What’s your ‘growth edge’ for 2024?
“Every blade of grass has an Angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow! Grow!'”
I love this verse from the Talmud for its imagery as much as its encouragement. It aligns with a valuable lesson from growing up on my parent’s dairy farm which I shared in my TEDx Talk (below):
“Growth and comfort can’t ride the same horse.”
Of course, sometimes we’re thrust from our comfort zone – forced to grow in ways we might never have chosen.
Yet often we do have a choice.
We can choose to stick with the status quo, safely in our comfort zone (which your brain is wired to rationalize!)
We can choose to step out of it, defy the instinct to ‘play it safe,’ and trade the ‘comfortable familiar’ for the ‘uncomfortable good.’
In the end, our lives are defined by the quality of our choices. Yet of the 35,000+ decisions we make each day, the vast majority (about 95%) are made ‘mindlessly.’ This means that unless you are intentional, you’ll move through life on autopilot, defaulting to the path of minimal risk/resistance/hassle and optimal convenience/control/certainty.
Of course, you can begin anew any day of the year. Yet there’s something about starting a new year that beckons us to reflect and reset on the life we want to live and the person we want to be. So as you step into 2024, make a conscious choice to paint your own one-of-kind masterpiece on the blank canvas of the year ahead – of your life ahead. As you do, dare to set your sights on something that truly inspires you. For me, this includes writing my next book to help you close the think/do gap between who you are and who you can be. I’ve also decided to take on a goal I shelved several years ago… running a marathon.
Neither of these will be comfortable. Both will stretch me in new ways (particularly since I can hardly run 2 miles right now!)
What about you? What’s your growth edge for the year ahead?
What would you love to achieve or change that will compel you to grow in new ways? It doesn’t need to be lofty. It just has to be meaningful to you.
Comfort doesn’t stay comfortable forever.
Like grapes on the vine, we humans have an imperative to grow. If we’re not growing, we eventually languish and wither. You, my friend, were not put on this earth to do that.
The great psychologist Abraham Maslow said, “What we can be, we must be.” So take a moment to connect to a vision that inspires you for every aspect of your life – your family and relationships, your creativity and prosperity, your work and well-being. Your life is, to quote Gandhi, “one indivisible whole”
A note of warning: any goal that inspires you will automatically create a gap between where you are and where you want to be. Fear will fill that gap with 101 reasons ‘why not’. Only courage can close it.
So once you’ve connected to your vision, commit to taking one brave step toward it. Even a little itty bitty one. The size of that step doesn’t matter, just the direction.
Tomorrow, take another and enlist someone to hold your feet to the fire for when your motivation wanes (it will!)
Repeat daily for 365 days.
Come year end 2024, you will be SO glad you did. I money-back-guarantee it!
Your life will expand in proportion to your willingness to embrace the discomfort that growth requires. So what’s stopping you? More so, what will it cost you if you don’t?
As Mark Twain wrote, “Twenty years from now you will regret far more the things you didn’t do than those you did.” Indeed your psychological immune system can justify an excess of courage over an excess of timidity.
Make this year one in which you blossom into a whole bigger braver version of the person you have it within you to become. To quote Anaïs Nin:
“And then the day came that the risk of remaining tight inside the bud became greater than the risk it took to blossom.”
Go on, be brave!