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“Momentum solves 80% of your problems.”– Dr. John C. Maxwell
In the last three weeks, we have learned:
- Growth is important to reaching our destiny.
- Focusing on growth more than on goals enables us to achieve more in life.
- There are growth hindrances that we must overcome by correctly setting our thermostat (our attitude).
Today’s blog is the how-to of personal growth; how to jumpstart, accelerate, and sustain your growth momentum.
We each have defining moments that have shaped who we are today. If you pause now and reflect, you can pinpoint to a day or season of your life that something shifted in you; a decision that set you on a new trajectory. I had one of those moments in sixth grade.
Before sixth grade, the effect of a poor self-image made me believe I wasn’t as smart as other kids. So, I struck up a friendship with a classmate whose assignments and exams I would use to cheat. But something changed in me during my first exam. Staring at the exam paper and clueless on how to proceed, I realized I needed to change. With all the boldness I could muster at that young age, I decided never to cut corners to get results. I handed my exam sheet with most questions unanswered. Expectedly, I failed that exam and others that followed.
Flash forward to the end of graduate school and looking at my official transcript. I had scored excellent grades in all my graduate courses! What happened between being a low performer in middle school to becoming an excellent student in graduate school? I had benefited from a single decision made in sixth grade. I had grown in my thinking and approach to challenges in life. I have experienced excellence in other areas of life from that momentum building decision.
Momentum is created and sustained by action. Like a small snowball at the top of a hill rolling down gains speed and size while increasing its impact downstream, small growth decisions made at defining moments will have a great impact on your future. I believe that by applying the three items I will share with you here, growth will be evident in your life. Like a snowball, your growth will compound, and its impact will be astronomical. Here are the three items to help you create growth momentum:
1. Choose value-based living
In an earlier blog, we defined growth as the process of becoming more valuable. Value is at the heart of personal growth. The Law of the mirror, from John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth states, “You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself”. It is also true that we must see value in others before we add value to them. View assigns value. Choosing value-based living is the first step to creating growth momentum. It is seeing the value in your yourself, others, and in your organizations, then doing things that add value to yourself, others, and those organizations. When you see value in yourself and those around you, you believe that you and the people around you are worth the time, effort, and energy to develop.
The path to adding value starts with yourself then spreads to your community. You can’t add value to others if you have nothing to offer. Greatness around starts with greatness within. You make yourself great by improving your skills and attitude. Once you start developing and growing, find someone to share your growth strategies and experience. You don’t need to change people 100%, just find little ways that will make people around you 1% better. This way, you will find yourself working or living in an environment where growth is fostered.
Choosing value-based living begins first with the belief that you can add value. This is what is referred to as a difference-maker mindset. The second step is to look for ways to add value to others. This means finding something simple such as kindness or support that you can give and looking around for someone you can touch with your life. Third, encourage others to live a value-based life. Naturally, we are drawn to high-quality people. This lifestyle will be further propelled by your tribe.
2. Choose your tribe
We may have moved away from the ancient definition of a tribe, but we still live in tribes in the 21st century. How do you react when you see someone else using an apple product like you? Sometimes we are tempted to smile or wave at the person. This is true of any product that you value. My current habit is whenever I travel by public means, I look around to see if there is anyone reading a book. Once I spot someone reading, I get closer to examine what they are reading. If they are reading a book on personal growth or leadership, instantaneously, I become their friend. This may sound creepy but trust me it always goes very well with me. Why is this? Because I get to connect with someone who is in my tribe.
Choosing your tribe is intentionally and strategically choosing your circle of influence. Since growth requires a conducive environment to thrive, and people make up a big percentage of your environment, choosing the right people is very crucial. James Clear, author of Atomic Habits stressed the importance of a tribe by saying, “Your tribe shapes your identity. Your identity shapes your future”. In short, choosing your tribe means choosing your future.
Your tribe will also determine your diet and growth rate. Those you surround yourself with will determine your conversations, increase your faith or your fears, and feed or deprive your dreams. Here is how to choose your tribe:
- Find people who have been where you want to go. They will be your source of wisdom and inspiration.
- Find people who are on the same journey as you. They will challenge you.
- Find people who desire/plan to go where you are going. Teach them what you are learning. They keep you humble.
Choosing a tribe that focuses on growth will promote a faith-guided life.
3. Choose a faith-guided life
The best definition of faith I have come across is, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. I believe that we all wake up in the morning and hope for great things for our lives. We are generally moved into action by our deep belief of positive outcomes in life. Choosing a faith-guided life is acting upon our hopes and going after the evidence we have seen in our dreams and creative minds of a value-based life.
A faith-guided life changes our approach to life. We stop being driven by fear of losing and are guided by the faith of winning. Our language becomes that of faith and hope. We choose to grow daily and follow the advice captured in Abraham Maslow’s quote “One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again.”
Final Thought: Moving from average to great begins with a decision to grow, but it doesn’t stop there. Seeing the benefits of growth in life requires turning a desire into action. Not taking the first step after a decision is made, invalidates the decision. Therefore, I hope you will follow each of the above choices with action. You will do things of value, find your tribe, and act upon your hopes. Remember, Decision + Action = Results.
Keep on Keeping on!
Today’s blog post was written by Samson Gichuki.