“Going into the woods is like going home.”
– John Muir
Today, I want to share a principle that isn’t a business strategy, tactic, or system—but it has EVERYTHING you do with business. In fact, it has everything to do with life, success, business, the community, and all the connections that make being human so special.
Today, I want to talk about being in nature. It is such a simple, practical, and important thing that we often miss out how much of an impact it can have on our businesses, our well-being, our relationships, and our success.
For example, if you are watching the video on this post (and I hope you do), you’ll see that I get to live right in the center of three hills that create a natural acoustic theatre. Right on this property, by nature, is where I help people transform their lives and businesses.
But I can tell you, I never imagined doing this years ago. I grew up in Silicon Valley, but not in the valley of the wild, but in the valley of big concrete buildings, air-conditioned spaces, sitting on plastic chairs and watching a computer screen.
Whenever I was out with my wife when I did have spare time, she used to tell me, “Stop Steve and smell the roses.” I couldn’t. I didn’t. Because I was distracted. I often drifted off thinking about what I was doing, what I needed to do in my business, and checking my ‘to-do’ list to see if there was anything I missed.
I thought that by doing that, it would help me get more done. But instead, it drained my energy, took my attention away from enjoying my connection with my wife, and really, it never helped me get anything additional done! It was just stressful and draining.
In a previous episode, I shared: Take More Breaks and Get More Done. It’s been awhile since then, but as I have continued to practice taking more breaks, the more I connect to the planet, the more abundance and growth I have had in my business and with my family! Truly truly, it’s a beautiful thing.
When I first heard this principle, I didn’t quite believe it. But as I have applied it consistently for some time now, I don’t even question the importance of connecting with nature. I hope by sharing this with you, it will inspire you to do the same thing.
I’ll start with the simple analogy of the beach for example. What’s the first thing you do when you go to the beach? You take your shoes off typically, right? You take your sandals off, you flick them off, and then you’re putting your feet in the sand.
You’re connecting with this planet!
Instinctively, we want and need this connection! We’re all part of this planet, we’re all reliant on its energies to sustain us; different plants, animals, and all things earthly. When it comes down to the cellular level, then everything is very much the same. It’s all made of that same energetic thing. It’s all just in different ways.
That’s why staying connecting is so important. There is nowhere you can go now where you are not on Earth. This is our home, our common home. Without the Earth, there is no you, there is no business, there are no customers.
Which is plain simple logic? Why does it feel so good to have the sun fall onto you, or to go outside and take a deep breath of some fresh air? Those things feel good for a reason because you’re connecting with the planet. So, going back to the beach, taking your shoes off, put your feet in the sand, suddenly you feel much better. And you hear the ocean coming in, and all of those things that makes a being on earth so special.
If you spend too much time in a concrete building, in an office, you are disconnecting from the Earth. And you wonder why it is so draining to work in those environments!
Now, back then, I thought it was only on the beach that you could have that feeling. But in fact, there are SO MANY other ways. For example, I heard Tim Ferris say that for 10 minutes a day he takes his shoes off and he puts his feet in the ground or puts his feet on the grass. He maintains that connection just for 10 minutes and it makes a big difference in his life.
Today that has been backed by scientific studies that show it reduces inflammation and boosts your immune system! Link here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4378297/
So it got me thinking. One time I was on a hike and as we got to the top of the hike we were going to have a little picnic and some snacks, I took my shoes off and just connected, and I was nowhere near the beach. But I was connecting with the dirt and putting my feet on the rocks, and I started to get that same feeling through the picnic of connecting and feeling that regeneration of energy inside of me. I started to notice this can happen all over.
That’s why right now (in this video post) I’m not wearing any shoes! And if you have seen this video, you will have seen me walk up through the property, spend time on the land, and spend time in the woods. I am also wearing a shirt with a quote from John Muir:
“Going into the woods is like going home.”
This is John Muir, who lived around these areas here. He was also known as “John of the Mountains” and “Father of the National Parks.” It was his activism has helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park, and many other wilderness areas across the whole of the US.
Today, I’ve found in my life, the more breaks that I take—they can be little breaks like 10 minutes—I come back and I’m more productive than ever. I can get more done in the next hour than I would the whole day.
So here is your homework:
Remember, as always, I love to hear what was the most valuable. Go out there and connect with the planet and let me know what impact it makes on your life.
I hope this post has been truly useful.
As always, until we meet again…
Choose Gratitude Create Freedom