Are you growing? Are you learning? Are you becoming everything you can be?
Are you sure?
There is a simple test, actually. And let it be your mantra: They’re called growing pains for a reason.
Personal growth, organizational growth, economic growth, are critical. Growth is the foundation of advancement. Stagnation is a synonym of slow death. We know that. We know that if our economy isn’t growing it is shrinking. We know that if our organizations aren’t growing, doom is on the horizon. And we know that if we are not personally developing new skills and expanding our minds, we are headed for an early(er) grave.
And so we all pay lip service to promoting growth. But when it comes to our own personal contribution—our own personal advancement—we often try to get by with as little as possible.
Because growth hurts.
We know that instinctively from years of experience. We subconsciously remember the pain of our muscles stretching over lengthening bones. And so we don’t push ourselves physically as adults, because it will hurt.
We know after years of formal education the frustration and confusion that comes when our brain rewires to learn new things. And we balk and resist even brief corporate training. We claim to be too busy but we’re really too mentally exhausted to face the pain we know is coming.
Because growth hurts.
But because that knowledge resides deep within us we don’t often realize what we’re pushing against. Or sometimes what we are pushing for.
Just like getting taller or more-informed requires our bodies to reshape, often painfully. Organizational and economic growth also require our systems to reshape, with equal pain. Automation leads to corporate process improvements and increased profitability. And it also dramatically changes labor requirements. Expansion in one economic sector drives GDP growth that benefits the nation as a whole, while squeezing or replacing other sectors, and other people.
They’re called growing pains for a reason.
Let that be your mantra. Let the fact that growth hurts guide your interactions at work and in your community. Understand that organizational and economic growth come hand-in-hand with pain. Look for signs of it. And find opportunities to help each other, so that no one is destroyed in service of our necessary gain.
And let the fact that growth hurts help you determine whether you are doing enough for your own personal development. And advancement. Do you feel comfortable? Or entitled? Or are you pushing yourself to become all that you can be?
Are you growing? Are you sure?
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