Mama Said, “Don’t Mess with Mother Nature.”

It’s the middle of February 2024!

It’s already six weeks into the new year. Like many other people, perhaps you planned to start anew, turn over a new leaf, make promises you think you’d like to keep, and change things you’ve been wanting to change to become your better self. Also known as New Year’s resolutions.

I know. Me too. 

Yet, research shows only 9% of Americans who make resolutions complete them. Nearly 25% will quit by the end of the first week, and 43% by the end of January. Is it no wonder January 17 is known as “Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day?”

How are you doing?

Most people watch a year go by and realize they didn’t do what they resolved to do. I get that.

Life tends to, well, take over our lives, and it’s hard to stay focused and committed.

Maybe we’re not clear on what we want.

Or don’t know who we can ask for help.

Or don’t really care about what effect that resolution would have anyway.

Or are afraid to make a change.

Last year, I resolved to decide what to do in my retirement. And I did. I’m now speaking and coaching on how to make change work for you. If you want to learn more about how, let’s talk.

As it turns out, when I look back at 2023, I realized I took advice from Mother Nature — from a polar bear, sea turtle, penguin, and glacier to be exact!  

Quick back story. I received a set of blank greeting cards from Advice for Life by Your True Nature. I had never heard of the company, and clearly, they wanted to change that. Check them out at

DISCLOSURE: “Advice from…” are trademarks of Your True Nature Inc. The images are photos I snapped of the cover of the cards I received unsolicited in the mail.

The cards offer advice from Nature that could prove helpful in your life, as you ponder what 2024 will be like for you. I thought they were splendid reminders of what we can learn every day from nature if we just stop long enough to notice.

Maybe the pieces of advice not resolutions per se, but they COULD be. Enjoy and remember, don’t mess with Mother Nature!

Advice from a Polar Bear

  • Live large.
  • Sniff out opportunities.
  • Learn some good icebreakers.
  • Be thick-skinned.
  • Be fearless.
  • Appreciate long winter nights.
  • Keep it cool!

The polar bear advice that resonated with me most was, “sniff out opportunities.” I feel like that was all I did in 2023! I would add, not only sniff them out, but seize them! 

Advice from a Sea Turtle 

  • Swim with the current. 
  • Be a good navigator. 
  • Stay calm under pressure. 
  • Be well-traveled. 
  • Think long term. 
  • Age gracefully. 
  • Spend time at the beach!

There is something so calming yet rejuvenating for me when I’m at the beach. It helps me put things into perspective and appreciate what and who I have in my life. 

When I’m at the beach, I feel the sense of strength, power, and relentlessness of the ocean waves. Like everything in life, it changes constantly. I speak and coach on how to make change work for you at work and in your life. Let’s talk if you’d like to learn more.

At the same time, when I’m at the beach, I feel a sense of humility knowing how small I am, like a tiny grain of sand against the sheer majesty, size, timelessness, and expanse of the ocean. The beach reminds me to live today for all it offers because life on Earth can be washed away in an instant.

Advice from a Penguin

  • Dive into life.
  • Find warmth among friends.
  • Appreciate snow days.
  • Take long walks.
  • Stand together.
  • Go the extra mile.
  • Keep your cool!

The piece of advice from a penguin that resonates with me the most is, “stand together.” In the case of penguins, quite literally.

According to ScienceABC, “sharing and caring is the penguin mantra! Care for other individuals by sharing their body heat. Conserving body heat in this way, the penguins can lower their body temperature and metabolic costs to benefit their survival during their fasting season. With a fasting season that can last as long as 120 days, this becomes essential.”

Stand together for me also means respecting differences while joining forces for the common good. Like the penguin, our chances of survival are better if we stand together. 

Advice from a Glacier

  • Carve your own path.
  • Go slow.
  • Channel your strengths.
  • Smooth the way for others.
  • Keep moving forward.
  • Avoid meltdowns.
  • Be cool!

The piece of advice from a glacier that resonates with me the most is, “smooth the way for others.”

It reminded me what a manager of mine once say to me, “don’t be irreplaceable, you’ll never get promoted.” That may sound odd, but if you think about it, it’s not.

It’s good to be great at what you do, but that only lasts so long. Part of your responsibility as a leader is to bring others up, create a path for them to follow, and make that path easier for them to walk down than it was for you.

For example, my 4Cs Change Framework helped me AND my team lead success change communications programs at global companies. It raised the bar and set new standards for how to do this. Let’s talk if you would like to explore this with your team.

I don’t know about you, but if I’m irreplaceable and stay in one place, I’m going to miss out on the rest of what life has more in store for me.

I’d rather move on, get out of the way, and give the opportunity to others – like others have done for me.

To your prosperity!

About the Author:  Mary Lou Panzano

Mary Lou Panzano retired after 42 years in corporate America to pursue her purpose in life:  help people prosper, personally, professionally, and financially. As Founder and CEO (Chief Enlightenment Officer) of Panzano Enterprises, LLC, Mary Lou focuses on helping:

  • Professional communicators prosper. Whether it’s students studying communications, or junior-, mid-career, or senior communicators, Mary Lou provides coaching services to help them be even better at what they do.
  • Anyone looking to prosper in their lives. As a student of millionaires and leaders in their fields, Mary Lou shares how she applied principles of prosperity she learned to achieve millionaire status and a lifestyle of freedom, peace, and prosperity, with those looking to do the same.
  • Home-business owners prosper. Mary Lou offers home business opportunities and services such as leads, training, discount apps, and digital library systems that help businesses prosper.

Reach out to Mary Lou directly at [email protected].