My mom had a spot in her home where she “marked” my daughter’s (her granddaughter’s) height. She got such an enormous kick out of charting their growth. After each “marking” she’d say something or another than usually included the words “leaps and bounds.”
I have to admit, it was pretty fascinating to see the distance between the marks in the wood. Given the fact that we saw the girl’s everyday, the physical growth wasn’t really noticed. Not until it was time for new shoes or clothes, anyway.
Physical growth is something we don’t have to think about. Anyone who tries to keep kids in shoes or their hips in Levi’s understand that. It most definitely happens, whether you will it to or not.
Other growth (mental, physical, emotional)? Not so much. If we want to GROW in any of these areas, we have to get off of our backsides and work. Which would help with the Levi’s, but that’s another subject. The point is: while physical growth comes easily, the others do not.
Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. – Ronald E. Osborn
Very often we get into the habit of shunning new experiences and far too often we give a polite, “No thank you,” to invitations to step out of our comfort zone. The problem is, this is where REAL growth occurs. I’ll give an example, using my husband.
Like most young husbands and fathers, he worked a variety of jobs after the Air Force. With a wife and three little girls, he put in long hours at factories as well as other jobs. They paid well and he seemed determined to out work his pay. He had a great reputation for being a very hard, conscientious worker – with a work ethic second to none. He even attained a managerial position in a plant – so he got to ride other people for their work ethic! The pay was outstanding, as were the benefits. However, he was seldom home.
If he’d kept up that pace, HE would have definitely noticed his daughter’s “leaps and bounds” growth, and never seen it coming.
An opportunity for a sales position came open. He was really excited about the prospect of a new career. Not only was it a personal challenge, he’d actually be able to see his wife, daughters, and cats! I was nervous about him applying for a position in which he had zero experience, but I wasn’t about to dampen his enthusiasm. Even though I knew he’d be up against men and women with years of experience, I bit my tongue and became cheerleader to his quarterback. Rah, rah, go get ’em champ!
He got the job.
His first, of many, stellar sales was himself. While I was thrilled for him, half of me wanted to ask his new employers, “The boy’s never sold anything in his life. What makes you think he can make money for you?”
He wound up with the best sales the company ever saw and it wasn’t long before he found himself pretty much in a bidding war. Everyone wanted him on their team. He grew into his career. By leaps and bounds.
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. – Henry Miller
Expand Your World
In Speaker’s Sourcebook II, a wonderful analogy is given using fish: A favorite fish of many hobbyists is the Japanese carp, commonly known as the koi. The fascinating thing about the koi is that if you keep it in a small fish bowl, it will only grow to be two or three inches long. Place the koi in a larger tank or small pond and it will reach six to ten inches. Put it in a large pond and it may get as long as a foot and a half. However, when placed in a huge lake where it can really stretch out, it has the potential to reach sizes up to three feet.
The analogy obvious: Like koi, our growth is determined by the size of our world. More specifically, by the experiences we subject ourselves to. If we watch the same type of shows, read the same type of books, and go to the same places – how can we expect to grow beyond what we already are?
We’ll grow when we expose ourselves to more experiences. Don’t get locked into the same routines. Mix it up!
Do something every day that you don’t want to do. – Mark Twain
If you want more from life, ask for it. Demand it. Expand your world and you’ll open up new avenues for success in whichever direction you want to grow. No one really and truly limits our world as much as we do, ourselves. Break down these limits and see what lies beyond the horizon.
J.C. Penney (who I love for more reasons than his quote!) said it this way: No one need live a minute longer as his is, because the creator endowed us with the ability to change ourselves.
He who is silent is forgotten; he who does not advance falls back; he who stops is overwhelmed, out distanced, crushed; he who ceases to grow becomes smaller; he who leaves off, gives up; the condition of standing still is the beginning of the end. – Henri Frederic Amiel
What could you potentially be missing out on?! You know what you have to do. Now get growing!
We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are. – Max De Pree