Lessons from the saguaro cactus

I’ve been in Phoenix all week, spending time seeing the market during the holiday season with my team. While we were there, I scheduled a little team building activity for us. We took ATV’s through the Tonto National Forest, about a half hour northeast of Scottsdale. The scenery is breathtaking, almost from another world. Miles and miles of the majestic saguaro cactus (by the way, both cactuses and cacti are acceptable plural terms I’ve learned this week), punctuated by a windy Salt River in the distance backed by a gorgeous mountain range. Stunningly beautiful.

Here was my favorite part; a dose of inspiration from these prickly creatures. Most of these saguaros are over a hundred years old, taking over 70 years to simply grow an arm. Through crazy windstorms that blow over telephone poles and anything else in the vicinity, these cacti stand strong. They are brilliantly designed, with shallow but wide roots and complex surfaces that create circular wind systems to minimize the impact.

What are your systems that can redirect the winds? How do you minimize stress? For me, it’s always trying to keep a healthy and balanced perspective. It’s family. It’s friends. It’s a grateful attitude. It’s walking away and unplugging when necessary.

So when you see one of these majestic creatures, give them a nod. (but don’t slice them open looking for water…a) that would be mean and b) it’s a myth!)

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