The Art of Growth

Darius J. Beckham
Jan 1, 2017 · 3 min read

All life on the planet is in an ever-present state of development. However, everything that is alive today is not necessarily growing. Development simply means change and while development implies progress, every change is not for the good. It is certainly possible to develop toward death or advance to an end by way of unfavorable change. Even what is stagnated is changing because whatever refuses to grow will begin to die. For this reason, development can be understood in terms of positive and negative. Every life on the planet is always changing.

Growth is a choice. It does not come naturally with age. The only way to achieve it is to make positive changes. Our lives are a testament to the changes we have made, for better or worse. Those whom we admire have inspired great change within the world, they have made a difference, they’ve reversed the trajectory of our development. As a result, we value them. Growth is often associated with success but real success is not defined by material gain. Real success is becoming a person of value. It has never been easier to look successful than it is today but value is not on the outside. Value is what you offer the world. The success of this year should not be measured by the events that happen to you but rather by the events that you make happen. Reactive living yields individuals no power to change their circumstances. A proactive life, on the other hand allows one to exert their energy and will onto the world around them. Measure your success by the extent of personal growth you achieve, by how much more valuable you become.

You don’t become valuable by chasing money, people, or things. You become valuable by growing your gift. The growth of your gift is the inevitable growth of you. It is a waste of time and resources to focus your energy on something that you are not purposed or gifted to do because there will be no harvest. It’s similar to reaping where no one ever planted. Hardly possible. To create a life of value you must focus on what matters and what matters are your passions, your interests — your gifts. Focusing your attention on what is important is only half the battle, you must remain focused. In a society of instant gratification, it can be difficult to believe in the process of growth. While it is common and much less problematic to take shortcuts, actual growth demands integrity. You must be honest about your place in this world and where you want to be. Growth sets a standard. Without discipline and consistency it cannot be achieved. Growth does not know comfort. In effect, comfortability serves as an obstacle to growth, seeing that positive change is needed for success. Change, in itself, breeds uncertainty and uncertainty is uncomfortable. Growth does not care about hurt feelings or contempt because growth is uncivil, it does not seek to be understood. To grow, one must adapt an attitude of disdain toward anything that limits progress. No matter what anyone says or thinks you must prioritize your own advancement and do what is instinctual to your own existence. Growth is undoubtedly a beautiful art. It is evolution happening before our very eyes.