4 Habits For Personal Growth
by Clay Staires
How you THINK is the most important thing about you!
I mean, think about it! Your THOUGHTS will determine your FEELINGS and your feelings will form your BELIEFS and your beliefs will always express themselves in your ACTIONS and your actions will always produce certain RESULTS in your life! Many people are dissatisfied with the "results" they are getting in their lives. The problem is that those same people "think" the answer is to just double their efforts and try harder to change their daily "actions". "If I just work hard enough at it , I'll get there!" Well, how's that workin' for us? It sure hasn't worked well for me.
Here's an example of how this works.
Thought - I shouldn't have messed up on my diet today.
Feelings - I feel bad about myself.
Belief - I'm never going to be able to lose weight!
Actions - Binge or Stop Trying
Result - You don't lose weight!
To get new results to show up in my life (on a consistent basis!), I have to get all the way back to "how I think". If you want to change the "fruits", you have to get down to the "roots".
Any time we recognize a need for change in our life, we must first begin to understand and embrace the impact on our current daily habits! Here's a fun quote, "You are who you are and you choose what you choose because you think what you think!" I am a product of my daily habits - some good, some maybe not so good.
Growth always involves change! In fact they are synonyms. To grow means that we must "CHANGE"! Habits are simply actions that we've put in place to cope with life. After we have practiced these habits over and over, they become second nature to us. We don't even realize we're doing it until something, or someone, comes along and reveals it.
All major positive growth will require consistent encouragement and adjustment!
So, is it possible for me to change? Is it possible for me to do what is necessary for growth? Of course! Let me share with you the 4 Habits For Successful Growth. I've shared these habits with hundreds of people that have gone on to implement them into their life and experience exponential growth in a short amount of time!
Habit #1 - Goals -
Many people feel like their drifting or just wandering through life! Can you relate? I remember being there for a long time! I was just letting life kind of push me along and I was just reacting to whatever came next. Unexpected Bills! Unexpected Circumstances! Unexpected Issues! Unfortunately, many of the struggles in my life were "Unexpected"!
This kind of living will always lead me to the place where I feel like "I'm just running around putting out fires" and "I just don't have enough time". Have you said that in the last... couple of hours!! If so, you may need some help identifying and writing down specific goals. I'll have more on setting goals in another post to help you set manageable goals and stick to them!
Habit #2 - Responsibility -
This was another huge area of weakness for me. Rather than take responsibility for my life and my decisions, I spent way to much time BLAMING other people and other things for why I couldn't succeed or why I couldn't get ahead. Have you ever done that? Oh, I've always had good intentions on moving forward and being successful in life and in work, but... my boss, my wife, my kids, the weather, the market, the economy, the.... you get the picture!
Until we begin taking the responsibility for our feelings and actions, regardless of the circumstances, we'll never get our THINKING positioned for growth! It will always be a good idea that's on our "to do list", but something will always come up and knock us off course! In a future post, I'll be offering some very practical advice on how to turn this around. You'll get some tools to help simplify the process. The work will still have to be done, but the path will be clear!
Habit #3 - Outside The Box Thinking -
Have you realized yet that it's impossible for you to think anything other than what you already think? Without help, we can never think "outside our box". That's why we sit and stare at the ceiling instead of going to sleep at night... trying to FIGURE IT OUT! Ah, but I just keep going around and around in circles, never coming up with any real conclusions other than the ones that I had already thought of before I got into bed!
Without subjecting myself to objective thinking from a mentor, adviser, counselor, "someone that has a clue of how to help me", I'll never be able to get over that hump! I love watching those movies with the old sage and some young, angry warrior working together to help the young warrior prepare for the big event! The young warrior ALWAYS thinks he's got it! "Just teach me the SKILL and I'll be set!" They always start out with being closed to "Outside the box thinking". Eventually, they get it and the movie goes into a 45 second montage of the training really picking up and STICKING! The movement happens because they "finally" become willing to be taught something!
Mentoring is a lost art in our society. In a future post I'll be giving you some very practical steps to help you find and connect with a mentor in your life that can bring you this "objective thinking" that we all so desperately need. Many of the "great" companies require it of their executives. In fact, over 80% of the Fortune 500 companies use it for their CEO's. But when it comes to our personal lives, for some reason we fall back on the "thinking" of "I have to figure it out on my own". And as a result of this thinking, we become unwilling to raise our hand and ask for help.
And that leads us to the final habit...
Habit #4 - Willingness
Willingness is always the GREAT ACCELERATOR! Sometimes circumstances have to get pretty tight for us to become "willing", but in the end, it's only when we finally submit to the process of growth that we actually begin growing. In a future post, we'll look into a few factors that go into why we "lock the door" to change and new ideas. I'm sure you'll relate to these roadblocks to growth. I'm also confident that you'll be encouraged when you discover how to get back on the road to success and movement in your personal and professional life!
Action Steps -
1. Take some time TODAY to slow down and consider what you are specifically wanting to accomplish or achieve in the next few years. There may be many things in many different areas, but if you want, just come up with two or three in one area.
2. Write those goals down somewhere that you will see it often.
3. Share those goals with someone close to you; spouse, friend, pastor, mentor, or even with me via email... and ask for consistent encouragement as you step into this journey!
As always, if you have any questions or need any encouragement, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org!