Dr. Steve Maraboli tells us that our greatest messages come from our greatest messes. We can all identify with this concept. Change often only happens through a catalyst, the proverbial “mess”, in our lives and with it comes pain. We can become creatures of comfort and the world will conspire at times to give us a whack around the head. And that hurts. The constant we do have in the world is change, and when we resist it, the outcome is usually pain.
Successful people in life, don’t wait for the whack around the head. They drive constant change and improvement in their life by constant growth and a thirst for learning. As such they reduce much of the pain that many of us feel.
And you can to.
It starts with a plan.
I ask leaders often about their own personal growth plan, and after careful consideration they usually speak about some rough goals they have, associated with some of the programs they have attended over the last five years, webinars and even email lists they have subscribed to. I allow them to continue and when they finally peter out, they usually go silent and admit they they don’t really have one.
You are not on your own…….Most people don’t.
Accidental growth happens when we wait for our company to choose what development we need; you may pick up the latest fad leadership/business book; you may click on a link on an email and see a webinar that may have some interest. Yes, you are growing. But without a rhythm or reason and usually the growth gets little traction.
Intentional growth comes from awareness of self. You need to acknowledge your strengths and be aware of the areas which aren’t strengths. You set a plan to boost your strength zone and learn and grow with your opportunities. Growth is daily and becomes intentional.
To get started you must answer some honest questions.
- What do I enjoy doing? Am I any good at it? (It stands to some reason that we usually enjoy doing the things we are good at)
- What am I good at? (You may seek information from others to gain different perspectives)
- To be effective, what do I need to improve on?
- Where do I want to go? What is the farthest I can vision myself going?
- What is available to me?
- Who can provide support to me?
- What am I prepared to do? Risks? Sacrifices.
Answering these questions will provide a platform for you to grow. The answers become the foundation for your personal growth plan.
Start Today and do Something Daily
Intentional growth is something you want happening daily. And you want to start today. What can you do to start the process today. Your growth will continue to be a daily process and will develop and improve overtime. Progress and improvement occurs daily and seldom occurs in a day.
Do you know someone who attended a workshop or seminar and came back overly excited and “told” everyone about their pending changes. In time, the fad disappears and nothing materially happens. Often we expect to get our growth from a one day seminar, a motivational speaker. A huge leap to make and it usually fails to materialise. Now I am not knocking seminars or presentations, but they become more effective when placed within a constant and strategic plan for your growth.
Everyday you need to ask yourself what you will do that helps you drive your growth. If you’re not helping yourself, you’re effectively hurting yourself.
I have a number of entrepreneurs in my network, who have growth plans and actively drive their own constant improvements. They meet regularly for brainstorming sessions with others in their network to drive synergies and success. A direct contrast to how some executives act and respond.
Pain drives change for most of us.
The pain of business failure. The pain of poor performance review? The pain of being passed over for promotion? The pain of disciplinary action?
The mess we find ourselves in because we have resisted change or sub-contracted our growth to company mantra. If you don’t own your growth plan, don’t expect anyone else to.
Having a personal growth plan, cannot be guaranteed to eliminate pain. However my experience indicates that it goes a long way to reducing this pain and leads you closer to success.
Tony is a Leadership Coach who Fuels Simply Better Leaders. He operates Leadership, Life and Style and works with executives and owners to align their actions to their goals and desired outcomes.
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