3 Ways To Grow Yourself
Coach John Wooden said, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.”
Growth is not an automatic process. We do not magically get better. We only get better when we intentionally grow ourselves. Just because you are using your strengths doesn’t mean you’re growing them to their fullest potential. For example, just because you get out of bed in the morning, walk around, and eat doesn’t mean you are working out. There is a difference between living life by getting around and taking intentional time to grow your muscle strength. Any fitness instructor will tell you that walking during your daily activities is good, but taking time to exercise regularly is infinitely better.
If you want to grow your strengths, you can’t just use them by default; you have to work them out by decision. This means you must decide to grow your skills with a growth plan. Many people use their strengths, but few are willing to develop them. Thomas J. Watson, the former Chairman and CEO of IBM, said, “Nothing so conclusively proves a man’s ability to lead others as what he does from day to day to lead himself.”
If you study the most highly successful people throughout history, a common trait you will find in them is an insatiable obsession with knowledge. It is not surprising that we find them studying their craft at a minimum of an hour a day, if not tremendously more.
Because of this, Speaker Earl Nightingale taught us that to become an expert in any given field, you must spend one hour a day, every day, for five years studying it. Or, as modern day author and psychologist Malcom Gladwell calls it, “The 10,000 Hour Rule.” We have to surround ourselves with opportunities for growth.
There are 3 ways you can grow your strengths to reach their maximum potential…
1) Get Resources
No one will ever grow to their maximum potential without reading. Reading great books, stories, biographies, articles, and blogs pertaining to your strengths is one of the fastest ways to grow on your journey. You can apply the wisdom and insights others offer to your situation. To transform, the mind needs stimulation. One of the best ways to stimulate the mind is to read. It lets you soar on the wings of other people’s great ideas and insights. If you could’ve spent a month with Steve Jobs for $24.95, would you have? If you could spend a week with Bill Gates for $14.95, would you? If you could spend six months with the top guru in your industry for just $19.95, would you? The truth is, you can. Get their resources, study their strategies, and gain their wisdom.
Leaders are readers. In fact, you’ll never meet a highly successful person who is not an avid reader. Books are to the mind what nutrition is to the body. The more you dive into great books, the more growth you’ll experience. American philosopher Mortimer Jerome Adler said, “In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.” If you want inspiration, simply read. If you want information, study what you read. If you want transformation, act on what you read.
2) Get Mentors
You can learn almost everything you need in life by being around the right people. Finding mentors who will lift you to a higher level is vital for success. People become like those they surround themselves with. What kind of people are you surrounding yourself with? Successful people are drawn to other successful people. They intentionally seek out those who are better and further along than themselves. One of the greatest traits of highly successful people is the drive to find and learn from people who are good at what they do. They go the extra mile to network with experts. We cannot reach our potential alone; we need others to help draw the best out of us.
Every leader needs a guide to help bring out the best in them. Luke had Yoda, Katniss had Haymitch, Frodo had Gandolph, Dorothy had Glenda, and the list goes on. Everyone needs a trusted coach to help them unleash the hero they were created to be. In almost every profession, high-capacity individuals use a coach. Movie stars have acting coaches on set to help them in their roles. Singers have vocal coaches during recording sessions. Athletes have coaches during practices and on game day. And it’s not just those starting in their occupation. Seasoned professionals continue to use coaches for the longevity of their careers. The fact is, having a coach helps bring out your very best.
3) Get Experiences
All experience is not created equal. Contrary to what you may have heard, experience is not the best teacher; educated experience is. There is a big difference between the two. Experience doesn’t teach you anything unless you take the time to learn from it. It is not enough to simply go through situations; you have to grow through situations. Just because someone goes through a difficult time does not necessarily mean they automatically learn from it. We all know people who have gone through a lot but have nothing to show for it. Educating yourself about what you have acquired through your experiences will give you incredible insight into the future.
It’s not what we’ve experienced that shapes us; it’s what we’ve learned from our experiences that truly shape us. Unless we take the time to reflect, we will be destined to repeat the past or, worse, forget about it. Every experience brings with it a seed of success. Don’t allow yourself to waste experiences. Instead, take time to cultivate growth lessons from your experiences. Vernon Howard said, “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.”
What are you doing to grow your yourself?
Reach out to us today if you need help growing yourself to the next level and/or help growing your organization to the next level.