There was a group of tourists visiting a small village in Europe. They walked by an old man sitting on a wooden fence. One of the tourists asked, “Were there any great people born in this village?” The old man replied, “Nope. Just babies!”
That story raises an important point. Growth takes time. It is a process. It must be intentional. It’s never accidental. And growth is a major purpose for being alive. It’s a natural phenomena, so when growth ceases, then life loses its intent. The result? We start to die. As Coach John Wooden put it, “The moment your past becomes more exciting than your future is the day you start to die.” In other words, you are either green and growing, or ripe and rotting. No one exceeds beyond their wildest expectations unless they begin with some, well…wild expectations.
Following are 5 mindsets essential for growth.
1. Be intentional. Growth will take you where you need to go. And if you can get people to be intentional in their growth, they will realize a success that they would not in any other way. Fostering development and growth is a personal choice. When it comes to leading others it is an essential practice that will bring out the best in your people. If you want them to be the best, then help them be better. It’s easy for organizations to get trapped in a training mentality. Training focuses on a specific outcome that you would like to see happen. Growth is about going to a new level of competency. It can include training, but it also involves mentoring, coaching, reading, and self-directed study.
2. Be patient. One of the barriers to growth is the fast track mentality. People want everything—including growth—in an instant. Growth comes as we face life on a day to day basis. It’s not an overnighter. When I got my Ph.D., I remember one of my professors saying that it would take at least 15 years for my experience to catch up with my education. He was wrong. It’s taken longer. I wrote it down, but didn’t really understand it at the time. I do now! It never happens in the fast lane.
3. Be resilient. Everything has a price. When it comes to growth it means to fully embrace change. There is usually pain involved. That’s why we use the phrase, growing pains. Growing intellectually includes pain. Growing emotionally includes pain. And anybody that works out knows that growing physically includes pain. Spiritual growth comes when we embrace pain in its totality. We go deeper and integrate fully. It goes beyond alignment to attunement. When loss hits your life that means that something better is yet to come. Something better is going to happen, and the pain of losing something will make you stronger – if you stay resilient.
4. Be courageous. But be warned! Letting go of something you now have will cause you fear. You’re not alone. It’s come to all who desire to grow and develop. Remember!! Something better is yet to come. If you’re not moving forward, you are moving backward. It’s a principle in this world that describes the universe itself—that which does not expand, contracts. No one wants to move backwards. Fear—and sometimes pain—are a part of the agenda. Sometimes it simply involves giving yourself away. Investing in others has a way of widening our hearts.
5. Embrace change. Accepting change means you are embracing opportunity. This is living life to the fullest. It is a welcoming of growth that will make you extraordinary—someone you have always wanted to be.
Growth is a process. The mighty oak was once a small nut. That 100 foot pine was a seed blowing in the wind. Albert Einstein was a misunderstood child.
Unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. Sometimes we feel like we’re dying. At that moment realize a new life is being born in you. Adversity, rather than stopping your growth, is propelling you into a new dimension of awareness that is broadening your perspective and increasing your influence.
Don’t run from it. Embrace it.
We teach what we know. We reproduce what we are.