Lexico.com (powered by Oxford) defines growth in several ways. 1. The process of increasing in physical size. 2. The process of developing or maturing physical, mentally, or spiritually. 3. The process of increasing in amount, value, or importance. 4. The increase in number and spread of small or microscopic organisms. There are more, but I feel this covers the general point. Which, in fact, many people question when they look at growth. What is the point? Is it to become something else? Or is it to become a better version of what we are? I believe it can be both. I want to add my own definition and say that I believe growth contains the spectrum of forward progress indicating forward momentum beneficial to the majority. Put simply: live with intention for the good of all by adapting to new ways of doing things in place of outdated functions that no longer serve.
Growth indicates change—a topic we will be discussing closely—and all of that means recognizing that something isn’t working. Sometimes it’s a little thing. Sometimes the whole world as we know it falls apart. Growth also means redefining goals and how we get there—and understanding our place in the grand scheme of things.
I am the first to admit that my ego gets in the way all the time. I have a terrible habit of wanting to do things and then not fully appreciating the work involved—so I don’t do it. It isn’t that I feel it’s beneath me, I just don’t feel it’s worth the effort. This can apply to a lot of things, I’m really not picky. Sometimes I’m just lazy and prioritize comfort over progress. We all do it. We’re human. But in order for us to grow, we have to look at the world a bit differently. We have to understand our impact on the world and that how we decide to behave will affect things. That means realizing that our ego can no longer call the shots and making decisions with a clear frame of reference outside of personal opinion.
But here is the catch: you have to know yourself well enough to know what you are able to contribute so that means there is a degree of recognizing what works for you and what doesn’t. It’s like asking the moon to be the sun instead. It can’t happen, and even though it t knows the concept and it shines, it has to shine in its own way. It’s not about ego, it’s about recognizing purpose. It’s pointless to ask a flower to be anything other than a flower—it can’t be done. We are the same but we are fortunate enough to apply our abilities in a different way. And, that too, is growth.
As I mentioned yesterday, we’ve been pushed to grow a lot over the last year. I don’t want anyone to feel that time spent in this in between has been in vain. Even if you feel like you accomplished nothing, flip that right now. There has been so much collective healing going on from simple things like realizing our own toxicity and the need to change all the way to concentrated efforts to start something over. Awareness is always the first step. It’s also a matter of being open to change and what comes with it. We’ve seen over and over again over the last 365 days that, more often than not, the world doesn’t go according to our plans. Growth is scary because it means giving up something you wanted in favor of something that may not go how you thought it would. Sometimes we have to get our hands dirty and sometimes we just have to let go. Either way, learn what that thing is that makes you go, “Hell yes” and do that. Marie Forleo says, “If it’s not a hell yes, then it’s a no.” That is a wonderful guide because those inner messages we get, those sparks of intuition that tell us to go for it or not, are always with us. Practice listening to those flashes more often and you will start seeing those feelings as guides toward the growth you are called to experience. Do that and see how your world changes.