When we were children, we were consistently being molded and formed through our school teachers and our elders. Whether or not it was apparent at the time, we were unintentionally growing at an exponential rate. We were becoming bigger, stronger, better, and smarter human beings. However, once we graduate from the school system or we reach the age at which our bodies stop growing, we are no longer “required” or “expected” to grow. In fact, at this point in life most people plateau in growth. It is normal for our bodies to hit a point of full development, but our minds, however, have the ability to continue to grow forever. This is when you must take responsibility and ownership for your own growth.
Isn’t it exciting to understand that we can truly become and achieve whatever we want if we are purposeful about getting there?! You want to win a fitness competition, you can do it! You want to become a college professor, you can do it! You want to invent the latest and greatest piece of technology, YOU can do it! However, it is important to understand that this personal and professional growth does not just happen on it’s own. Growth takes massive effort and you must be intentional about it.
In a business or leadership role, you cannot develop yourself or develop your people without intentionality. You must pave the way of growth first, before you can expect others to follow. You cannot give or teach something that you do not already have or understand yourself.
Here are a couple of ways you can start implementing intentional growth into your life or business:
The Compound Effect
Consistency breeds results. You cannot change or alter anything in your life until you change something you do every single day. Be intentional about this and create consistent habits that will push you to grow. To experience massive growth, does not require you to take massive steps or create drastic habits. Rather, you should make consistent habits — big, medium, or small. Over time, you will see how these consistent habits build and compound on one another to assist you in attaining your end goal. And be sure to track your habit creation! Document each day (or the timeframe of your choosing) that you perform the new “task” and
Get Rid of Comfort Zones
Growth happens when you are pushed and challenged to ‘break ceilings’. We all have ceilings in life that we have broken through to get where we are currently. These may be personal or professional ceiling. However, after each ceiling you break and grow beyond, there are always more that we must break through to continue growing. When you are on the journey of growth, it will be hard, and uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful. But this is where ‘muscles’ are formed – physical or mental. Make it a point to do things outside of your comfort zone that stretch you — break ceilings on purpose.
As Gary Keller states, “will power is not on will call”. That being the case, be certain to factor in your energy level, time of day, and ability to focus into your plan to implement intentional growth! For example, if you are aiming to create habits around personal health like a new fitness routine or regular meditation, you may want to start the intentional growth practice first thing in the morning when your battery life tends to be at its highest point. Also keep in mind that most research today has concluded that multi-tasking is not nearly as effective practice as once thought – if you are going to create habits around growth, you are better served attacking one habit at a time!