I love roses. My favorite flower shop is just around the corner. The shop’s owner knows me and my passion for roses pretty well. I buy roses every week. She always has a special offer for me. Not because I asked for it. It’s because I’m apparently a special “rose” customer. My flower shop lady explained it to me: Most customers expect roses to be perfect. That includes also to expect that roses shouldn’t have thorns. Unbelievable for me. She said that I was one of the very rare customers who loves roses just the way they are. They are beautiful, but every single one is a unique being, and they look differently. That also includes that roses come with thorns. That’s how roses are. And roses as all living beings are not perfect.

What is it people project to roses? Their ambition to be perfect all the time or is it their ambition to remain forever young?

Roses and thorns – there are two side of the coin

A rose and her thorns represent how life works. Every situation you may find yourself in has at least two sides to look at it and at least two sides how to respond to the situation. For me, it’s always interesting to observe how two persons perceive the same situation differently. What’s beautiful and comfortable for one person, can be perceived as stressful for another person. Individual context matters. Always.

How we respond to different situations, the same principle can be applied. The simple alternatives that are always available are to accept the situation or to walk away. Either way, the beauty of the rose and her thorns can represent the one way or the other. Whatever you decide to do, security versus risks, stagnation versus change, remaining in a job versus initiating a big change, these perceived two sides of the coin can change along the journey that follows your decision. What seemed to be a secure decision (e.g. staying in a big corporation because of the safe job) can turn out to be a risky approach. Imagine what disruption in many industries made with large corporations that did not adapt quickly enough. Staying in a relationship that doesn’t fulfill your inner needs, but seems to be comfortable, can turn out to become a great risks, when damages in your heart and soul turn into serious diseases.

This principle of the two sides of the same coin, is the same in our professional and our private lives. There is often one alternative that seems to be an easy one, a beautiful one, and there is most of the time another one that has more risks and bigger challenges or that may take longer. On the one hand, the rose represents beauty, love and joy and inner peace. On the other hand, the thorns represent the challenges that have to be mastered along the journey, the obstacles we have to overcome along the way.
Growth doesn’t happen without thorns.
As soon as growth happened, enjoy the beauty.
That’s a lifelong iterative process.

Thorns can hurt – or life is risky

Nothing that’s worthwhile to achieve is easy. Nothing that’s worthwhile to achieve comes without risks, challenges and obstacles to overcome. Whatever your journey looks like, some things will work pretty well, and other things will go wrong. You may be hurt in certain situations, and you may have to adjust your behavior or to change your approach. The thorns are those experiences that we need most to grow personally. The rose then represents achievements, joy, happiness, inner peace, and a growing amount of wisdom. Also here, that’s the same for our professional and our private life. Thorns also represent the unknown. Do they really hurt. If so, how much? How will it feel when I touch them? Map that to any unknown situation you are facing. No known patterns, no known formula will work because the context is different, maybe complex, unpredictable, or volatile. Don’t miss the unknown. The unknown is risky, yes. But the unknown provides the biggest potential to learn and to grow. In my experience, you will always get the energy you need to master your challenges.
The unknown is also the foundation for creativity – how to connect the dots this time? In a completely different and new way, I guess…

“Courage will come to you.
Just start with a simple formula:
Never miss the unknown.”


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