If we’re going to reach our potential as human beings, it will be because we planned for it. Growth always requires intention. Whilst we may be able to achieve some level of success accidentally, if we want lasting, long-term success, it will because we are deliberate about making it happen.
Recently, whilst reading John Maxwell’s The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, I was deeply challenged by the story he told at the start of the book about when a mentor asked him what his plan for growth was. He ummed and ahhed before - finally - admitting the reality: he didn’t have a plan.
And, truth be told, my answer to the question was the same as his. I had no plan for my ongoing growth either.
That doesn’t mean I wasn’t growing at all. I’m constantly reading and learning and opening my mind to new information, experiences, and people. All of these things help me to keep growing as a person. But this can all be rather random. So, challenged by the book, I’ve decided to be much more deliberate about planning to keep growing as a person.
I don’t know about you, but I don't want to reach the sunset of my life, only to look back and reflect on unfulfilled potential. You and I are both loaded with so much talent and potential, but that doesn’t automatically turn into success and fulfilment. We have to make that happen.
So, without the need of New Years resolutions, Lent, or anything like that, why don’t you simply join me in making a decision? Let’s choose to spend at least some time, every day, focussed on doing something with the specific intention of growing as a person, developing our talent, and moving towards fulfilling our potential.
Choice is the key word. For most of our formative years, we have little choice but to grow. Education is a requirement. Each day is filled with learning and development. But we leave school - and then university, if we go that route - and there is no longer any system in place to enforce ongoing growth.
In short, after we turn 21, growth becomes a personal choice. No system makes it happen for us. Tragically, all too many of us stop growing, and developing, and learning, from the moment we finish our degree.
It saddens me whenever I meet people who have clearly given up on growing. They’ve settled, become content, and are no longer pursuing living life to the full. We were made for more than that! Each and everyone of us has more potential that we may ever have realised. We’re bursting with it. But we’re faced with a choice:
Are we going to settle for where we’re at, or are we going to eek out every ounce of our potential and do everything we can to become everything we can be?
Choose life to the full.