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The Courage To Grow

Written by Dana Eldridge, Sensei, Fogelsville LVMA
Feb 15, 2014

As children, our bodies grow beyond our control; our knees hurt, our hips hurt, our elbows ached and we had no idea why. We cried and complained to our parents and they said, “Don’t worry about it, it’s just growing pains. They’ll go away and you’ll be bigger and stronger.”  We weren’t really sure about it but we took our parents word for it and it turned out to be true, the pain went away and we were bigger and stronger and… we needed new clothes!

Growth is never an easy thing. Look at flowers pushing their way up through the weight of the dirt to spread their fragile petals and soak in the sun. Or the new born foal on wobbly legs and in unfamiliar surroundings that doesn’t know why but know it wants to run free. Or the scrawny, skinny young kid who wants to play at the level of the big boys and will do whatever it takes to make it happen.

Growth takes significant effort and work.

That is probably the best reason individuals have for staying the same. It’s comfortable and it’s easy. We lose sight of the reward because we are focused only on the pain of the work and not the thrill of its outcome.
Growth takes willingness.

The willingness to let go of the old to embrace the new. The willingness to try. The willingness to fail and the willingness to get up every time we do. The willingness to listen. The willingness to observe and the willingness to adapt.

Growth takes acceptance.

Accept the fact that we are not perfect. Accept that things will go wrong. Accept the things in your past for they do not define you, what you do now is what will define you. Accept that we cannot change other people, we can only change ourselves. Accept that we do not know everything and have the opportunity to learn from everyone we meet no matter how insignificant they may first appear.

Growth requires a beginners mind.

If we look at all things through the eyes of a beginner (or as a child) we are less likely to miss the small lessons provided by even the simplest situation we may have encountered dozens of times. It will always be a fresh and new experience. If we first seek to learn and understand and not to teach or show ourselves worthy, we will be a pool for knowledge to fill. Ray Kroc, the man who put McDonald’s on the map said, “If you are green, you’re growing, if you are ripe, you’re rotting.”

 

Never be afraid to grow and change;
fear instead staying right where you are and wondering “What If?”

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