Why to bother with personal growth ?
It seems that we are already grown up persons, who have already achieved many things in our lives?
I ask this question at the change of the year, which is usually a time to evaluate our success, review our goals and refocus our actions and energy.
Usually on the list of our goals we find earning money, paying down debt, maybe a new home, furthering education, helping our children, nurturing the relationship with our spouse. But to what end? What do we really want from life?
Personal Growth Means Taking and Giving
You may already have noticed, that on my list of goals are both, getting and giving. Improving financial metrics, getting the means for an enjoyable and convenient life, like a nice home, and taking care of others, giving to our family, but also to others in need.
To grow means in way to increase our ability to get and to give. This is like a cycle, taking better care of our customers or clients, getting more money for it, improving lifestyle, thus getting better energy, give more to those in need, close to us and not so close, learn by giving.
Now there needs to be a balance between giving and taking. Without this balance, personal growth can easily change into personal decline.
Giving Without Getting Leads to Decline
He, who gives more than he has, runs into a debt problem, ending up at a point where he cannot give anymore. And he, who takes without giving, will inevitably disconnect himself from other people, end up in an emotional vacuum, and personal growth will again make space for personal decline.
Taking Without Providing Leads to Decline
Why giving without taking does not work for a long time, is self explanatory. But why is it not possible to grow if somebody takes and takes, without giving? Think about it: If you see people suffer, and you know that you could help them out with ease, you will have to close your mind and hard, if you want to avoid giving. While closing mind and heart, you will not be able see, hear and feel other information. You have blocked the entrance door for it. This forces a person into decline.
Get More so You Can Give More
This means, the trick is: Getting more, to be able to give a bit more. This will lead again to get more, this will allow again to give more. In the process you will grow in spirit, in knowledge, and in happiness.
Obviously, you cannot help everybody, and you cannot help somebody forever. If Bill Gates would give only one Dollar per day to every hungry person in the world, it would not take a week until he for himself would have to beg, and then he would not be able to help anybody else.
You Can Change Only Your Own Life
Another example is a drug addict. Nobody can help him, before he makes a serious decision to change his life. And that is not only true for drug addicts, but for almost everybody. This is, because the ultimate help is not a material gift, but support in personal growth.
This is perfectly expressed in the old adage: “It is good to give to a hungry a fish. But it is much better teaching him fishing“.