As I explored my values I was happy to discover that the Personal Growth value comes in all sizes! Personal growth is a journey that you get to direct in whatever way works best for you. It’s about self-development and exploring who you are at a deeper level. This kind of journey allows you to explore your dreams and aspirations as well as your potential. And it takes whatever form makes sense for you; reading, TedTalks, yoga, meditations or all of the above!
I’m no stranger to personal growth and while I may not have always articulated it personal growth been a value of mine as long as I can remember. At a very young age I’d would travel with my dad and I loved when he would put on Zig Zigglar and we would roll thru the countryside listening to his beautiful southern accent and his ideas around becoming a better influencer. In my teenage years, I sought growth thru books that exposed me to new ideas. In my 20s I was blessed to meet several like-minded people that introduced me to new forms of personal growth. My 30s allowed me to develop all that I had been learning and my 40s have brought me yoga and meditation and spiritual growth beyond anything I imagined. Approaching this value this past week was a blessing and a joy for me as it was already so much a part of my life.
If you are open to expanding your level of personal growth here are a couple of things I have learned:
Make the time
How many of you schedule actual time on your calendar for personal growth? Up until recently this idea had never occurred to me. Not to say I didn’t make time for personal growth as I do. I’ve always enjoyed reading, watching and thinking about all forms of personal growth. But the idea of scheduling the time and making it a priority in my day had not occurred to me. So, several weeks ago I added 45 minutes in the morning on my calendar for study and reflection on topics centered around personal growth. This one-time step is making major difference in my life because now it is a priority. And if I need to shuffle things it is a conscious decision I must make to move it off the calendar. Before it was easy to be distracted and never get to that book, that article, that webinar. When it’s on my calendar and I’ve committed to the work it’s much easier to make time for it.
Focus your intention
The other big lesson I learned this week was that I needed to focus my intention for personal growth. By that I mean choosing what area of personal growth I might want to focus on. As the week started I simply thought about what was occurring in my life that I might need help navigating. For instance, this past week we held the memorial service for my dear friend Kathryn who had passed away from stage 4 Lung cancer. I knew I was not dealing well with her passing and for much of the time since she had left us I had been suppressing my feelings and numbing the emotion. But that kind of behavior is only going to last so long before I was going to have a major meltdown. Thus, this week I intentionally looked for a book on grief that resonated with me. And there it was shining bright from the shelve at B&N; The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski. My grief has been a bit raw so I’ve not gotten as deep into this book as I need to but focusing on a given subject like grief allows me to focus the intent of my personal growth in a direction that will best support me.
Enjoy the journey
Personal growth is not always rainbows and unicorns. It requires us to tap into areas that are sometimes difficult and painful (like my grief). But if you focus on this as a journey and accept that there will be highs and lows you can relax into the process and gain deeper and more profound growth than you will if you fight and resist the journey.
Don’t rush the process
Personal growth is not a quick fix; read a book or watch a video and it’s done. It takes thought and reflection. Try moving from the mindset of reading or watching as much as you can and as fast as you can and instead move towards a slower thoughtful in- depth process. This does not come easy to me as I feel the pressure of my daily schedule to move on, but making the conscious effort to slow down allowed me to really think about what I was learning and allow this knowledge to move a bit deeper into me.
Find people who will support you
Thank Goodness for my friends who are willing to listening to me talk about personal growth and what they are learning in this area. Personal taking in all this knowledge is a wonderful thing but moving it to the next level does require you to speak it out! Find people who are willing to discuss these new thought ideas and you will find an even more powerful understanding of the content you are exploring!