm and relaxed, you will find a solution faster as opposed to working with a jittery mind.
15. “Be like the sky and let your thoughts float away.”
Lesson: The sky that is ever calm and still is the perfect analogy for your inner awareness (or inner consciousness) that is always calm and still. The sky remains untouched by all the events happening around it.
To become like the sky is to become the conscious awareness that you are. Your awareness is always there in the background, completely still and not effected by the thoughts in your mind. So be the awareness and observe your thoughts instead of unconsciously engaging with your thoughts. Become the observer rather than the participant.
As you stay aware this way, slowly but surely, all your thoughts will arise and float away just like the clouds. They will not stick around and bother you and you will enter the realm of deep peace and stillness.
16. “We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
– Alphonso Karr
Lesson: Nature teaches us that everything is a matter of perspective.
The rose plant has roses but also has thorns. But you are free to focus your attention anywhere you want to. You can either focus on the thorns or change your focus to look at the flowers. Focusing on the thorns lowers your vibration whereas focusing on the roses raises it.
Similarly, even in life, you always have a choice on where you focus your attention. You can either focus it on things that drain you or focus it on empowering things that help you raise higher. In the midst of a problem, you can either focus on the problem or focus on finding the solution. A simple change of focus, changes everything.
17. “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise again.”
– Victor Hugo
Lesson: No matter what happens, the night has to give way to the day and the day to the night. Life is cyclic in nature. Everything changes, nothing remains stagnant. Always remember, this will also pass away giving way to better things. All you need to do is have faith and patience.
18. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot.”
– Bruce Lee
Lesson: Water does not have a particular shape or form, it is open and willing to take up any form depending on the vessel that holds it. Yet, the form it takes is never permanent. And we have a lot to learn from this nature of water.
As humans we accumulate a lot of beliefs from our external environment. Our minds get rigid and conditioned with these beliefs and after a while, these beliefs start running our life. The wise way to live is to not subscribe to any belief. Or in other words, don’t be rigid in your beliefs. Be flexible enough to let go of beliefs that do not serve you and add in beliefs that do.
The phrase, ‘emptying your mind‘ in the quote relates to letting go of your thoughts instead of giving them your attention (or engaging with them). When the thoughts settle down, you are left with an egoless state of being. This is the state when you can connect with your true nature of eternal consciousness which is formless and shapeless.
19. “Look at the lilies of the field, they toil not, neither do they spin.”
– The Bible
Lesson: Everything that happens in nature seems so effortless and yet everything is accomplished at the right time. Nature does not strive to achieve something, it is not desperate to reach somewhere. Nature just is.
Even as humans, we have the capacity to live a life of effortless ease. To create effortlessly. This happens when we are in a flow state, when we are not lost in thinking. When we are fully present and consciously experiencing the moment instead of constantly thinking about the past or future.
Simply being in nature, looking at the flowers, the trees, the birds, can help you tune into this relaxed frequency. This is the reason why Jesus points his followers to look at the lilies.
20. “The trees that are slow to grow, bear the best fruit.”
Lesson: Many fruit trees like for example the apple tree takes many years to grow and bear fruit. But their fruits are the most sought after. So slowness has nothing to do with the value you can offer the world.
It does not matter if you are slow. As long as you are slow and steady, you will reach your goals and achieve far more than you can ever imagine.
21. “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.”
– Lao Tzu
Lesson: By becoming more self aware, by becoming more loving and generous, by letting go of anger, by developing empathy, by getting in touch with your inner self, you become stronger.
Just because someone appears soft and generous, does not necessarily mean that they are weak and just because someone comes across as aggressive, does not necessarily mean that they are strong. True power lies within. You can appear soft on the outside, but can be really powerful on the inside just like water.
22. “Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
– Dolly Parton
Lesson: A tree becomes stronger and more grounded each time it survives a storm. And that is the same case with us. The difficult times help us grow. They help us become more grounded, they help us become stronger, they help us realize our true potential.
23. “A tree has roots in the soil yet reaches to the sky. It tells us that in order to aspire we need to be grounded and that no matter how high we go it is from our roots that we draw sustenance.”
– Wangari Maathai
Lesson: Trees teach us an important lesson of being grounded. No matter how much success you achieve, you need to always be grounded and humble. It is only when you stay grounded that you can reach even greater heights. Don’t be swayed by what happens on the outside, be strong and grounded.
You also need to have a strong connection with your inner self which is beyond your egoic identity. When you are connected to your inner self, you will not be shaken by what happens on the outside. Getting in touch with your inner self is all about becoming more self aware.
24. “Knowing trees, I understand the meaning of patience. Knowing grass, I can appreciate persistence.”
– Hal Borland
Lesson: No matter how many times they are cut, the grass just keeps on growing. It is not deterred by the external conditions; it just keeps doing what it knows best. A plant takes years to fully grow into a tree and bear fruit, but it does not spend time worrying about it. It remains patient and simply keeps going fully immersed and joyful in the process.
In a similar way, to see great things happen in your life, to achieve massive transformation, you need to have both patience and persistence.
25. “The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.”
Lesson: It is only during the night that you can see the stars. But to see the stars requires a change of perspective. You need to look up at the sky instead of gazing into the darkness.
In a similar way, the difficult times come with many hidden blessings and to realize these blessings, you need to a change of perspective. Instead of focusing on the negative, you need to change your focus by asking yourself the right questions – what is this situation trying to teach me?, what positives will possibly come out of this? What am I learning about myself and the world through this situation?
A change of vision is all it takes to realize the hidden gems in any situation.
26. “A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.”
– Mandy Hale
Lesson: Sometimes change can seem painful, but if you have patience and self belief, things will turn out to be beautiful.
27. “The ground’s generosity takes in our compost and grows beauty! Try to be more like the ground.”
Lesson: You have the power of alchemy within you to transmute negative energy into positive energy. You can do this by becoming aware of the negative/limiting beliefs within you. The moment you become aware, a transformation begins to happen. The negative thoughts no longer have control over you and they begin to give way to positive, more empowering thoughts.