Author note: This is the last in a year-long, seven-part series delving into personal growth and how to achieve your potential. Sharing from New York Times bestselling author John Maxwell’s “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth,” combined with my personal experience with his program, this series laid the foundation for continuous and intentional growth. View other articles in the series under 'Related articles & video' at the end of the article.
Achieving success, however personally defined, can only occur through growth. Eventually, your current skills and attitudes will limit future achievement unless they are developed to overcome new obstacles. For most people, personal growth is not a natural process in their lives. They simply live day to day, observing and experiencing life, without ever realizing their full potential. Growth is difficult. It takes hard work to change.
Law #14: The Law of Expansion
Growth Always Increases Your Capacity. The best part about growth is that it allows us to boost our capacity, including our ability to keep growing. To expand capacity, you need to continually challenge yourself. A significant thinking shift occurs when we move from “Can I?” to “How can I?” Challenging the status quo can be difficult, but these five questions can help start the process:
- What would you attempt if you knew you would not fail?
- What is the difference between corrections and failures?
- If there were no limitations, what would you like to do?
- Do you want to continue what you have always done or try something new?
- If money were not an issue, what would you be doing with your life?
These questions will lead to some exciting dreams and scary realities. Avoid the temptation to stay within the comfort zone. Expansion requires doing something new, forging the unknown. It requires confidence in our abilities and the dedication to take a risk. Art Williams, one of America’s greatest success stories, says, “I’m not telling you it’s going to be easy - I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.”
There are three important shifts to make to expand:
- Stop doing only what you have done and start doing what you could and should do.
- Stop doing what is expected of you and start exceeding expectations.
- Stop doing important things occasionally and start doing important things daily.
When we can consistently go above and beyond by never accepting the status quo, we can truly achieve great things. Expansion is a beautiful process because it gives hope of future growth.
Law #15: The Law of Contribution
Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others. Having experienced sales, operations and personal achievement, I can attest that nothing brings real fulfillment like adding value to others. There is nothing more rewarding than investing in someone else and seeing them grow to achieve their potential. Yet, we are unable to give what we do not have and so we are obligated to continue to grow ourselves to grow other people.
When we are ready to do good for others and make a meaningful impact in this world, we should strive to be thought of as someone who fulfills the following questions:
- Who mentors you and offers a baseline of wisdom?
- Who mentors you to aspire to be a better person?
- Who challenges you to think?
- Who cheers on your dreams?
- Who cares enough to rebuke you?
- Who is merciful when you have failed?
- Who shares the load in pressurized moments without being asked?
- Who brings fun and laughter into your life?
- Who gives perspective when you become dispirited?
- Who inspires you to seek faithfully after God?
- Who loves you unconditionally?
For the past seven and half years, I have been so blessed to daily work with three people who immediately come to mind as the answers to these 11 questions. Jason Case, Bill Carello and Katie Raymond have created an environment for me to grow beyond what I could have possibly imagined. Their ability to add value to my life is unparalleled and for everything they have done I want to share my extreme gratitude.
Having grown personally, I am now working to inspire others to grow. I am committed to adding value to others by helping them become better leaders and find fulfillment for themselves. I hope that this article series inspires you to chase your potential. Keep growing and keep giving!
Neal Glatt, CSP, ASM is a John Maxwell team certified coach, speaker and trainer specializing in leadership development and improving team dynamics. He would love to help you add value to other people and experience real success. To take the next step, visit www.NealGlatt.com for a free gift. Contact him at Neal@NealGlatt.com.