As children our physical growth and development comes naturally with age. Our intellectual, social and spiritual growth develop with age too, but to reach our potential in these areas requires cultivation and effort. That’s why we go to school and church, and why we are taught social lessons by our parents, teachers and peers. Our physical growth and our personal growth share much in common, but our personal growth has less obvious limitations and no particular time frame.
Growth from Physical Exercise vs. Personal Growth
If we want to be physically strong and healthy we all know that we need to exercise and eat well on a consistent basis. The killer workout you had at the gym five years ago has little bearing on your physique today. So why do we act like the sermons we heard as kids, or the books we read in school are going to take care of us for life? The truth is they don’t. To continue to grow we must feed and exercise our intellect and spirit continuously.
Here are some other truths about personal growth:
Growth makes us feel good about ourselves.
Growth is not automatic - it has to be intentional.
Growth requires us to consistently get outside our comfort zones.
Growth requires humility and saying I don’t know it all.
Growth always increases our capacity.
Growth takes us beyond simple goals.
Along with an abundance mindset and a positive attitude, a growth mindset is one of the most powerful shifts we can make in our thinking. While people have written books and dedicated entire careers to this topic, the basic concept of the growth mindset is to start viewing our failures as opportunities to learn, grow and get better. Failure and its lessons then become positive things in our lives rather than negatives, and we learn to embrace our failures. In the growth mindset we still have goals, but our fulfillment comes increasingly from how we learn, grow and develop on the way, and not from the short-lived happiness of goal-attainment.
Growth of an Organization
The laws of growth apply equally in organizations. Small organizations feel good about themselves when they are growing, and large organizations lose steam and morale when they are shrinking. The power to keep an organization growing comes from its leadership. It needs to be intentional and it will challenge people and push them outside their comfort zones. Finally, for an organization to grow, the people inside the organization must grow. This comes from having a growth mindset at the organizational level, with humility and a never-ending hunger to get better.
I encourage you to seek a growth mindset. It will change your life.