Why You Should Forget About Growth
Forget About Growth? What?
Forget about growth? What? That's sacrilege!
If you grew up with any role model in your life who was the least bit motivated, you learned how to focus on growth. Every coach talks about it. There are a million motivational quotes about growth.
So what's wrong with growth?
Growth Is Only Part of the Cycle
If you look at anything that grows, there is a lifecycle, isn't there? Growth is only a part of that cycle.
There is also decline, death, and renewal. And if we don't take that part into account, we can see failure when it's really only the natural way of things.
Take for example the aging human. How many people do you see who get botox, color their hair, and do all kinds of other things to pretend that they are not aging? Aging is a normal, natural process that provides us with new experiences that we didn't have when we were younger.
Looking like you're where you are isn't a failure. It's natural! Learning from the school of hard knocks leaves scars. If you get to the end of your life without them, have you really lived?
Pushing Against Nature is an Uphill Struggle
Can you keep summer from coming? How about autumn? Nope?
Pushing against nature is an uphill climb, and yet I have had clients who tell me that the sky is the limit and they have no plan for retirement or things ever slowing down.
People do live that way. And they are "on" all the time to keep all those plates spinning in the air. They live a life of stressful doing - if you can call it a life at all. Their business is a reflection of them. They never rest.
And they also never live. They accumulate a mass of stuff for other people to enjoy.
If It's Not About Growth, Then What Is It About?
My answer to that is "experience."
When you sit down to a meal, whether it's a sandwich while sitting on a curb or in a fine dining establishment, life is treating you to an experience. That's all that is guaranteed. If you have an experience, you've lived your life in that moment. And isn't that what we are here for?
How to Make It A Desirable Experience
Obviously all experiences aren't created equally. Lots of people experienced concentration camps and war. What's great about that?
Here's the thing. If you are curious and have an open mind, you can always find something interesting or positive about anything. Dr. Viktor Frankl was in Auschwitz and Dachau and wrote a book about the experience. Rather than focusing on the horror, he wrote about hope because that is what he credited for his ability to survive.
Striving for growth puts you in a place of evaluating your progress. If you focus on movement, you're always progressing and it's easier to see that as success.
And we always want to stack the deck in favor of success, don't we?
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