Today, we’re going to discuss how to grow as an individual.
Individualism Is About Growth
“We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.” – Henry Ward Beecher
As an individual, you are directed towards growth. Stagnation leads to decline, and decline leads to despair. If you are not improving your skills, growing your emotional control, or overcoming difficulty, you will feel lost, scared, and confused.
Why are you driven towards growth? Because the more you advance, the more you can live life on your terms and the more you can do for others. For example, the stronger you become physically, the more pride you can have in yourself. Additionally, physical health means a longer life with family and friends, as well as being able to help others with your newfound strength.
A Lack of Growth Leads To Despair
Conversely, if you feel you are stuck, then you will experience restlessness and despair. Why? Because being stuck means you aren’t progressing, and a lack of progression means powerlessness.
There are many reasons why you may not be growing:
- You may have plateaued in a specific skill
- You’re continually suffering from feelings of fatigue, depression, or worry
- You are walking a path you don’t want to walk
- There is a lack of deep meaning or challenge in your life
If you feel you’re not advancing, then you need to embrace this feeling. Moments of despair and restlessness can be combated by understanding your feelings, then resolving the issue. Do not try to drown out any doubts or fears you hear. If you believe you are not improving, then you need to embrace difficulty and restart your self-improvement.
How Do You Grow As An Individual?
Personal growth is crucial to your happiness and the improvement of society. Therefore, you can do the following to continue your progress as an individual:
- Determine where you are – Where are you in your life, and where would you like to go?
- Re-evaluate what you want to do – Are your goals realistic, and do you want to accomplish them?
- Determine if you’ve abandoned the essentials – You need to take care of your health, attend to virtuous individuals, and remain emotionally stable.
- Set time to work – Remove distractions, set clear goals, and get to work.
- Provide rewards and embrace your rational pride – When you improve yourself, you should be rewarded. Rewards will inspire you to keep going.
1. Determine where you are
“We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.” – Helen Keller
All decisions to grow should start with defining where your life currently is. We’re not focusing on where you want to go. We can do that later. Right now, we need to take stock of your responsibilities, your jobs, your community, your talent stack, and much more. This process will take a few days, but as you observe and note the elements of your life, you can paint a clear image of what’s going on.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Who am I responsible for? Who depends on me? Who do I depend on for finances, emotional validation, and conversation?
- Where do I work? How is my job going? Am I progressing?
- What skills am I trying to learn? Why? Are there any I don’t need at this moment?
Why are we doing this? Because understanding where you are can help you determine where you should be and where you can go.
If you’re in the middle of a significant family crisis, then you won’t have time to pursue your skill development. Therefore, you may feel you aren’t growing. However, your lack of growth isn’t the result of laziness or distraction – you’re dealing with a crisis, and you need to settle your emergency first.
Therefore, determine where you are. The less blind you are to your actions, the more proactive you can be in making positive changes towards self-improvement.
2. Re-evaluate what you want to do
Here are some questions to consider:
- What are my life goals? Why?
- Who can I be by the end of the day? Is this vision realistic?
- What personal faults would I want to overcome? Why?
With your future in hand, we can compare who you are to who you want to become. Your present should help you reach the future you have envisioned for yourself. When present and future do not communicate, you will feel restless and confused.
For example, if you want to become an artist but got promoted at your job, then you need to cut back on your art and focus on advancement. Or quit your job and become an artist. Or find a way to balance the two. However, you can’t blindly march forward by doing what you’ve always done.
In conclusion, match your actions in the present with your vision of the future. You can only do this if you have a firm understanding of who you are and where you want to go.
3. Determine if you’ve abandoned the essentials
To me, there are “essentials,” which are required if you want to live fully. These essentials include your health, finances, and community. If any of these elements are subpar, then you won’t grow as quickly as you’d like.
What do I mean by this? For example, if your health is failing because you don’t sleep and eat poorly, then you won’t be able to study as well. Sure, you can “power through” but you’ll be running on fumes and significantly less efficient.
Another example: if you’re always broke because of poor financial decisions, then you’ll lack the funds to invest in your skill growth. Furthermore, you’ll stress about money, and such stress will distract you.
Therefore, consider the following questions:
- Are you going to the gym and taking care of your health?
- Do you spend quality time with your virtuous family and friends?
- Are you responsible with your finances?
If you’re not attending to the crucial things in your life, then you may feel anxious. This anxiety can stunt your growth and reduce your efficiency. Therefore, spend time with virtuous individuals, go to the gym, eat well, and excel at your job. Once you dominate the essentials, your mind will be clear, and your body will be strong. A healthy body and an indomitable spirit make child’s play of personal growth.
4. Set the time to work
“The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” – Ayn Rand
Alright, everything we’ve done up to this point has involved no growth. Why? Because we need to build the foundation. Once you have an understanding of your present, a clear vision for your future, and your responsibilities in line, you can focus on growing.
Firstly, we are going to remove distractions. The less bad habits you have, the more time, energy, and money you possess. Next, find good practices to improve your efforts. For example, spending the last ten minutes of every hour walking around can help you remain focused and active.
With these habits and actions in place, you need to work. Everything you’ve done up to this point has made you stronger and given your mind a clear vision. As you push yourself forward, you’ll feel better and more capable. You will grow, and your doubts and fears will rescind.
5. Provide rewards and embrace your rational pride
With everything in play, you’re in the best position to grow. Now, what do you do after you’ve accomplished your goals? If you’re excelling every day, then you need to reward your efforts. Earned rewards ensure you remain inspired and focused on being your best.
As always, your rewards must be meaningful to you. Additionally, your rewards should not cost too much time, energy, or money. Lastly, your rewards should be comparable to the effort you’ve invested to earn them.
For example, rewarding yourself a trip to Paris for successfully brushing your teeth for a week is excessive, expensive, and ridiculous. However, rewarding yourself a candy bar after a week of healthy eating is more reasonable.
Lastly, you should always have rational pride in the work you’ve done. Our anti-individualistic culture hates rational pride. Why? Because being proud of the virtues you’ve built and the goals you’ve accomplished make you harder to control. Therefore, stand with your back straight and always smile at the things you’ve done.
You Have To Grow or You Will Feel Lost
“It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.” – Germany Kent
I want to conclude by highlighting growth is more than just a hill. You can grow in one area as you diminish in another. For example, you can grow as a parent while letting your basketball skills deteriorate. Being a parent is more important than your b-ball game. Thus, you are growing, not stagnating.
Remember, some improvement involves spreading outward, enhancing soft skills, increasing your earnings, or completing goals. Not all growth is easy to define or put to paper. This is why you have to be honest with yourself. Furthermore, you have to understand where you are and be clear about where you want to go.
Lastly, pursue virtue. Being virtuous will reduce your anxiety, fear, and confusion. No matter where you are in life, being the best version of yourself will never set you back.
Therefore, continue your growth and become an individual.
- Do you feel you are growing? In what ways are you growing?
- Do you feel stagnant? How can you reverse this trend and continue to become an individual?
- What rewards can you give yourself fo accomplishing your goals? Are these rewards reasonable?
- What’s one thing you’d like to do by the end of the day? How will fulfilling this goal help your long-term goals?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.