“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
– Heraclitus (loosely translated)
How many times have you run into an old friend, perhaps years after you’d seen them last – and realized that while some things have changed, so much stays the same?
And other times, you’ve seen people drastically alter themselves (and perhaps the course of their lives) in just months, weeks or even days.
What causes this?
Why is it that some people change and grow suddenly, while others remain the same?
Why is it that some people make it seem effortless, while others struggle and never seem to get out of their rut?
I’ll tell you…
Personal Growth Is A Response
All personal growth is a response to something you experience.
To explain my point, let’s look to the analogy of bodybuilding and how muscle growth occurs.
The basic strategy for building muscle is to keep lifting heavier weights. One week you might lift 100 pounds, and stress your body with that challenge.
After resting and healing, your muscles come back stronger – and the next week, you may be able to lift 105 or 110 pounds.
Through lifting more weight each time, your muscles grow stronger. They respond to the higher weights.
At the other extreme, there are individuals are bed-ridden and do not exercise their muscles. People who are completely sedentary over time lose their muscle mass: their muscles shrink and deteriorate from lack of use.
No weight = no response.
So, if we know that muscle growth occurs as a response to lifting heavier weights, and muscle loss occurs from a total lack of physical weight bearing activities: how can we apply this to broader personal growth?
The answer: Just as our muscles respond to a stimulus (or lack thereof) of lifting weights, so too all personal growth is a stimulus-response cycle.
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Personal Growth is Caused By Change
All personal growth is caused by change – a new, unusual stimulus.
That includes simply from new ideas – by reading, by speaking to others and by learning from the experiences others have had.
The most powerful personal growth is caused by us actually experiencing new, unique things – or learning new ideas.
The more you experience, and the more you learn – the more you can grow.
And likewise, the less you experience, the less you learn – the more it limits your opportunities to grow.
You must have meaningful life experiences to grow.
- So get out there.
- Live life.
- Experience new things.
- Read books
- Take classes
- Start a new hobby
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed
by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
– Mark Twain
Remember – you don’t have to go it alone. If you like what you’ve seen so far, and want to make the most out of your life, take a moment to read the details about my course The Action Solution and see if it’s something you’d be interested in. No matter where you are in your life, I can help you take action and achieve what really matters to you.
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