It seems to be the universal desire of every young kid to “grow up” as quickly as possible. To them, growing up means getting bigger and stronger physically, which will allow them to conquer the world….or so they think.
It doesn’t take long for us to realize that physical growth alone won’t allow us to get what we want for ourselves and others, nor become the person we desire to be. However, sustained personal growth will.
Now that you’re all grown up, what does growth look like for you?
When I think about growing up, it reminds me of the holiday season for a lot of reasons. One of which is the seemingly endless flow of delicious food. The best dishes are based on well-thought out, tried and true recipes that often have common key ingredients. It’s the same with the recipe for personal growth.
What Is It?
Personal growth by definition is about making positive change in key areas of our life. While the major categories are spiritual, physical, emotional and mental, these can be thin-sliced into a number of different subcategories. There are others as well.
As with cooking, there is a proven recipe for personal growth that yields a great product every time.
What are the Key Ingredients?
The recipe for personal growth is like most other great recipes: If you get the key key ingredients right it makes everything else easier. Here they are:
- Decide. Decide whether you want to live life by drift, by drive or by design. Although the first two options are opposites, you end up at a similar destination: being unfulfilled and often unpleasantly surprised or not entirely happy with your results. With the former you get there by just drifting along and taking what comes. The later is a full-tilt, ready-fire-aim approach that often injuries others and yourself along the way.
- Start. Step two can be the hardest because you have to overcome personal inertia and actually do something. Sometimes starting is hard because your not sure where to begin. If that’s you, then find a role model and start by studying and imitating them. After all, success leaves clues. Once you’ve gained maximum value, continue the friendship and then graduate to the next best level of mentoring and resources you can find.
- Stir. Now that you are at temperature, so to speak, keep stirring and adding a pinch here and there of things you need to keep your growth fresh and relevant for you.
Once you have these three ingredients in place, the process for self-perpetuating personal growth becomes exponentially easier because you are now:
- more self-aware
- know what you didn’t before
- know how to reveal your blindspots
- know seek the information and relationships you need
The end result is achieving the vision of success you’ve defined while experiencing fulfillment along the way….and at the end.
The Secret Ingredient
Like all great recipes, the one for personal growth does have a secret ingredient. Here it is: You have to fall in love with the process and not the destination. As the saying goes, “love the process and the process will eventually love you back.”
So in summary, the first step is to make a decision. It’s often the trickiest because you have to become self-aware (and now you are). The second step is to just get started. It’s often the hardest. Like bringing water to boil, it takes a lot of effort initially to raise the temperature. The third step is the easiest because once you get things boiling, it only takes a little consistent effort to keep it at 212 degrees so you can continue to make things happen.
And don’t forget the secret ingredient. Because unless you fall in love with the process, sooner or later you’re simply going to fall flat.
What ingredient or step in the personal growth process is best for you to focus on now in order to start moving in the direction you want….with fulfillment?