7 Principles for Growth (Part 2)
5. Find Your Why?
The bridge between intention and action is motive. We all have these great intentions of painting the bedroom, calling that friend you haven’t spoken to in ages or losing that 15 lbs. The only reason we don’t take action on that intention is our motive to do it. We don’t have a strong enough why to follow through on our intentions. We say we want to be healthier. But why? Because I want to get rid of body fat? Why? Because I want to feel more confident. Why? Because I want to fit in that bathing suit. Why? Because I don’t want to feel self-conscious. Why? Because I want to feel comfortable and accept myself. Why? Because I want to be happy. No matter how you answer the original question, if you keep asking why, the eventual answer will be, I want to be happy! This is our why. We don’t want to judge ourselves, to guilt and shame ourselves for the decisions we make. We want to be happy with ourselves. So, whether we look at the negative effects and pain of poor investments and choices or the positive effects of rich investments or choices, we must find our true why and remember that why when we make decisions that affect our aspirations. 6. Aim to grow, not to win! “Crush the competition”! “Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing”. “No one remembers losers”. In this competitive world, wining at all costs has infiltrated its way into our lives. Parents screaming at referees, athletes taking performance enhancing drugs and large companies driving small companies out of business. I’m not saying everyone should get a medal for participating. If you compete and win, you get your due rewards, but winning is not the point in life. Winning means you are going up against someone else. Whether we win or lose, we are comparing ourselves to the competitor. This means we are comparing our performance, our best against someone else’s best. While this can be a driving force in the short term, comparing ourselves to others only leads to suffering. It is an act of violence against your Self. For me, to truly win in the game of life, I need to grow as a person to become the best version of me. I need to prepare, I need to practice, I need to perform the best I can with what I have. Yes, setbacks and losses drive us to be better, but be better for you, not to beat someone else. Celebrate your success, your dedication to the process and not because you beat someone else. Aim to grow as a person and not only do you win, but those around you win too. 7. Practice Gratitude! We all have things we can complain about, criticize or condemn and truthfully, a large percentage of us are looking for reasons to do one of the above on the regular. We all face moments that are difficult, challenging and trying, but it is as bad as we really say it is? Are we looking at the situation exactly as it is without adding any thoughts of what it should be or what it could be? Are we taking a broader perspective to see the issue from a different angle or someone’s else perspective? The best way I have found to get myself out self-pity, judgement, attachment and resistance to what is, is gratitude. By looking for and seeking out people, places and situations to be grateful for, automatically gives me a broader perspective on life. It transforms what we have into enough. It transforms self-pity into joy, judgement into compassion, attachment into surrender, and resistance into serenity. This is the foundation of all growth and abundance.