Each of us grows as a person, but how much we grow depends on how much we want to grow.
We start as children involved only in our own little worlds—emotionally invested in everything we face. As we get older and mature, we gain some insight into the world around us and some perspective on how we fit into the universe.
Awareness and Serenity
Some people never get past that childhood phase. They can’t see past their own immediate emotional responses, don’t have the insight to see the big picture, and never find the serenity that comes with personal growth and enhanced awareness.
Is it possible to grow to a level of awareness and serenity in which we don’t get caught up in the petty squabbles that are so prevalent today?
Achieving serenity does not mean that we don’t have emotional responses or that we don’t care about the issues we face; it just means that we have perspective on those issues and don’t allow our emotions to cause irrational responses or knee-jerk confrontations.
Growth in How We Spend Time
Personal growth can also result in positive changes to how we spend our time. When we’re younger, we gravitate toward things that give us instant gratification—things that appeal to our basest reactions and don’t require any nuanced responses in order for us to appreciate them. As we grow, we might start engaging in pursuits that challenge us and help us expand emotionally, intellectually, or spiritually. These might include creative pursuits, thinking and learning about ideas, travel, or inward exploration (e.g., meditation).
Growth can mean an increased sense of perspective on our interactions with others. We learn to focus on what really matters and what we hope to achieve instead of getting bogged down in disagreements, letting ourselves get affected by real or perceived slights, being unnecessarily competitive, or needing to be the expert in others’ eyes.
We can grow to a point where we’re not affected by the little inconveniences and irritations we all face. We learn to exist on a higher plane of existence and be at peace with the world around us. We still face the day-to-day headaches that everyone else does; we just don’t let them get to us.
If we’re not intentional about growing as people, we will stagnate. Our instant gratification will not be so “gratifying,” we will not find our engagement and interaction with people fulfilling, and we may become bored, angry, and bitter.
We will have holes in our lives that we can’t figure out how to fill.
Growth is not easy. We have to get to know ourselves and truly understand what makes us tick. We have to examine our emotional responses and comprehend where they’re coming from and how they influence our actions. We have to be aware of our worldviews and our places in the world and figure out how to be a positive influence where we can. We have to recognize our strengths and weaknesses and choose our paths accordingly. If we achieve personal growth, we will have lives full of meaning, fulfillment, and serenity.
Through personal growth, you can create the life you were meant to live.