We have entered the long Memorial Weekend. This weekend I’m thinking about all the great things that my ancestors have accomplished. We are going with family to gravesites to leave flowers and remember those who have gone on before. We are talking about the sacrifices the military has made for our country.
Growing a Tree is Just Like Attending to Personal Growth
This weekend might be a good time to assess where you are as per your personal growth. There’s an old saying that goes something like this; “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.” Now, this quote isn’t all about growing trees. The principle can, and should, be applied to personal growth.
The next generation of leaders will be filled with those who take their personal growth seriously. They do everything they can to push their limits and become a better person and worker every day. If you want to master personal development, apply some of the following:
Learn a New Skill
Another saying states that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Don’t let that mindset hold you back. You can most certainly learn a new skill no matter how deep into life or into a career you are.
You’re never too old or too advanced to pursue education. Take an online class to learn a new skill that helps you in your current field, like working with spreadsheets or improving your writing. As Covid restrictions continue to ease up, in-person classes and seminars will provide other opportunities for additional learning.
A new skill doesn’t always have to pertain to your career or professional life. Learning how to sew or how to shoot a bow might not add to your resume, but they are skills that contribute to your personal growth all the same. Other skills like cooking and car maintenance are practical and will come in handy almost every day of the rest of your life.
Look for New Opportunities
When you’ve spent years in the same industry, it’s terrifying to think about changing jobs and starting over. As human beings often strive for the peace and stability that comes with being established in a familiar environment, that’s a natural feeling.
Just take a look at these individuals and what they were able to accomplish late into their lives:
- Colonel Sanders franchised the first KFC restaurant when he was 62 years old.
- Henry Ford was 45 years old when his company released the Model T, changing the transportation industry forever.
- Sam Walton founded the first Walmart at age 44, which is now the biggest supercenter chain in the world.
- Ken Jeong was a successful doctor until he turned 40, after which he began to pursue a career in comedy and eventually became an actor.
Each of these individuals and many more didn’t get their big break into later in life, some even changing career paths entirely. What they teach us is that your age doesn’t matter. It’s ok to be in your late 20’s and considering going back to school or changing career paths. What’s important is having the drive and ambition to accomplish whatever you set out to do.
Pursue Your Passion
Working for the rest of your life is much easier when you’re doing something you love. For example, meteorologists who love the weather might feel like they’re not even working because their careers align with their passions. This setting makes it much easier for them to continue learning and working hard to grow in their field.
Freelancing has made it increasingly possible for people to turn their hobbies into employment. While freelancing, you can accept as many jobs as you can while still maintaining a full-time job. Bills will continue to be paid on time, and you’ll begin to establish a new client base around your passion. With enough time and effort, you can wean yourself off of your day job until your passion becomes a sustainable source of income.
Set Daily Goals
To plant that seedling of personal growth, you need to set goals. These goals will motivate you to continue to pursue personal growth even when it feels too difficult to continue. Small yet attainable daily goals will lay the foundation for those baby steps to carry you forward.
Let’s say your personal goal is to learn to play a new instrument by the end of the year. How will you measure that goal, and what will you do to reach it? Perhaps you’re content with being able to read music and playing five songs from memory. Use your Calendar to set daily practice times and checkpoints to gauge your progress in the coming months.
The largest trees took decades or even hundreds of years to reach the top of the forest. They reached tremendous heights by growing a little bit every single day. While you can’t sit and watch a tree grow, you will look back and notice the incredible growth that has occurred over time over the years. It will require a lot of patience, but the end result is well worth the wait.
Grow Your Network
A German forester made waves in 2018 by publishing a book on how trees communicate and rely on each other for growth and survival. He talks about how an interconnected root system gives strength and nutrients from the tallest, strongest trees to saplings and struggling plants to help them thrive.
This concept applies to your personal network. The people around you will directly affect your personal growth, for better or for worse. You want your network to be full of individuals who believe in you and push you to become your best.
Growing your network will introduce more positive influences into your life. Using social networking sites such as LinkedIn, you can connect with professionals with valuable insight and direction to help you on your way.
To stand tall above the rest, plant yourself firmly and reach for the skies. Over time you will be smashing goals left and right and becoming a better person by the day.
Image Credit: felix Mittermeier; pexels; thank you!
Hunter Meine is a BYU-Idaho graduate, husband, father, and writer. When he's not writing, he's playing sports or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and daughter.