What You Need to Know About the 6 Laws of Growth
My oldest son just finished his first year of school.
Kindergarten is over. Pablo is a little taller than last year. He is a little faster when we race. He asks more questions and consistently surprises me with what he understands about the world around him. He is growing.
For children, growth happens organically. It is just a question of time.
For adults, our personal growth has to be more intentional. Time is not on our side anymore. It is actually against us, stealing our potential if we don’t use it wisely.
To grow on purpose, we must understand how growth works. Through my own research and life experience, I have observed six laws of intentional growth.
- The Law of Risks.
- The Law of Discomfort.
- The Law of Impossible.
- The Law of Failure.
- The Law of Focus.
- The Law of Relationships.
To use these laws means potential reached. To ignore them means stagnation.
The Six Laws of Intentional Growth
1. The Law of Risks
It is easy to sit around and bask in the glory of your previous achievements. You could easily repeat them expecting the same results. The problem is your life and the world around you is constantly changing. In order for you to grow into the person you are created to be, you are going to have to take risks.
The Law of Risks states that in order to grow, one must try something new.
Risk involves the possibility of failure. Risk involves pain. But risk can also lead you to extremely great rewards.
Please note that not all risk is equal. Taking a risk for the sake of risk alone is called “stupidity.” However, taking calculated risks is part of wisdom.
Think before you leap. In other words, take risks where you have played the movie forward. You have thought about where your risk will lead you. Will the results be exactly what you predict? Probably not. That is why it is a risk. Take the risk anyway.
2. The Law of Discomfort.
Have you ever taken a lazy afternoon and laid down on your couch for hours? After a while, you feel like doing something else, but the lethargy has already set in and you can’t seem to find the energy to get up.
The Law of Discomfort states that one experiences true growth in discomfort.
You have heard the term “comfort zone.” Right now I want you to imagine that there is hula hoop on the floor around you. Inside the hula hoop, you feel safe and comfortable with yourself and with your abilities.
Although inside the hula hoop feels good, it is one of the most dangerous places that you can be. You need to step out of your comfort into discomfort to really grow.
In the comfort zone, you miss out on real conversations because you are terrified of the outcome. Inside the comfort zone, you are scared to show others your dream for fear of rejection. Inside the comfort zone, you never gain new skills because the ones you have deceptively appear to be enough.
Don’t stay in your comfort zone. When something feels uncomfortable, that is a good thing. Similar to the soreness after a gym workout, discomfort is a sign of growth.
3. The Law of Impossible.
When learning to grow, often we compare ourselves to the people who have already reached success. That comparison can be toxic. You start to feel like you are a failure because you have not reached the level of success that they have reached. You start to feel envy towards them. You start to judge yourself. You give up on growth because you see their success as being miles ahead of where you are.
Don’t fall into the trap of comparison.
The Law of Impossible states that growth comes from consistently taking one small step towards the perceived impossible.
Similar to embracing discomfort, this small step is just a little outside what you think is possible for yourself. Once you have achieved that area of growth, take another step. It is just a matter of time before you find yourself looking back at the goal that you already passed and looking ahead to things that you never thought possible. It just takes time and consistent stepping.
4. The Law of Failure.
You have probably witnessed this scene in American Football. A receiver, after catching the ball, turns around and plows straight into the defending team. He has two options with drastically different results.
Option 1 — He tries to push through. Often times, after pushing with all of his strength, he becomes tired and gets forced to the ground. That is the way that many people approach failure. They see failure right in front of them and try to push through it. Eventually, they tire and give up. Their growth is stunted.
Option 2 — The receiver catches the ball, then turns and hits the opponent. Then the miracle happens. He uses the momentum of the hit to spin to the side and regain his balance. Then he continues to run towards his goal.
The Law of Failure states that growth happens when one learns from failure and uses it as momentum to reach one’s goals.
Option 2 is how I want you to approach failure. Run towards your goal. If failure hits you, know that it is part of the process. Learn from it and use its momentum to adjust, regain your balance, and move forward.
5. The Law of Focus.
Often times, you cannot move forward and grow because you are holding on to too many things at once. Maybe you are involved in too many activities. Maybe you are trying to be all things to all people. By trying to hold on to everything you are actually saying “no” to what really matters. Part of growing is letting go and saying “no”.
The Law of Focus states that growth is exponentially stronger when combined with determined focus.
You need to be continually pruning your life. Otherwise, you will never grow in any area because your energy is spread too thin. Prune your life by saying “no” and focus on your priorities so that you can grow at an accelerated rate.
6. The Law of Relationships.
Education happens in the context of relationships. Growth accelerates in the atmosphere of a healthy group of people.
If you want to grow do not walk your journey alone. Look for people who will keep you accountable to your growth.
The Law of Relationships states that healthy relationships are the strongest catalyst for growth.
Relationships influence all the other laws of growth:
- Relationships are your safety net when taking a risky leap.
- Relationships point you to areas where you have become too comfortable.
- Relationships tell you to reach a little farther than you have ever reached before.
- Relationships pick you up when a failure has knocked you down.
- Relationships remind you of what is important when your priorities are out of focus.
If you want to grow to your maximum potential, you need deep and healthy relationships. The first step to having friends is to be a friend. Take the initiative of creating authentic friendships today.
The laws listed above are not an exhaustive list of the laws of growth. There are other factors that contribute to or hinder your goals.
However, they are a start, and they are easy to remember. Take one law today and apply it to your life. Take practical steps to make your growth intentional. Turn time back on your side and grow on purpose.
The article today was taken from reading and research that I do on a regular basis. This specific topic was largely taken from the book “9 Things You Simply Must Do to Succeed in Love and Life” by Dr. Henry Cloud.
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