The 3 G's: Continued - Growth

This is the last of the three G's but not the end of my blog efforts.  I am just beginning.  By giving this I grow.   Enjoy...

Growth - If you have been following the posts thus far, you will see growth mentioned in a minor way for both Gratitude and Giving.  The definition of love that I referenced from Scott Peck’s, The Road Less Traveled includes nurturing one’s own growth.  In short, I believe that if you are not growing, you are dying.  While death is inevitable, I don’t aspire to it in my daily life.
Growth requires a bit of self-love. As with gratitude we have to see ourselves as having value to begin with, but even more importantly we see ourselves as having potential.  We begin to see what we can be, if we only try.  For many this may be the hardest part, but I do believe that each of us has gifts and talents.  Each of us has worth inherent within us.  Further, each of us has the potential to be more than what we are today.

So how do we “grow” ourselves? For me, some growth will come from simply practicing the first two G’s. If I am living in gratitude then I will become more aware of the talents and blessings I have and will want to learn how to utilize them. If I am giving, I want to do so in the best way I can; to be as effective as I can.

Focused growth however requires effort and time.  There are four parts of ourselves that we can grow: physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.
Physical growth, especially for someone in his 50’s is not so much making myself bigger and stronger, but rather making myself healthier.  I want to maintain a certain level of conditioning so that I can get out and enjoy the world.  I want to be able to get away from the computer screen and meet people, experience nature and feel good about myself.  I recently ran my first 5K.  I ran when I was in high-school, mainly distance running, but that was before the 5K movement.  So, I began to train. I started walking, then running a little farther, eventually building to finish the 3.1 miles.  My goal was to finish in less than 30 minutes.  I made that with 20 seconds to spare.  While I was nowhere near the fastest runner (even in my age group), I met my own personal goal and was thrilled (and a little sore). Now I set a new goal at 25 minutes for next year.
Intellectual growth is also somewhat tangible.  I can take classes that challenge me to learn new things or gain greater insights.  I have spent time over the past few years teaching technical courses which result in professional certification for the students.  As the teacher, I challenge myself to be knowledgeable in all the points that are covered by the class.  That includes codes, regulations and standards (which are all printed materials) but also what are the general practices in the industry.  I must study, but also put myself in positions where I can listen to others learn from their experiences.  Find a class or read a technical journal.  Challenge yourself to stay at the forefront of your chosen career.
Emotional growth is a little harder to accomplish.  It comes from looking inward at who and where you are.  Emotional growth is not easy because it forces you to be honest with where you are.  I have a history of not dealing with my emotions, but instead boxing them up and setting them aside - avoiding them.  This was especially true if they were negative emotions.  I have grown over the past year particularly.  I have read several books, blogs and other words of wisdom.  I have opened myself up to others that I trust. And I have listened to what they have experienced in their journey.  Each of these steps helps me grow emotionally.  They have made me more stable and capable of dealing with the downs that come with life as well as allowed me to enjoy and celebrate the ups.
Spiritual growth is for me is critical. While so far in this blog, I have avoided discussing my faith, my reliance on God as a loving and forgiving creator is a foundation I rely upon daily.  As I consider personal growth, I want to expand and strengthen my relationship with my God.  I do this through daily prayer, meditation and study of scripture.  I also seek out and actively take part in classes where I can dialogue with others on our understanding of God and his purposes for us as individuals and collectively.  It is from God that I find true peace, an inner peace that can withstand the stresses and pain of the world around me. 

I began by saying this is a path to happiness and peace. By practicing the three G’s, one can truly improve their daily walk.  They will see growth not just in themselves, but in those around them and in their relationships with others.  They will become less self-centered yet not ignore themselves. I don’t intend this philosophy to be all encompassing, but a beginning.  This blog will be my place to share my thoughts on my journey of finding serenity, restoration and happiness in who I am and whose I am. 

May God grant you wisdom as you seek it and peace for the journey.

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