If I've had one saying that's been a guiding force in my life, it's that personal growth is a lifelong journey. I can say that remains as true today as it did when I began using it years ago.
Throughout my life, I've seen so many people who've determined that they've peaked. Not financially, not geographically, not even morally. I mean reached peak personal growth. I don't think I'll ever be willing to make that determination. That's just not my style.
That's because I believe growth is a lifelong journey - a never-ending learning experience, wherein we discover new things about ourselves through our own experiences, our thoughts and reflections, and of course through interacting with others. And hopefully those others are the type to spur us on to be better.
I can think of countless scenarios I've ended up in, be it with family, friends, colleagues, or just by myself, where I've benefitted from opening up my mind, thinking about all the possible avenues I could proceed with an issue, reflecting on what's worked and what hasn't in the past, and resolving to gain something from my experience regardless of the outcome. When I look at things in that way, even negative experiences become opportunities for personal growth. Learning about what doesn't work for me is still worthwhile, and certainly not a waste of time.
I've known some people over the years who fear growth, as though change is a bad thing. And I get it - there's a certain comfort that comes from settling, and from maintaining the status quo, and what you already know. Being open-minded enough to see your faults for what they are, take in criticism from others but view it as constructive, and work on yourself to improve are scary sometimes. Those are unpredictable moments when you're not really sure who you'll turn out to be. But I maintain that so long as you stick to your values, you can be open to change and it'll be nothing but beneficial, provided you're doing it for the right reasons. At least that's been my takeaway thus far.
I've found that I've become even more willing over the years to criticize myself, compromise for others, and take time to assess my choices. I think it's that kind of mindfulness and introspection that allows us to become better people as we go through life - better for ourselves and better towards one another.
It would be remiss of me to write this and not acknowledge those close to me who have always supported me and spurred me on with both personal and professional growth. I really appreciate the encouragement, and I hope I can give back as much as I've gained.