What’s the point of personal growth? I’ve gotten into my head that it’s something to do and strive for, because it is worth striving for. But I haven’t really questioned it until recently. So is it? Is leaving what you know, sacrificing things you enjoy and bring you personal satisfaction in exchange for agony and strife in that lead to a single, short moment of glory or a slightly ‘better’ state of being, really worth it?
This probably seems very short sighted; i realized that while writing this. But do all the positives really outweigh the negatives? From where i sit now, I’d say no. But i know at least some of you will disagree.
What would be a reason for you not to grow could be a better question to ask. Why would you not want to constantly learn things in this life as it is finite? Don’t you find it boring being stuck in the same old routine, going in the same circles, making the same mistakes?
Because personally, I’m pretty satisfied with where i am. And pursuing something like education, a workout regiment, better diet or anything that takes a lot of dedicated time feels like i am sacrificing a lot and getting very little in return; that I’d be simpler and better just to stay where i am and just change things around every now and then.
I am not talking about education or workout or better diet, there are so many different ways to grow. For me growth in life is one of the main goals, in what ever way it may be. Even talking to a stranger for 5 minutes on the streets is something I can learn from
If you are happy with where you are, then do that. Whichever habits and activities bring you the most smiles in your life should be the same ones you do the most often. Personal growth doesn’t have to mean reading a self help book and taking a seminar… It is the pushing of your boundaries to make you capable of something you were not before.
Somewhere, way back when, I chose a perspective on growth that in retrospect, I realize I’d taken for granted as a truism: A life is always engaged in the process of change in either of two ways; growth or decline. Never at a standstill. If I’m not growing, I’m regressing. Someone is quoted at some point as saying, “Change is mandatory; growth is optional.”
My favourite related quote is, “Nature does not demand that we be perfect; only that we grow.”
I can certainly relate with you Paul, in sometimes not sure whether the positives outweigh the negatives, but only when I lack the long view. I remember going through just such a period of second-guessing myself when my wife at the time very astutely remarked (it was the first time i’d heard it said), “Never assess your progress by measuring the distance between where you are and where you aim to be but, measure instead the distance between where you now stand and where you once stood.” That’s the more important distance, I think.
I’d like to point out that i was in a bit of a rut when i wrote this post, but regardless, i do feel sometimes that the work that goes into trying to improve oneself, be it breaking/forming a habit or learning a new skill, is so long and excruciating that it doesn’t seem worth it. I’ve hung around places like HE, and similar places on other sites, and have gotten into my head that I have to do amazing things in my life, or else i regret it dearly on my deathbed. That is a lot of pressure, and sometimes giving up seems like the better option.
Giving up is easy, and you are writing this topic because the brain loves the rut and the easy ways. You have to teach it otherwise.
We are not growing for the sole sake of “growing”. We are growing because of the others. Because when we reach each successive checkpoint of our Higher Existence, we are able to share our ideas more successfully with others, influence and maybe even “awaken” them for good.
Growth happens naturally. It isn’t something you have to try to do. In fact, if you try to grow, you just get in your own way. Which is why self-improvement doesn’t work. A tree doesn’t try to grow. A baby doesn’t try to grow and develop. Adult humans don’t need to try either. It just happens. Just follow your natural inclinations. Do things that are inspiring to you. Growth is a byproduct. It’s effortless.
The Netherlands douze points , or great answer :-) I don’t know your musical interest, for me the band Gong is very inspiring, if you have time you can listen to the album You on you tube or the daevid Allen track, wise man in your heart
I think we mainly default to growing and changing because the opposite of that is to be stagnant. And in this state of stagnance you often don’t learn important lessons or reach your potential as you are surrounded by comforts for most of your life.
We need personal growth as a necessity. I have lived the past two years in a pretty sheltered manner (for a whole host of reasons) and I know that I’m missing out on certain things such as friendships, travel and experiences and am not the happiest I could be (albeit still happy).
To throw away the comforts of home or religion or the ego etc. can be very liberating and those cons are definitely outweighed by the wealth of pros. It seems like you find fulfillment through challenging yourself to go one better and do one better.
Why be 70% if you can actually be 100%? At the least, I’m sure personal growth cultivates efficiency, understanding, tolerance and self respect.
I have to agree with you. I think it’s an equivalent of First World Problems, a sort of First World Guilt if you’re not constantly seeking betterment. I would never claim that there’s no room for (considerable) improvement. However, call it laziness, or whatever you will, I can live with the flaws & be quite content. I’m also not bored. Sorry (can’t help that – I’m British).
The only constant is change. Even if you don’t change or grow, the people around you and your environment will, which may impact what you know and things you enjoy where you find yourself facing that which you don’t know and things you don’t enjoy, then what?
The only aspect of “control” you really have is of yourself, so You change in some way to get back to the place where you’re once again satiated by what you know and things you enjoy; either by learning about that which was once unknown to you, thus making it known or learning about the things around you to the point that you derive enjoyment from them where before you didn’t for whatever reason.
You asked if sacrificing things that bring you personal satisfaction is worth striving for more, but would you even get the urge to strive for more if those things still brought you satisfaction?
I don’t think humans are built to be satisfied with stagnation or repetition. Everything moves, changes, evolves. It’s less harmonious and will likely cause more struggle to try to elect a single state and remain in it.
Seems like you’re looking to false growth. Or growrh that isn’t for you.
But the “agony” doesn’t have to be a result, or a bad thing. Maybe you’re just unhealthily attached to what you’re leaving behind. Addicted even. Or simply afraid of change.
Growth is always the way to go. It’s what we all naturally do. Only in this sick society do people get distracted and stop growing. Growth is connection to the soul, to biology, to true human existence.
stagnating makes me depressed, and im sick of depression. personal growth for me is like feeding my overactive, overanalytical paranoid brain good wholesome food. sitting around watching FRIENDS for the billionth time and smoking til the bowl is empty is , although fun, mental junk food. persuing personal growth has hugely depleted my problem with rage and stopped the daily tears.