Personal growth is a journey. It’s been said that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Whether you feel like it or not, you are already on the journey of personal growth. Everything you’ve been through up to this point in your life, your accomplishments, your victories, and even your mistakes, have brought you to the place you are today.
Of course, when we talk about personal growth, what we really mean is intentional growth. Wherever you find yourself today, you can begin working toward self improvement. In a very real sense, there is only one place to begin on a path of personal growth and that is right here. It might sound trite, but the future starts right now. If you wish to make changes in the way you are living, now is the time to take that first step.
Does that sound like a big deal? Well, it is . . . and it isn’t. Yes, it is a big deal to make the decision to embark on a new journey of personal growth. But that first step does not need to be a big one. In fact, often the best way to begin to change stubborn old habits or unproductive thought patterns is with a very tiny move in the right direction. Just make sure that tiny move is pursued consistently.
For instance, if you want to improve in your work efficiency, determine one step you can take. Maybe you spend too much time playing around with your email, or maybe you have trouble making yourself get started on difficult jobs. Choose a habit that will bring you closer to your goal of productivity, and make it a priority every day. When it becomes second nature to you, it’s time to add another habit.
Marla Cilley, aka the “Flylady,” was a disorganized homemaker who one day decided she would shine her kitchen sink every night before she went to bed. That one “baby step,” as she would call it, grew into another, until now she heads up an extremely successful website devoted to helping people learn to keep their homes in order. It all began with a single small habit.
As human beings, our lives consist of a number of different areas, so one important part of beginning on the path of personal growth is to prioritize the changes you’d like to make. What feels like your greatest need? Is it to improve your health and fitness? Is it to increase your income? Perhaps it is to get organized. One thing to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you choose the “wrong” area to improve. Don’t let perfectionism keep you from picking a habit to instill in your life. Just start.
By the way, getting organized is a good place to start, because all of efficiency rests on our system of order. And a good place to begin to get organized is to begin to get rid of the extra clutter in your office or home. Again, don’t stress over whether the thing should go in the trash, be recycled, or be given to charity. Just pick one and do it.
The bottom line is that the place to begin on your path of personal growth is right here. And the time to start is now. If you want your future to reflect the hopes and dreams you treasure now, take that first step real soon!
By John Hester