I had a really, really fabulous teacher in high school who always used to tell me how important it is to never be the same person today as you were last year. I heard her, but didn’t really understand her. Why wouldn’t I want to be the same person? Isn’t the goal to find and stay true to yourself?
And then one day about 6 months after she passed away, I got it. If you stay the same you aren’t growing, you aren’t developing as a person, and self-development is crucial in success. It took me another 5 years or so to implement my own personal growth strategies, and they’re still evolving because guess what? I’m never the same person I was a year ago. Throughout my years of personal growth, the areas I’ve needed to grow have changed, the areas I want to grow have changed, and the way in which I go about these changes has changed. Twenty-two year old me had no desire to go to an art museum. Twenty-eight year old me sees the beauty of an art gallery and the opportunity for personal growth through its viewing.
Tonight I did a bit of reflecting and thought I’d share my current personal growth must-haves!
- Self-checks. Quarterly (or more, if needed) I sit down and look at where I’m at. Have I reached the goals I set for the month? Am I tracking to meet goals set for the year, or the next 5 years? If not, why not? What do I need to do to shift my course? Is it time to set new, more challenging goals?
- Read a book a month. Sometimes it’s financial based, other times it’s on being a bad ass, currently it’s on being “White Awake”. The topics are always changing, depending on what’s relevant in my life at the moment, but it’s always something for growth. Spoiler alert: this month is tough, and next’s month’s book is on white fragility, a topic that’s bound to be equally as difficult, but absolutely necessary. I can’t wait!
- Get cultured. I mean this is in the sense that there is culture all around me via art, music, street festivals, etc., and I need to keep my eyes and heart open to it. Not only be open, but be accepting of these events and how they can help me change.
- Keep an open mind to the world bigger than my own. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own world; It is, after all, what is right in front of us. But think about the fact that the world of the person in the cubicle next to you is completely different than yours, despite the fact that they likely do the same thing or similar to what you do 5 days a week. Then think about the fact there is someone on the opposite side of the world, someone you have nothing in common with, that may be manufacturing that high-end designer bag you carried to the office this morning. Three worlds colliding, yet so far apart. Let it sink in.
One of things I’ve learned through the years is that personal growth is uncomfortable, yet beautiful. It challenges you to look beyond your daily scope of view and at times is not easy. But I’ve also learned that is so, so worth it and that Mrs. Browne was right, as she usually was: Do everything you can to make sure the person you are today isn’t the person you are in a year.
I’d love to hear your personal growth must haves! Do any of ours overlap? Anything you can’t believe I’m missing?!