Nature Moments Offer Cognitive Renewal

By Linda Fisher Thornton

The last time I had to stop to let a flock of geese to cross the road, they were in no apparent hurry. Most likely, part of their territory had been turned into a housing development, and they were just travelling from point A to point B. The driver of the car in front of me enjoyed the nature moment – watching them quietly as they crossed.

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” William Shakespeare

The driver in the left lane, though, was clearly not happy with the interruption. The car inched forward, closer and closer to the geese, and the driver honked repeatedly to hurry them along.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  Einstein

If you notice nature’s beauty and bounty, you can interpret a moment like this one as a welcomed respite from a busy day. It can leave you refreshed. If you have become “immune to nature’s beauty” you are missing out. “More than two-thirds of people choose a natural setting to retreat to when stressed” (How Does Nature Impact Our Well-Being?, Time in nature can also help us be more focused and patient. Spending time in nature, looking at plants, water, birds and other aspects of nature gives the cognitive portion of our brain a break, allowing us to focus better and renew our ability to be patient” (Immerse Yourself in a Forest For Better Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State).

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” Lao Tzu

Nature moments can help us handle constant change and complexity. According the most recent Global Wellness Summit, “The medical evidence for doses of nature is wide-ranging… It’s powerful medicine for our minds too, with studies indicating walks in nature engage the “default mode” brain network associated with stress-reduction and a boost in cognition, creativity and short-term memory” Prweb, Global Wellness Summit.

“Look for nature to be a much-more-prescribed antidote for what ails us.” Prweb, Global Wellness Summit

“University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher Holli-Anne Passmore says if people simply take time to ponder the nature around them, it will increase their general happiness and well-being” (Melissa Breyer, You can boost happiness by simply observing nature around you, According to research, Jill Suttie explains, “experiencing the beauty of nature increases positive emotion—perhaps by inspiring awe, a feeling akin to wonder, with the sense of being part of something bigger than oneself—which then leads to prosocial behaviors” (How Nature Can Make You Kinder, Happier, and More Creative, Greater Good Magazine,

If you are feeling rushed (and “honking mad”), remind yourself to take a breath and enjoy the nature moment. It just might improve your thinking, creativity, focus, memory, health, well-being and happiness. The bonus for the people around you? It will improve your patience too. 





Click the cover to read a free preview!  

©2019 Leading in Context LLC

Sustainable Everything: What C-Suite Leaders Need to Know About the New Thinking

The Sustainability Mindset Crosses Industries and Disciplines

The growing sustainability mindset is not industry-specific or topic-specific. It is showing up in industries as diverse as foods, construction and social media. It reflects a concern for reducing the use of new materials, and for limiting long-term impact on the environment.

In an interconnected global economy, people are becoming more and more "Leading Ethically" "Ethical Leadership" "Context"aware of the impact of business greed, overconsumption and pollution on our health and well-being. They are scaling back and choosing more responsibly when they do buy.

While some industries are tending to dismiss this change in consumer behavior as a trend that will pass, others have realized that the movement is deeply rooted and that they will be at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t respond.

Sustainable Business Leadership and Integrity

People who are leading a business that is becoming more sustainable are presumably also working toward living sustainably. Making day-to-day changes and achieving a sustainability mindset is a challenging leadership responsibility and involves continuous learning and improvement (See Sustainability is a Mindset, Not a Job).

Broadly, the sustainable movement involves thinking longer-term and being more careful to avoid unintended consequences and harm (See  Five Unintended Consequences of Linear Problem-Solving).  Here is a sampling of the sustainability trends. Feel free to comment to share other sustainability trends not listed here.

Sustainable Living                         Sustainable Business

Sustainable Development          Sustainable Energy

Sustainable Design                        Sustainable Construction

Sustainable Foods                         Sustainable Health

Sustainable Social Media            Sustainable Consumption Listings for Sustainable

Questions to Consider

1. How can I adapt my business practices to meet the new consumer’s need for sustainable everything?

2. How can my company become an industry leader and set an example for others to follow?

3. Sustainable practices are now considered the standard mode for many of today’s consumers. Thinking ahead, are we making changes as quickly as we need to? Are we staying competitive?



For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?
  7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
  About 7 Lenses  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2010 Leading in Context LLC 

Sustainability is a Mindset, Not a Job

Many businesses are gearing up for sustainability by adding a position to oversee it.

Will adding a position without changing the way decisions are made actually lead to sustainable business practices within the organization?

It turns out that sustainable CEOs are making money while incorporating sustainable business practices into their daily practices, and that “sustainability” is a mindset and a way of doing business profitably in their companies, rather than a job position.

These articles provide a case for the “sustainability mindset” and list CEOs who are being recognized for doing it well:

And the Top 10 Most Sustainable CEOs Are… by Nick Aster,

Sustainability Mindset by Frits Hesselink,

Sustainability Starts When You Throw Away the Instruction Manual, by Saybrook University’s Organizational Systems Program (guest article) at



For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?
  7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
  2014 Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
  About 7 Lenses  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2010 Leading in Context LLC 

%d bloggers like this: