Updated: Jul 17, 2021
Personal growth is generally an automatic thought in many people, when it should actually be an intentional thought. The truth that personal growth attributes directly to a person's holistic success is resounded emphatically in all self help content. But, unfortunately, still, people are tempted to take shortcuts to get immediate and partial success.
Leo Tolstoy in his short story 'God knows the Truth, but waits' , writes of a man named Ivan , who is unruly, loud mouthed, drunk, arrogant and picking up fights with anyone who dares to get in his way. He goes about life, not caring about the hurt he brings on his family and friends.
"You need not wait till you are imprisoned to work on your character"
It so happens, in a twist of fate, one early morning when he was traveling in his horse cart to work, he is arrested by the police and falsely convicted of murder he didn't commit, and sentenced to prison. He couldn't comprehend what had happened to him and he was angry and hated the world.
As days go by in prison, he starts a journey of self discovery and finds himself transforming into a well mannered, grounded, considerate, and sober man. To the extent the prison mates called him the wise one and a saint. He becomes the prison's unofficial reconciliation and negotiation go to guy.
Two decades pass by, one morning a new inmate is incarcerated and soon Ivan realizes that the new prisoner is the person who actually committed the murder for which he was wrongly convicted. He is angered and desires to take revenge, but he realizes that 'what is done is done' and forgives the new prisoner.
The capacity for transformation was always within Ivan, but he wasn't intentional about it, until he was imprisoned. This is the infinite human potential for greatness. And the only way to tap that potential is to be intentional about your personal growth. Character growth in one of areas of personal growth that require intentional attention.
"You don't have to wait to be imprisoned to develop your character. You can do it today if you are intentional about it."
Develop your intention to grow
Your first step to personal growth is to set your intention to intentionally and consistently grow yourself to your potential. Design a personal growth plan along with your goals.
Paraphrasing my mentor, the internationally recognized leadership expert , John Maxwell, align your goals with your growth plans for growing your character to be a good human, in your skill to advance in your career or vocation, in your self awareness to discover your purpose, in your knowledge to understand how things work, in your relationship to find meaningful fellowship and lastly in your spirituality to enrich your soul.
Develop the courage to succeed
It might sound obvious, since we want to succeed, we assume we have the courage to succeed. But many times, the reason we hold back or even sabotage our success is because we have not intentionally developed our courage to endure. Unfortunately, by the time we realize it, it is too late.
"courage to take action and the courage to endure"
The word courage is sometimes misused to belittle and boost, but to me courage is strength in the face of pain or grief. Courage means becoming bigger than your circumstances. Courage isn't the absence of fear. It's acting in spite of your fear.
To succeed in life you need two types of courage. The courage to take action and the courage to endure. The courage to take action comes from believing in yourself. The courage to endure comes from your desire to succeed.
"Expect trouble as part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye, and say, "I am bigger than you. You cannot defeat me." - Ann Landers
Think of a time when you faced your fear. Didn't you feel great afterwards? Did you realize that the fear was a smokescreen?
Failure is a word that haunts and paralyzes people. Failure is dreaded and hated by the young, the elderly, the educated, the uneducated, the rich, the poor. I guess, the collective dislike for failure could unite us.
Interestingly, any person on a personal growth journey will tell you that the secret to their exponential success comes from redefining failures. Failure is a rite of passage in the journey of life, not once but countless times. As we explore the new frontiers of our life and potential, we encounter the various shapes, sizes and shades of failure. And each time, it is our anchor in our personal growth that would give us the wisdom to redefine failure and leverage it for exponential growth, success and significance.
"It's not about the dream. It's the person you become in the pursuit of the dream"
If you know in your heart that you did the best of what you were capable of, there is no such thing as failure. That's why full effort is important. You always win when you make the full effort, that is in spite of the fall, you get up and push ahead. It's not about the dream. It's the person you become in the pursuit of the dream.
Are you doing everything you can to leverage your failure to reach your goal? Who could you call today who could help you reach your goal? Call them.
Decide to become a High Achiever
Pursue your dream. Make your life a masterpiece by being willing to pay the price for success. Achievers know that in order to realize their dreams, there's a price to be paid.
"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed." - Booker T Washington
Figure out what's most important to you and focus all your efforts accomplishing it. When you focus all your efforts on one goal, your chances of success are almost guaranteed. If you split your focus between two goals, your chances of success drop to 66% If you have three goals, your chances of success are only 25%. Top achievers focus on one goal. After achieving it, they move on to the next goal.
"The number one rule of success is the ability to apply your physical and mental energy to one problem incessantly without growing weary." - Thomas Edison
By deciding to become a high achiever, what you are doing is subscribing to a way of life of ultra focus. That is focusing all your effort on one goal. What goal will you focus "100% of your effort" on?