Focusing on Individual Growth
We are just about done with 2018. Wouldn’t you like 2019 to be your best year ever? You’re going to have to get uncomfortable to get there. If 2018 has been just really good and pretty easy, it’s not that you’re so awesome; you’re probably stuck. Many people are so comfortable they actually become miserable. Comfort can fertilize and grow self-focus, boredom, and discontent. Admittedly, breaking a bad habit, trying the new thing that could propel you forward, putting yourself out on a limb won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. Stretch yourself. You might like it more than you think.Discomfort, even pain, is a catalyst for growth. Seek out discomfort and difficulty. It helps you grow. Ask yourself and expect yourself to become more than you are. Learning to be comfortable with discomfort is one of the most important skills you can ever have to live a truly fulfilling life. If you learn this skill, you can master pretty much anything. Discomfort can be the joyful key that opens up everything for you. Unfortunately, most people fear discomfort. They do everything they can to avoid it. But if you are willing to be uncomfortable for awhile, you can beat the fear that has been beating you.You have to do this, and make the choice to individually grow in order to get the life of which you dream.Success is rarely overnight, but it can happen through daily improvement and small steps over time. It is frequently said, “Most people overestimate what they can achieve in a year, but they underestimate what they can achieve within five years.” I believe that, and also know most people don’t take the steps they should take because they believe that success will take too long. Well, as my friend Dan Reimenscheider says, “The next five years will go by anyway.” Time flies, and one year can be gone faster than you imagine, but if you have a plan to improve and commit to living a better life, when the time passes you will be farther down the road than you imagined. In five years you will either be in a better place, or you will still be in the same place, same old job getting nowhere in life.You can choose the future you want if you choose to embrace what is hard and do it. Let’s get started.Commit to continual growth and specific improvement. Commit to keep improving in every area of your life. In today’s world, things are changing so rapidly that mastery has become a necessity. And if you want to be the best in your field, you must deliberately practice and improve.Tony Robbins calls this, “CANI,” Constant-and-Never-Ending-Improvement.If you don’t improve, you will become obsolete. Whether you want your improvement to be at home, in your own personal life, or at work, YOU have to decide it.Read and learn from others. Commit to become an intentional and targeted reader. When you read two books a month, you can learn from those who are already successful in the areas you want to thrive in. Join groups or find other avenues to network with people who are getting it done. Absorb how they do it. Their strategies will help you. Listen to podcasts andTED talks. Pick up all you can from people who are where you want to be.Move forward with small steps. When you try to make one giant leap, it will overwhelm you. Do one thing at a time. It takes years for successful people to achieve the extraordinary results in life. Best-selling author Malcolm Gladwell says that people can only achieve extraordinary results when they have reached 10,000 hours of deliberate practice. That’s going to take awhile. But look at the big picture. The next few years are going to go by anyway. Why not get started with some small steps and get much better as time passes?Be strategic with your daily habits. “How you do anything is how you do everything.” That proverb contains much wisdom. How you do one thing is most likely how you do everything. If you don’t take your work where you are right now seriously, it is unlikely you will take your goals and dreams seriously either.Successful people are successful because of their habits and their attitudes. If you are someone who’s always late for work, there’s a big chance you will procrastinate on your goals and dreams too. Everything in your life is connected. If you always find yourself having conflicts with your friends and family members, you will probably find that there are trails of conflicts in most everything you do. How you handle challenges, disappointments, and situations in life is probably pretty much the same across the board. Why is that so? Simple: Your attitude and your habits will determine everything you do in life.Always keep a positive perspective. No matter what happens, successful people look at challenges, setbacks, and failures as opportunities for them to grow stronger in life. Michael Jordan said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”That attitude propelled him to do his best. It can for you as well. Change your perspective and change the way you look at things. Always be optimistic.Go the extra mile willingly. Do what others don’t want to do. Do it with a smile; with real joy. Wake up earlier than most people, start your day earlier, work harder and stay later. Dave Ramsey talks about financial success this way: “Success is living a few years of your life like most people won’t, so that you can spend the rest of your life like most people can’t.” You can live better, with more self-respect and others’ respect if you do.Are you willing to do more? The only way to separate yourself from the ordinary is to go the extra mile, which in turn makes you extraordinary.Respect your own time. It is a great courtesy to respect another person’s time. It is great wisdom to respect your own. Are you treating your time seriously? Life is made of time. In order to grow, you must make good use of your time, and life. People who don’t value their time are mediocre people who will never fulfill their potential.Time is the most important and most equalizing commodity we all have. Every person, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, has 24 hours a day—nothing more or less. Time tells the complete truth on how we have used our life so far; how much we have grown. We all have a limited amount. We will all one day run out of it. If we understand how valuable time is, we won’t waste it on things that are trivial. We will take hold of the present to make the future great.Use your time wisely. Be aware of how you use your time. Are you doing something that will add value to your life or are you wasting your time. YOU are in charge. This is your life, and you have the choice to choose how you will live it. Time is precious. Once it is gone, you can never get it back. Live wisely.Fully commit to what you decide. Most people are not successful because they are not committed enough. They simply quit and give up whenever they face an obstacle. When you have decided on something, commit to it and act on it. Stand by what you have decided. Be committed to what you want.Keep your promises and commitments. When you don’t keep your promises and commitments, you will never be committed to what you want to achieve in life. Don’t set goals and give up halfway when you face difficulties. When you say you are going to do something, keep your word and do it, even if you only promised yourself. YOU are significant.You are what you do, not what you say you will do. When you start to keep your promises and commitment in one area, you will build up the character and grow it to other areas in your life too. People will notice your accountability, and opportunities will come to you. You will become more responsible and inspire others. When others see that you are committed, they will also commit to you.Most importantly, when you keep your promises and commitment, you will value and respect yourself more. You will create your own standard. When you know what you are worth, you will be more successful in life.Growing your life to a higher level requires time. You don’t have to rush it. What you need to do is improve your life one step at a time. Stay steady. You can exceed yourself.