Enemies of Growth

This morning I quizzed someone about their new year’s resolution. Their reply – “my life is going great, I don’t need to change a thing – resolutions are for losers!” I had never heard that before! How could someone feel their life to be perfect – with no room for improvement? Without making the effort to grow, to learn, to explore and to challenge our current ways of functioning, how can we truly realise our potential? That said, I began thinking how consciously or unconsciously we could all fall into the same trap. Observing my own life, it seems there are key enemies which stagnate our growth and development. We slide into mediocrity and averageness when we are too busy, too arrogant or too comfortable to really invest in our life. Growth consists of key ingredients:

Time – our valuable hours are consumed by pressing issues and daily demands. Some things surely require immediate attention, but we have a chronic tendency to unnecessarily promote tasks in our ‘to-do list’ that may well be urgent but not really very important. Thus, we end up neglecting that which doesn’t frantically tag on our consciousness, but which is key to the bright future ahead – time spent reflecting, planning, considering and questioning. We need to free up tangible time and mental space to “think out of the box.”

Humility – to improve, we must first acknowledge we are not the best version of ourselves. This requires humility. Our own pride convinces us we’ve found the best way to function. We think ourselves one step ahead of everyone else – its difficult to see how we could be wrong. A humble person accepts their limitations, looks for guidance, ever seeking an opportunity to refine and enhance their character and lifestyle.

Courage – life is a perennial tension between comfort and aspiration. We seek to explore, to grow, to achieve, yet we also desire security, safety and certainty. Truth be told, we have to sacrifice one to get the other. If we opt to remain in the comfort-zone, we may have to live with the inevitable feelings of being humdrum, run-of-the-mill and unexciting. On the other hand, if we dive for our dreams we’ll have to ready ourselves to brave the rocky road of uncertainty and opposition. Every significant achievement has its price tag. In an age where security, establishment and balanced prosperity have become the guiding beacons for our comfortable life, only a few have the courage to follow their dreams.

In the coming year I’ll attempt to free up some time, challenge my established way of functioning, and cultivate some bravery to explore new things. Not sure whether it will bring huge external successes, but i’m convinced it’ll be internally rewarding. Roll on 2016.

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