“Be the change you want to see in this world.” ~ Gandhi
This is a powerful and moving quote… essentially a wake up call to take full responsibility for your life. Here Gandhi tells us, in order for us to see changes, we’re the ones who have to actively change first… do not complain, criticize or theorize from the ‘safe’ place, because it’s not only weak, but brings no growth, and personal development is all about growth.
When you think about growth and personal development, just think about beautiful flowers and how they become what they are. In order for them to grow bigger and better, sometimes the growers cut off the tops… topping or pinching. This has been shown to cause plants to invest more of their energy into flower growth and less into seed production… the expected result is flower buds that produces higher quality flowers. And I believe this is true for personal growth as well… the core purpose of this article. Even if you produce satisfactory results in certain areas of your life, it can be helpful to cut them off and discard them, freeing up energy for stronger and higher quality results elsewhere in your life. Otherwise you just find yourself settling into a comfort zone of satisfaction with the old results.
It can be difficult to cut areas of your life, because you did produce results, but if you don’t cut, then you can easily stunt your future growth. You will be essentially causing the much needed energy to be invested in seed production around your old path. When you refuse to cut, you are basically saying things are as good as they will ever be and you settle. If that’s you, fine, but if you want purposeful growth in your life, then topping is a necessary practice.
Below are some ways to drop the merely satisfactory in your life and strive for stronger, bigger and better quality personal development and growth.
- Don’t let your life become too stagnant… mix things up now and then. Drop old routines and try something new for a while. Stop investing energy in maintaining your old routine, even if it works and you like it. Doing this will free up more energy for exploration and growth. Go out more, have new experiences, meet new people… explore, learn, and grow.
- Refuse to be stuck in a rut… even in a seemingly good place. When you stay relatively still for long time, you put down seeds and as time passes, these seeds develop stronger and stronger roots, making change more difficult. The longer you stay still, the more people will relate to you based on your current position. And, this may be familiar, but your thoughts and feelings become repetitive, circular and as time passes, little is changing in your life.
- Comfort zone – begone. Once you notice your life becoming a little too comfortable, you’re in your comfort zone. If you like the comfort zone and wish to stay there, that’s your choice, but growth and personal development demands change, so don’t get stuck there for too long. The next time you feel your life becoming a little too comfortable… where you just relax yourself into the satisfaction of maintaining the status quo… break free of that reality and go for more growth. Take a class, go for that promotion, travel, run for an office… grow.
Stepping outside of your comfort zone can yield a lot more growth than staying stagnant. Explore and learn each day, even the minor victories are stepping stones to growth and development. So drop the ‘merely satisfactory’ by topping it off and invest that energy for a stronger, bigger and better quality of life.