I found this article of particular interest from Word from Today.
Here are three reasons we don’t experience personal growth:
1)We think it comes strictly from experience. Believing personal growth comes only from experience, is like an archer shooting arrows off-target and thinking he’s improving simply because he keeps on shooting.
Experience is only profitable if you learn from it and start hitting your target. Pulitzer prize-winning composer Gian Carlo Menotti said, ‘Hell begins on the day God grants us a clear vision of all we might have achieved…the gifts we wasted…and all we might have done but didn’t do.’
Don’t end your life regretting the time and opportunities you wasted. Use every opening God gives you to grow, starting today.
2)We think growth comes strictly from information. Have you ever known someone who was absolutely brilliant yet never seemed to accomplish anything of benefit for themselves, or others?
They’re like an encyclopaedia filled with knowledge that has no value because it’s never used. The greatest obstacle to personal growth isn’t ignorance; it’s the illusion of knowledge!
3)We assume growth is automatic. When we are children growth comes naturally. During that time there are parents, coaches, and teachers challenging us to develop on a daily basis, so we get used to growth.
The problem comes when we get out of school and nobody is pushing us to grow or go any further. The price of growth is always less than the cost of ignorance and stagnation. And the truth is, if you don’t take responsibility for your personal growth – it won’t happen!
Personal growth involves four things:
1)Environment. You must place yourself in a setting that fosters growth. Certain fish grow according to the size of their surroundings. If you keep them in a small tank they stay small, but when you release them into the ocean they grow to their intended size.
The same principle applies to you. You must spend your time with the right crowd, in the right place, doing the right things, in order to grow.
2)Strength. Author and leadership expert Peter Drucker said: ‘The great mystery isn’t that people do things badly, but that they occasionally do a few things well. The only thing that’s universal is incompetence. Strength is always specific!’
When you try to be good at everything, you end up being good at nothing. God gave you specific strengths – identify them and use them.
3) Change. Most of us want things to get better without having to change anything. To grow, you must commit yourself to not only accepting change, but to pursuing it.
4) Enjoyment. Most grandmasters of chess learn and relearn their moves over a period of fifteen years before winning their first world title. That’s almost one-fifth of their lives! If you’re going to spend that much time doing something, you’d better enjoy it!
If the destination appeals to you but you’re not enjoying the journey, you’d be wise to seek guidance and make sure you’re heading in the right direction. If you’re on the wrong train, don’t keep going – get off at the next station!”
My mission in life is to come to the end of it without any regrets. I don’t want any ‘what if moments’ to haunt me to my grave. I don’t want to move into retirement which will be in my 80’s and look back on my life with regret regarding missed opportunities.
I can’t think of a more depressing way to end my life. I know that may be a bit dramatic, but I am planning for a peaceful happy retirement. There will come a time when I can’t do what I am doing right now, and I want to have the satisfaction that I gave it my best shot and as sports people say, ‘I left it all on the pitch’.
I have peace in my life
To this point in my life, I don’t have a single ‘what if’ regret that I can think of. If I have had an opportunity present itself to me and it was sensible to do so I have taken it. Have I failed along the way – you bet I have! But do I regret taking the risk of that opportunity – no way!
Because I have taken the opportunity presented to me, I don’t have the torture of wondering what would have been if I hadn’t taken the risk. When these opportunities have gone wrong this is when I have grown the most in character and comfort zone.
Things are looking up
As I look at my life right now, I am incredibly happy with what I see. I have recovered very well from big mistakes I have made financially and relationally, and the future is looking very promising.
This isn’t for everyone and some personalities need to have security and calm in their lives and that is absolutely fine. But for some personalities personal growth is important and choosing the tough path to grow is a choice worth making.
Thoughts for the week
- This week think about your personal growth and check it against the list above.
- Remember that we only grow when we are under pressure and when things go wrong.
- Don’t be afraid of getting it wrong because when you come through it you will have grown in character and the ability to handle pressure more effectively.
- Be sensible in any decisions you make to take a risk but do consider opportunities which present themselves to you carefully – don’t just dismiss them.
Well that’s it for this week have a wonderful weekend and get set for growth!