It’s a six-letter word none of us can avoid. Whether we want to or not, we grow. Be it in height, or girth, or spiritual enlightenment, growing is as much a part of life as dying. And as such, we should embrace it, hold on to it, and most importantly, learn from it.
So here are six little lessons we can learn from such a simple yet abundant word.
Go Forward – Everyone knows the old saying, hindsight is 20/20, right? Well I say, foresight is 20/100. Meaning, we can see about 20% of what’s to come in our future (we know we’ll be eating, breathing, sleeping, paying bills, yada yada), but there is 100 percent possibility just waiting for us to run head-first into it. So don’t ever live wishing you had done or said (or not done or said) something different. Keep your eyes in the front of your head; they fit so much better there.
Relaxing is Fun – If you packed a stadium with 50,000 hard-working people andasked how many of them would like to have a daily nap time, I’d almost bet a kidney you’d see 50,000 hands shoot toward the sky. We all imagine how nice it would be to just take a break, kick our feet up, open a favorite book (or bottle of wine) and get lost in another world for a few minutes. I say, why don’t you? When it feels as though STRESS is gonna rip your brain from your head, just get up and walk away for a minute. Whether it’s from your computer or a school book or even a friend who likes to always come to you with their problems, when life is getting a bit too hectic, tell it to take a backseat for a bit, because it’s your turn.
Opt out – My baby sister has four children under the age of ten, and there are weeks were literally every day she has a laundry list of activities going on. I, having no children, oftentimes watch in amazement as she juggles it all like a pro and cannot imagine having that same stress. Why? Because if there is one thing of which I am certain, it’s that if I know I can’t do something, I simply say “No.” If you already have soccer practice and piano lessons and karate class and tap and a friend asks if you wanna help her paint the kitchen, do yourself (and I’d safely bet the rest of your over-worked family, lol) a favor and Opt Out of that one, okay? It’s perfectly fine to say no once in a while, and simply take a day (or an hour) off. No one’s gonna hate you for it. And your friend’s kitchen won’t, either.
Walk. just…walk – Exercise junkies might tell ya that walking gets you nowhere, but I for one think that man’s ability to walk is perhaps our greatest hidden resource. Not only will putting one foot in front of the other get us from A to B, but walking can clear our minds, lower our blood pressure, even help us figure out what to cook for dinner. So when life is trying to steamroll you, slap on your walking shoes and hit the pavement (or dirt or concrete or what have you). Your brain and sanity and overall well-being will thank you for it.
Try something new – There is no simpler definition for growth that learning a new skill. It can be something as simple as how to properly cook a steak (note to self: learn this, please) or as convoluted as how to remove, repair, and re-install your car’s engine. Whatever it is, force yourself to learn it. Tapping into unused parts of the brain opens up entire worlds we don’t even know exist. Which in turn can fuel our lives more than anything else. Knowledge truly is power. And you know what they say about folks with big brains? Yep, they’re smart.
Happiness is a four-letter word – Now, this one can be argued on the same level as religion and politics, so I’m not gonna even try to convince you that yes, happiness is a four-letter word. And that word is LOVE. Think about it for a moment. Recall some of your happiest times in life. Ah, yes, there those perfect memories are. Now, dissect said happiest times, and pinpoint the one common denominator. Aha! See, told ya. Love. Your favorite song, playing on the radio while you take a “sick” day from work and just drive. The smell of the ocean when you see it for the first time. A hug and a kiss from your favorite grandmother. No matter the memory, if it’s a happy one, I guarantee you there’s love involved.
So no matter what you’re doing—whether you’re Going Forward, Relaxing, taking some “me” time by Opting Out, Walking. just…walking, or even Trying Something New—make sure you love it. Truly, wholeheartedly love it. If you do, Growth will happen without you even feeling it.