Have you ever thought about how different you are now than you were five years ago? How about ten years ago? You know in your head you have changed but identifying to what degree is difficult. That’s because you’ve changed slowly over time. Rarely in life do we encounter a significant event that drastically changes us and causes us to take notice. It is more likely that we take a slow gradual journey to change, taking in life’s ebbs and flows.
So what about personal growth? Are we bound to the same slow maturation process; or, is there something we can do to cause ourselves to grow faster? The answer is yes we can affect our personal growth rate. Everyone knows kids grow much faster than adults do. That’s because their environment varies significantly during their early years, causing them to acquire, adjust, and adapt to life. Cultivating our environment as adults is the key to personal growth.
Here are three tactics you can incorporate in your life to accelerate your personal growth:
- Associate with people better than yourself. They will show you things you didn’t know could be done, how they think and approach things, and what to avoid. Again, don’t think there is going to be a big ah-ha moment with them. You will absorb the benefits over time through osmosis. They don’t have to be better than you in all areas of your life, just in the ones you want to grow in. At work it may be peers who are high performers. Participate in local trade associations or on-line social groups to find others. Hook up with two to three mentors who are way out of your league and meet with each of them twice a month. Take in their wisdom and criticisms, seasoning how you act and what you do.
- Put yourself in situations that make you uncomfortable. Accept challenges. You will find yourself in predicaments where you do not know what to do and have to figure it out. Challenges also steal your resolve and foster optimism through successes. Grapple with your fears and you will develop coping mechanisms for managing them. With time you will also become callous to your fears and other risks. Delay immediate gratifications and learn to struggle now for a reward in the future. This will strengthen your discipline and perseverance. In addition, all these situations will give you issues to review with your mentors.
- Take in lots of diverse information. Sure, go deep in areas you have a lot of interest but also learn broadly around the edges. History is filled with lessons about one subject becoming the catalyst for extreme growth in another subject. If you tend to enjoy the arts more, pursue science and technology related topics. If you enjoy sciences, learn about literary and history related topics. Read biographies to gain insights on how others thought about unique situations they found themselves in. Research different cultures to learn about how others think and how that came to be. When you come across something you do not know much about, research it on the web.
Personal growth is not for everyone. It seems odd to say as who wouldn’t want to grow personally? The issue is the cost of doing so. Incorporating these three tactics into someone’s life will cause them to lose control, feel unsafe, and exert effort. Lots of people do not want to go through that.
Everyone has to find their place in life. Those that want to grow and can handle the costs of doing so will have a fuller life as a result. It’s not good or bad, right or wrong. It’s just what they want to do. If that is your choice, grab hold of these tactics and take a ride. It may not be comfortable but it’ll be a real adventure.