It is an art for every human being in these days to find an own rhythm of life and not be sucked in our extraordinary turbulent society.

A Dutch unique and inspring book of Jaap Voigt ‘Leven en werken in het ritme van de seizoenen’ (Live and work in the rhythm of the seasons) is illustrative for nature as a portal to leadership!

It’s a book with surprising advice for daily life and work. When do you start something new: a project or even a company? When is it better to wait to bring out your ideas? At what time of the year does it fit to bring your stuff in order? When do you withdraw and when to go out?

Autumn

Autumn is a time when it comes to combine strength and self-reflection. It is a time of preparation: a time to prepare for winter, the season of renewal. What autumn is in the year, is the time of twilight in the day. In a lifetime, it is middle age (42-63 years). The time of life when a person has found his direction and is working hard to accomplish his tasks. In autumn, time has a different effect than in summer: summer time brings maximum growth, autumn it brings ripeness. The growth and maturation of recent times is enhanced by consolidation during this period. It is now time to make up the balance and reflect on what has been achieved and learn lessons from it. In this time the mind withdraws from worldly affairs and from conscience there is judgement of what has brought gain and what has brought loss. As a result, you become more powerful because there is self-knowledge that comes from introspection: thus both your own strengths and your weaknesses become increasingly clear to you. Work on something that is essential for you, aim for a higher purpose than for your own sake. It is time to develop your knowledge and craftsmanship.

Winter

Winter is the night of the year. The earth is apparently asleep. Forces of renewal and purification are at work in an autonomous way. The power of winter is full of paradoxes. Rapid growth is shrouded in tranquility. Outwardly there is rest, inwardly there is growth. The seeds that have fallen into the earth in autumn are purified in their rest: the energy that will later be needed for growth builds up in the earth. But now it is still quiet. In winter you are thrown back on yourself and thus forced, as it were, to explore an area that has hitherto been foreign to you. This is about building the confidence that inspiration comes naturally, as if out of nowhere. And that this will eventually take shape on its own.

Spring

What has been built in your inner world during the winter can now expand: the year’s expansion period starts in spring. It is the dawn of the year, new and fresh and full of promise. But this awakening is not without struggle and the ideas are still vulnerable and can easily disturbed. So attention is needed to further develop the ideas and further rooting before bringing it to the outside world. Dosage is important. It is important to keep on feeding the sources of inspiration. The ideas take shape during spring and it is important to be as perfect as possible. So it requires craftsmanship and knowledge. So making the ideas concrete, but without focussing on the result only. It is a phase of harmony, both in nature as in yourself. Balance is key in spring. Discover new opportunities which aligns with your already created ideas. Being enthusiastic and inspired, but also dealing with details and not getting frustrated. Also routine jobs need energy and maintenance.

Summer

What the afternoon is in the day, is summer in the year. What are still sprouts in winter, emerge in early spring and become fully visible as a form in summer. In the time of summer, your ideas will find their suitable shape. The power that you have trust in the outside world to find the right people, the right situation and the right working form. Showing your leadership in the world, with inner dignity which is yours. There will be relationships and situations where you clearly have to say what you think about it. It is also risk taking, but that is part of it. Give also the people in your inner circle the attention they need and work on deferred maintenance when needed. This give the home base balance and peace, so you can be more powerful to the outside world. Get rid of what is not fitting anymore, although it can be painful. Procrastination is not the answer. Get the spirit free, so new creative impulses can find their way and get shaped after summer. Reflect also during summer what are your attention points and improvement possibilities which you want to improve and make your strong points even stronger. Be aware of temptations. If you are nog sure if something is a new challenge or a temptation, take time to explore. Where you build upon in the first half year, will be visible in different forms in your life and work. Cherish these forms with care and patient. Expansion will take place unimpeded!