Misconceptions about growth that may be holding you back. “I assume I will automatically grow”, “I don’t know how to grow”, “it’s not the right time to begin”, “I’m afraid of making mistakes”, “I have to find the best way before I start”, “I don’t feel like doing it”, “others are better than I am”, “I thought it would be easier than this”.
Start today, start taking responsibility to grow; responsibility for your own personal development. Transition from accidental growth to intentional growth by asking the big questions now. Where do you want to go in life? What direction? What’s the furthest you see yourself going?
Fight for good habits and rely on hard work to keep them there. Focus on positive self talk, stop comparing yourself to others and move beyond your limiting beliefs. Start building a positive network, if you want to start feeling valuable add value to others.
Remember there’s always time to slow down and pause. Learning to pause allows growth to catch up with you turning experiences into insight. Schedule time to pause and reflect or it will always get knocked off your to-do list.
Ask yourself. Do you know what you need to improve? Do you know how you are supposed to improve? Do you know why you want to keep improving? Be conscious of the journey not the destination, growth is lifelong and you will constantly change beyond your goals. It’s difficult to remain engaged into anything if you haven’t found a way to value and appreciate the process.
Assess the environment. Is the environment conducive to learning? Ask yourself questions that help you to understand who and what nurtures you personally and figure out if you’re getting those things. Ask yourself, what songs lift me? What ideas speak to me? What experiences rejuvenate me? What people encourage me? What activities revive me? What spiritual exercises strengthen me? And so on and so on. Change your environment to suit you and be deliberate with whom you spend your time with. Challenge yourself and focus on the moment, moving forward despite criticism.
Create a system where you can flourish, constantly reprioritizing while taking the big picture into account. Be organized and precise with your deadlines, an effective system promotes consistency. Embrace the value of bad experiences as a learning tool. No pain no gain, time to start taking responsibility for your life.
Build your strong character and rely on it. Inside victories precede outside ones. Our inside development is totally within our control. Follow the golden rule – people matter. Only teach what you believe – passions matter. Value humanity above all virtues – perspective matters. Recognize everyone has a weakness. Be teachable and willing to serve others. Strive to finish well – faithfulness matters.
Stretch your comfort zones. Settling for the status quo leads to dissatisfaction. Set yourself apart from others. Change starts internally. Let stretching become your lifestyle.
Consider trade-offs. Be willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth. Give up the fast life for the good life. It’s important to know what you are not willing to give up just as it is to know what you are willing to give up. What trade do you need to make but have been unwilling to make? Most people settle in and learn to live with a limitation or barrier that can be removed by making a trade.
Cultivate curiosity, approach life the way a child does; with a beginner’s mind set. Make why your favorite word. Learn something new everyday, grow through failure. Get out of the box and start enjoying life. Learn something that takes you completely out of your comfort zone, just be certain that it’s something you’ll find fun.
Stop thinking “can I?” And start thinking “how can I?” Stop thinking “more work” and start thinking “what works”. Stop thinking “one door” and start thinking “many doors”. Stop doing only things you’ve done before start doing the things you could and should do. Start doing more than what’s expected. Stop doing things occasionally and start doing things daily. Give yourself an effectiveness audit so you can be sure of what you’re thinking.
Ultimately the overall message of this book is to focus on self-development not self-fulfillment. Don’t let objects or people own you. Keep growing and keep giving. Make the decision to put others ahead of your own agenda. Serve others instead of yourself. Sometimes the seeds you sow take long to grow but you always see a harvest.