Growing up, I didn’t think of myself as a kid. I knew that others saw me that way, but I thought of myself as a fully formed individual, capable of having adult conversations with anyone, including my teachers.
Of course, I lacked the awareness, experience, knowledge, and responsibility that come with real adulthood. I had no idea how immature I was or how much development had yet to take place.
I’m still growing. Just the other day, my wife Kim and I remarked how seasoned (tired?) we’ve become over the past two years as we’ve raised our son Leo. Don’t get me wrong; being parents has been great. But before we began the journey we didn’t know how much we didn’t know. Now we know a little.
I think that one of the secrets of personal growth is choosing to be a lifelong learner; refusing to see yourself as fully developed or done in any area. It means abandoning the myth that we can or should “arrive”, and embracing the reality that there’s always more to learn, do, and be.
This can be challenging because there’s something in us which tempts us to stop growing…or fools us until believing that there’s no more room for growth.
When people plateau they get bored, make stupid choices, waste their lives on insignificant pursuits, get angry, and slowly fade away into mediocrity.
It takes humility to admit we’ve leveled out, and hunger to begin moving up. But it’s worth it. We can either stop growing and start dying, or keep growing and continue living.