“If it’s not growing, it’s dying.”
At least that’s what I’ve heard said, and I think there’s a lot of truth to that statement.
I like to play the guitar. I’ve noticed that, if I don’t practice regularly, my skill level doesn’t stay at it’s peak. Instead, it declines until I get myself on a regular practice routine again, and then it starts to grow.
Wouldn’t it be cool if you could exercise and eat right until you had the body you desired, and then it just stayed that way forever? Heck yes it would!
We were designed to grow. It’s what we’re meant to do. Growth makes us happy, makes us healthy, and makes us wise. When we set goals to learn, to achieve, and to improve our health, we experience growth in the process of reaching those goals.
Unfortunately, many people just don’t grow. They get comfortable where they are and remain stunted, like 17 year-olds living in 30, 40, or 50 year-old bodies. This lack of growth often leads to discontent, relational dysfunction, and poor physical health. At the end of the day, life is just so much better when we make growth in our lives a priority.
I have found that there are four reasons why many people never grow. They are not huge obstacles, and anyone can overcome them. It just takes a little commitment to move forward toward being your best.
Personal growth requires humility.
Many people don’t grow simply because they don’t feel like they need to. Pride gets in the way of seeing areas of growth potential, and it’s just not teachable. When interviewing potential team members at our church, we always ask, “What do you think you could learn from being a part of the team?” If the answer is something like, “I think I could really help you guys out,” then that person doesn’t make the cut. Feeling like there is no need to grow is a sign of arrogance that usually leads to bigger problems down the road.
Personal growth requires an investment.
It takes time, energy, and sometimes money to intentionally grow. Want to grow as a parent? You’ll probably have to invest your time in reading a book. Want to grow in your physical health? You’re going to have to invest your energy into some exercise. Some people even invest their dollars into hiring a life coach when they want to see even greater growth. People don’t grow by just sitting there watching videos or trolling Facebook. It takes an investment. The investment, however, is totally worth it!
Personal growth requires focus.
We are such a terribly distracted culture. Our smartphones have set their hooks in us and we’ve become addicted to the dopamine hits we get from glancing from one digital novelty to the next. It requires focus to put down the phone and pick up a book. We must constantly make the decision to say no to momentary entertainment and say yes to personal growth. It is the only way to make the journey of growth without making a thousand unnecessary stops along the way.
Personal growth takes time.
Sometimes I’ll meet someone who refuses to take growth actions in their life because they “already tried that”. This usually means they went to the gym for a month or read the first two chapters of a book. Growth takes commitment. We can’t expect months (or years) of growth to take place from a half-hearted, commitment-less, weak-sauce attempt at improving our health, intellect, or spiritual condition. Make the commitment to stick to it until you reach the place you want to be!
That’s four but I know there are more. What are some obstacles you hit when attempting to grow? Share them below and we’ll talk about it.
Be teachable, make the investment, focus, and stay the course!