02 Jun 2015

At the end of the last century, German biochemist, Frederic Vester identified six growth force principles found in nature we can apply to our lives and work to increase health and growth. This article looks at the fourth growth force of sustainability.

You can read about the first three here: Interdependence, Multiplication, and Transforming Energy.

The principle of sustainability challenges us to consider how what we’re doing will produce the resources we’ll need for the next lifecycle.

In nature we observe how the leaves of a tree fall and become part of the nutrient base for the next growth season. And farmers rely on crop rotation, knowing that what one crop takes out, another replaces.

This also applies to ourselves and the way we personally approach our time and energy. We’re in this for the long haul; life is a marathon, not a sprint.

A synonym for sustainability could be recycling. Recycling embodies the idea of reusing resources for the future even though the resource may look different in the next cycle.

For example, investing in education could be a critical piece in building your future.

Creating and nurturing friendships will give you the support system you need now and in the future.

Developing new interests will help you develop new brain pathways and continue to expose you to new and exciting ideas.

Saving and investing for retirement will ensure you will be able to meet your needs in old age.

As you make decisions about the future, here are some questions you may want to consider:

  • What am I doing (or not doing) today that is building the future?
  • What resources do I need to increase the potential for the next cycle?
  • How is the lifestyle I’m creating today going to sustain me for my life of the future? Do I need to make some adjustments?
  • What will I need to change to still be healthy and vibrant ten years from now?
  • What great ideas from the past could be recycled to help my future?
  • How am I creating an environment that will be conducive to sustaining life into the next decade?

Thinking about cycles of life can help us consider how to create ongoing sustainability so as we reach one milestone, we continue to the next.


Royalty-free image by Patrick Nijhuis; retrieved from:





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