By Jeremy Stalnecker
Having a “mind to grow” is sadly lacking in most people, it seems, but is also essential for anyone who desires to become more than they are right now. While most are content to simply be the adult version of who they were as children, they have jobs and relatively stable relationships, those who make their world better are those who cannot bear the thought of staying the same. They want to grow, and learn, and mature so that they live a life of fulfillment and leave a legacy that actually matters.
The challenge with a life of growth, though, is that it is hard. It requires a discontent with the status quo and a willingness to take the “road less traveled” when most are happy to simply be left alone. The person who lives to grow is a person who is not afraid to push outside of their comfort zone because they know that growth only happens when there is resistance.
Where should you begin if you want to live a life of growth?
- Decide that will grow. This may seem too simple, but making a conscious, deliberate decision to grow may be the most important thing that you ever do. This one act becomes the foundation for a lifetime of growth.
- Decide that you will never stop growing. Again, this needs to be decided before you think it might be time to stop. Decide now that nothing- not circumstances, relationships, finances, or age, nothing will keep you from growing. Those things may shape your growth, but they should never prevent it.
- Look for the hard way. This does not mean that you should make things unnecessarily difficult, but that you should look for the way that others avoid. Often those around you do what they do because it is easy. Taking the hard road creates an environment for growth.
- Intentionally push beyond your “comfort zone.” We all have those lines that are difficult for us to cross either spiritually, emotionally or physically. Those are the lines that we need to recognize so that we can, when possible, push beyond. Your “comfort zone” is the single greatest obstacle to growth.
- Understand that personal growth should take place so that you are in a place to help others. Personal development is only valuable when skills are obtained that make the people around you better. Growth for growth’s sake is a waste and potentially harmful. Settle in your heart and mind that you are learning and growing because those around you need leadership and a legacy worth following.
- Surround yourself with others who are focused on growth. Since living this life is often difficult, it is also often lonely. Most people are happy to simply get by. There are though, if you are willing to look, many people just like you who cannot bear the thought of “simply getting by”. These people will hold you accountable and help you to keep pushing when you want to stop. Having others in your life who also want to get the most out of their moments here on earth will help to keep you from getting held back by those who don’t.
- Take the time to write down a few things you hope people will remember when you are gone. The list may change over time, but it at least puts a goal in front of you that helps you focus when things get fuzzy.
- Keep track of your progress. This may be a written journal, video diary or a yearly planner, but whatever you use, keep track of your progress and lessons learned along the way. The lessons will help you as you move forward, and the memories will let you know that you are.
The group of people who have a “mind to grow” is a very small group. The world is made up of those who live to walk the path of least resistance. But for the ones who are willing to grow and learn and lead, there is a world waiting to be discovered and a life worth living!
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