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“Growth is the great separator between those who succeed and those who do not.” ~ John C. Maxwell.
This month our blog series will feature on growth. To help with this topic is a close friend of mine. Samson Gichuki is a John Maxwell Certified Coach and passionate about growth and adding value to others. He is currently pursuing his doctorate. I believe his insights on growth this month will encourage and challenge you at the same time. Happy reading!
Born out of thirst and hunger
2,702. Those are the number of days between January 2nd, 2008 and May 27th, 2015. They represent the length of time it took to achieve a goal I set on January 2nd, 2008. Within this time, I had earned what made me the first in my entire family to achieve; I earned a college degree. I learned that whatever is out of my reach today, can be accomplished with intense focus. Learning this key ingredient made me more thirsty and hungry for success.
From this thirst and hunger, my desire for personal growth emerged. In today’s post, I would like to share with you a few lessons I have learned on my personal growth journey, with the goal that you will embark on this journey if you haven’t started or continue if you are on it. I believe your life will be transformed.
Avoid this trap
Upon completion of my master’s degree from an honors university, I quickly observed that many adults were unhappy regardless of their education or their careers. I realized that many people had accepted their lives and given up on their purest childhood dreams. They had retired their creativity and settled for what society defined for them; their careers, their zip codes, and their class. Why had this happened? Because many people fell into a Fixed Mindset Trap. This trap makes you believe that your circumstances are set and the only thing you can do is to be comfortable where you are. You must avoid this trap at all cost. Today’s blog and the next three will help you do that.
Personal growth defined
I remember the day that I sat down and articulated what personal growth meant to me. That is the day that I clearly saw why personal growth is important and must be the centerpiece of my future. I broke it down to the two words it consists of; person and grow. A person is his/her physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social being. While growing means to increase in value. So, I define personal growth as the process of becoming more valuable. That is increasing physical value by getting stronger physically despite age. Increasing emotional value by being more intelligent emotionally. Increasing my social value by adding value to the people around you. And, increasing my spiritual value by deepening my faith and beliefs.
Why should you care about personal growth?
Now that we have defined personal growth, here are three reasons I have learned why personal growth is important for any person who becomes intentional about it.
1. Your Destiny Depends on it.
Do we determine destiny, or is it predetermined? This is a debate that we must face at one point in our lives. And the answer we end up with will determine our inclination to personal growth. Before we move any further, I think it is important to shed light on this issue. My take is that both ways are true; It is predetermined, and we determine it ourselves.
I know it is pre-determined because one day my life will come to an end. Before it ends, I will produce fruits that will tell what kind of life I lived. Also, I know that the giftedness I have is to accomplish a certain purpose in life. On the other hand, I know that we have the power to determine our destiny. How do I know this? By understanding that we have the power of choice. We can choose the beautiful destiny set before us by living a purposeful life and utilize our gifts. Or we can drift through life being a victim of our surrounds without any meaningful impact.
With this kind of mindset, we have to ask ourselves, how do we get to that beautiful destiny in life? A place where you will know that you made the most of your time here on earth. The answer is personal growth. We must make the decision to grow daily; to increase our value in the five areas I pointed out that makes who we are.
Personal growth is the vehicle that will take you to the destiny you envision for your life. It will empower you to make personal growth actions. And as Catherine Pulsifer, author of Wings of Wisdom put it “We determine our destiny by the actions we take today”. Choose to take the actions that contribute to daily growth and your life will change.”
2. It will make you comfortable with change
The only constant in life is change. Whether we want to grow or not, change is inevitable. In life, there are changes that we initiate such as going for our destiny and there are changes that happen to us like change in the economy or age. But in both scenarios, personal growth, that is becoming more valuable in skills and character, is what will make us comfortable while we go through life changes.
To move from where you are to where you want to be will require change. Deciding to change for the better by introducing new valuable habits and breaking old valueless habits so as to see an improved life, is the most challenging thing to do because of the friction it creates. Also, facing life changes that are out of our control like aging and economic slowdowns create friction. But because personal growth improves who we are, we are in a much better position to get the most out of the changes that we face.
Most of the time people know what they want to do to improve their lives. They envision what an improved life looks like. But sadly, they remain where they are because they were never comfortable with the change that was required to have the life they wanted. Daily growth is the guarantee that you won’t sink during change. As you get more comfortable with change you will use it for maximum impact.
3. It will maximize your impact
Nothing in life will amplify your impact as growing yourself and those around you. I would like to ask you to stop here and do something for me before you continue reading. Think about who you are as a person. Think about what you can do to improve your life and the lives of those you deeply love if had all the resources. Envision the kind of life you would like to live. What did you see? Whatever you saw is the vision of the impact you can have if you choose a certain life.
As Jackie Robinson well put it “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” The impact of our lives will determine how satisfied we will be in life. Our potential, our giftedness, and our resourcefulness are calling us to positively impact the society we live in. Growing daily is what will make you maximize your impact and bring you the greatest joy. But you must be intentional about personal growth because growth is not a natural process.
Final Thought: The number one leadership and personal growth expert, Dr. John C. Maxwell once said “If you want to reach your goals and fulfill your potential, become intentional about your personal growth. It will change your life”. I promise you one thing about personal growth: regardless of where you are in life, it will make you to so good that you won’t be ignored.
Keep on Keeping on!