We can learn all that is important from nature.

Perhaps nature’s most important lessons are that change is ubiquitous and that nothing is achieved by striving. Nature’s intelligence operates with an ease and a power which cannot be matched by the application of effort. Grass does not try to grow – it simply grows; the earth moves with incredible power on its track, moved by the natural, mysterious and irresistible pull of gravity; birds migrate in the winter; animals hibernate and the earth seems to die, only to burst back into a riot of life and color, all without striving. Everything happens in its own time, not hurrying, not tarrying – great changes take place naturally and without effort.

Not only is effort unnecessary to produce good results, it produces inferior results. To truly ‘go with the flow’ is to do everything in the most effective and efficient way, not bumping against things, not resisting, but moving around obstacles, preempting problems so they do not become problems, slipping through the cracks, being ‘under the radar.’ Observing and being in tune with the natural structure of things, developing an acute awareness of the constantly changing course of nature, a person who moves skillfully through the world does so with ease and precision.

The old Taoists, observing nature, knew all about this.

To see things in the seed, that is genius

If I held in my hand a collection of seeds, I would have little idea what potential lay in each one, but to a botanist, that potential would be clear – she might see an oak tree, a sycamore, an apple tree or a rose bush.

We cannot know the future, but we can, with experience, see that our present actions have consequences that ripple out into time and space and shape our lives well into the future. We can see, for example, that habitual negative thinking leads to pain, failure and frustration, whereas a clear vision of where we want to go usually leads to a better life.

When I look back over my life, I can see a chain of causes and effects – the actions I took had certain results which have changed my life, sometimes forever. So be careful what you think and what you do – everything has a consequence and, like the botanist looking at her seeds, seeing the potential in nascent things is an important skill to acquire.

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished

Can you make grass grow by pulling it? Can you bake a cake faster by turning up the temperature in the oven? Can a boy make himself grow any faster? In nature, things happen in their own way and at their own pace. Trying to make things happen faster than they do naturally often leads to disaster – the grass gets pulled out and dies, the cake gets burnt and has to be thrown away.

A river rarely takes a straight course, meandering instead through the natural shape of the landscape, keeping to the lowest points, moving around mountains and hills. But the water keeps flowing powerfully and eventually reaches the sea.

Like nature, our own achievements can take time, and this is no bad thing. I work in education and I have seen for myself the results of ‘fast tracking’ students through the grades and promoting them to university courses at a young age. The adults they become are often socially underdeveloped and less able to function skillfully in the complex real world: they have, in a sense, been ruined by speed. Let’s learn a lesson from nature, and do things well, in their own time.

By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning

In the world there is nothing more submissive than water. It seeks the low ground and always yields to resistance. Yet water can, over many years, wear down sharp rocks into small, smooth pebbles and carve wide, deep channels through a landscape. Electricity always takes the ‘path of least resistance,’ finding the earth as easily as possible, yet the power of electricity has transformed our lives.

Like a reed in the wind, if we can bend down low and yield to the pressures of life, letting go and allowing the natural course of events to shape us, we can survive and prosper. But if we refuse to yield and remain firm and upright, the world can break us. We are like a ship on the ocean: rowing against the wind is difficult and pointless. Let go and let the wind do all the work. It may take you to wondrous new shores.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

Whatever you are experiencing in life, it will disappear and something else will come along to replace it. Only one thing is certain in life – that everything changes. People who know this and tap into it, moving peacefully with the natural course of change can be very successful.

Clinging to the past can be a great source of misery. The future has always been a mystery, an adventure, and always will be. But to resist it is madness – a futile exercise and an enormous waste of energy. Some things are worth fighting for of course but, like King Canut, we cannot stop the tide from coming in. Embrace change, honor and welcome it, make it your friend, and success will come near.

Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge

In the end, life is unpredictable. The wind blows as it will, and life takes us in its own direction. Despite our search for certainty and a clear vision of the future, we cannot know what the future holds for us, what new lands we shall discover when our ship has been blown across the sea. All we can do is lay the groundwork, keep a vigilant eye for danger or opportunity, and relax.

When I look back on my life, one thing is clear – I could never have predicated how things have unfolded over the years; I could never have dreamed I would be in my current situation. Things have worked out well and I could not have orchestrated them any better – nature has taken care of everything. I cannot pretend to know the future, but I am sure that it won’t be what I expect.

People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure

In our rush to achieve something, we can sometimes ruin it right at the end. We have laid good foundations, patiently worked for success and we are almost finished when, instead of letting things run through to their natural conclusion, we rush in and spoil everything. Have you ever opened the oven door before a soufflé is quite ready? It just sinks and is ruined.

Sometimes we need to act quickly and decisively to avoid disaster – those who held on to their tech stocks after absurdly high prices had been reached at the peak of the dot com bubble soon discovered that waiting too long can be a bad thing. But acting too soon can be just as disastrous. When the prize is just within your grasp, be vigilant and be patient, waiting for jut the right moment to act.

Learn from nature. Everything changes. Anything can be achieved. Effort is not the way.

Author's Bio: 

Mark Harrison writes for a number of websites and is the author of several books. Find out more at join his FREE 30 day eCourse at http://LawOfAttractionGifts.com. Or visit his site at http://effortlessabundance.com