Grow or die. Those are our only two options in life.
There is no fence to sit and wait. As long as you live you are changing.
It’s the law of nature.
Every living thing is either growing or dying.
Plants and animals alike. No living being stays stagnant.
It’s almost like saying “this too shall pass,” a well-known adage that expresses the impermanence of nearly everything.
It can terrify or inspire you: depending on how you see it.
One of the most common mistakes people make is staying stagnant.
We often feel that we are being safe if we don’t take any risks, engage in new activities, or steps forward to make a more deliberate change.
However, when you are standing still, you are failing to grow and dying inside your comfort zone.
Ellen Glasgow was right when she said, “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”
You can be deliberate about the process of your transformation.
You can control the rate of growth or death.
The idea of “growing” can be interpreted in different ways, but the simplest way to think about it is as a process of continual improvement.
We can grow with our jobs, relationships, and hobbies.
In life, the secret to success isn’t always as easy as it seems. It takes work and effort to better ourselves as human beings.
Growth doesn’t always mean physical change. It also means being intentional about your professional, intellectual, and personal growth: choosing to upgrade the essential areas of your life.
To do that means consciously seeking better ways to improve how you work, live, make decisions, think and spend your finite time.
It requires a commitment to growth.
Lou Holtz once said, “In this world you’re either growing or you’re dying, so get in motion and grow.”
Take control of your growth by starting with a life inventory. Check-in with yourself. Are you the same person you were last year? Do you know?
Have you improved how to relate to your loved ones? Do you use the same tools for work and can they be upgraded to make progress faster?
When was the last time you read a good life-changing book? Do you use the same thinking models to make decisions?
When you choose a growth path, you do more of what makes you come alive. You apply the best principles, habits and routines to make the most of life.
On the other hand, a path with no plan for growth can quickly lead to a slow death of body and mind.
“We are always becoming, and we can always make the choice to start becoming something else, if we care,” says Seth Godin.
Are you proud of who you are becoming?
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning”— Benjamin Franklin
With or without your deliberate involvement, you are changing daily. What you believe, how you think, what you contemplate and what you do are consistently evolving.
Have you become more wise, healthy or wealthy in the last five years? Evolving into a better you physically, intellectually, and socially is a deliberate choice. It’s a work in progress.
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work,” says Calvin Coolidge.
Growth is the only way to a better life. But it’s an uncomfortable process: which is why people choose to stay in their comfort or dying zone.
To live better you must grow. But growth isn’t a passive process. You must keep curiosity alive: learn from people smarter than you, read great books, and most importantly apply what you learn.
Growth doesn’t always mean continuously working or engaging your brain at all times, though. It can also mean making time for quality breaks, pondering and contemplation.
To improve your total wellbeing, aim to create time on your schedule for activities that allow your brain to reset and replenish itself.
No matter your age, you have to put in the effort to stay alive. And who doesn’t want to be living?
Want to know if you’re growing or dying in life?
Ask yourself these questions:
Do I want more out of life than what I have now? Am I happy with who I am right now? Are my inputs producing the best outcome possible? What can I change to become a better version of myself?
Figure out if your current path is really what you want.
No matter where you are now, there’s always room for growth. You can make changes today to set yourself up for greater success tomorrow.
This post was previously published on Thomas Oppong’s blog.
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