Your Personal Growth Matters
“Your personal growth is the only thing that matters. You own and write your story; no one else does. Believe in your unique step up the stairs.” — Brittany Burgunder
When faced with a choice during adversity, we must choose one that will promote our personal growth instead of taking the easy way out. Whilst I concede the easier choice can be less complicated than enduring pain and suffering, it might not be the best decision. You see, we mustn’t leave our personal growth to chance, otherwise we will regret not abiding by our values. Choices aligned with our personal growth are seldom easy, yet are worth it because of the investment in ourselves.
Every choice we make draws us closer to the person we intend to become, or further away. Choices are our barometer for navigating life, so we must avoid making ones that are easy now but difficult later. The single biggest thing we can do is to become someone of character, even when others don’t notice. Character relates to the relationship we have with ourselves foremost. Sometimes we won’t know how resilient we are until it counts. It is during these times our inner resolve will be known, hence the purpose of our growth.
Consider personal growth as insurance we draw on, but something that is stockpiled the more we engage it. For example, the Navy SEALs train for years and may be called upon for active duty in rare situations. However, they hone their mental and physical training knowing nothing can be left to chance. We should apply the same discipline and dedication to our personal growth and be meticulous in choosing growth over the simple path.
Are you comfortable with this idea that cultivating your personal growth is paramount to overcoming life challenges? I trust you get the impression that your personal growth matters, even when others cannot see evidence of it. You are always making choices, even when you can’t decide that is still a choice. Consider the following questions when you find yourself conflicted between two choices and unable to decide:
- Will I regret this decision later on?
- Am I upholding my values and integrity?
- What will I gain by making this decision?
- What will I lose by making this decision?
Sometimes, it will require stepping out of our comfort zone when making important choices. Sometimes, it will mean being uncomfortable or embarrassed before our peers, family, and friends. Sometimes, it will mean making choices that offer no return or appease someone to bring peace to a situation. In these instances, we are choosing our personal growth and reinforcing our strength of character. Sometimes we are required to take risks which may conflict with our self-esteem and personal character. However, it is unwise to trade in our values, since that is the one accurate measure we cannot rebuild.
Choose The Path Of Good Moral Character
“Character is the foundation stone upon which one must build to win respect. Just as no worthy building can be erected on a weak foundation, so no lasting reputation worthy of respect can be built on a weak character.” — R.C. Samsel
For instance, In March 2018, the Australian cricket team made the news for the wrong reasons regarding the ball tampering fiasco. Three players, including the team captain and vice-captain, brought the team and country into disrepute by tampering with the cricket ball during the match to win the game. It was caught on camera and three players, including the team captain, were stood down.
We’ve seen similar actions across many sports, including cycling where disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories. Whilst their actions will be long forgotten and forgiven in time, they will always be remembered as less than sporting heroes for their actions. Not all of us will face making such choices, though it shows how our actions have a ripple effect. For that reason, we must choose the path of betterment and excellence because it is lined with moral character. If we deviate from this path, it may be impossible to navigate our way back.
Many people experience problems in their lives because they choose the easy path. Everyone is looking for shortcuts, whether it be in business, health, finance or relationships. The craving for success without committing oneself to the task is an attractive undertaking many go in search of. As you know, what comes quickly may not be long-lasting. Choosing personal growth means investing in others before our needs are met, which reinforces our character.
If you walk away with one key point from this article, it is this: Always choose actions that move you closer to the person you want to become, even if it means walking away from something you aim to profit from. Moral character and values are scarce nowadays, since many are unwilling to invest in themselves. We have become a throwaway society with less-than-optimal values and character. It’s rare to meet a person with strong values because most people are lured by the notion of: “What’s in it for me?” What’s in it for you may not be what’s in it for others.
Personal growth will require you to put others before you, so it matters in the long run. It’s what Stephen Covey talked about in The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People, in Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood. We must decide what’s important to us and follow the principles as best we can. We pursue character and integrity as our highest moral code, if that is who we intend to be. Choosing the path of good moral character can be a lonely road because not all people walk the path, so we will be required to walk it alone. We must do so anyway. The one key principle is the relationship we have with ourselves, which cannot be taken from us. Therefore, we must guard it fiercely, so we grow into someone we can be proud of.