I used to get invited to share my experiences, thoughts, and reflections with people. I’d really feel happy, flattered even, that they would consider me worthy, and capable enough to be able to impart nuggets of knowledge to people either twice my age, or half my age.
And I turned them down.
I turned them down because I felt I wasn’t good enough, authentic enough, smart enough, strong enough. I was afraid that someone from the audience would realize that I wasn’t all that, and then the jig would be up. I would be exposed for being the faker that I was.
Deep down, I was too afraid to try and put myself out there.
By some grace of God, the chance came again, and I was invited to not only speak and share, but conduct a full-blown workshop. I would be responsible for not only implementing the course, but designing it as well. I had some knowledge on the subject, but I admit I wasn’t someone with really deep experience about it.
And so my mind, heart, and body quickly came up with ways to reject the invitation. Again.
“I can’t do it. I’m not prepared. I’ts been too long since my last workshop. I have a full-time job, and this would interfere with it. I’d be breaking the trust of the people who counted on me to be in the office. I’m not good enough for that.” On and on the excuses came. But then this time, something changed.
I realized that if I really wanted to get this opportunity, I would have to want it to happen, and that I would have to actively seek reasons, important for me, to take this chance, and bear the possible consequences.
I don’t want another instance of me regretting to take another invitation like this.
So with a lot of risk and faith, a few phone calls, and a trusting heart, I said yes.
I ran the workshops, two batches even. I learned a lot, received great feedback, and had a lot of fun.
More than that, was the great feeling of having said yes to something I wanted to do, despite the thoughts and beliefs that wanted to hold me back.
On to the next one.
Richard St. John shared in his bestselling book, “Stupid, Ugly, Unlucky, and Rich: Spike’s Guide To Success”, that there are 8 paths to success, culled from 7 years of research and over 500 interviews: Passion, Hard Work, Focus, Persistence, Great Ideas, Getting Good, Push Yourself, Serve Others.
A lot has already been written about those qualities, and what I want to highlight, in all of those qualities, and in success in general is that:
Growth is required for Success.
David wasn’t really the best candidate to put up against Goliath, but with a brave heart, and unwavering faith, he felled the giant. Maybe in the moments leading up to that anecdote, in that short span of time, he allowed himself to grow into a person capable of beating an opponent much larger than him.
Implicitly, this is what business biography books are about. A journey of growth towards becoming a person capable of attaining success, before becoming it.
Many times, we think “If i just had this magic secret, my life would be great!” or “If I could just retire early, I’d be set.”, or even “If I could find the love of my life, all will be ok.”
Tough. That will never happen.
You will have to become the person capable of coming up with a magic secret, capable of retiring early, and capable of finding, and keeping, the love of your life, if any of that is to come true.
Growth has to happen first. We become the persons we want to become, then we get all the goodies. It doesn’t work the other way around.
Growth requires learning. Finding out what works or not. Learning not only the concepts and the information, but the how-to and actual execution as well. It’s one thing for the head to know, and it’s another for the heart and body to know as well.
Growth requires action. When I learned to play guitar, I would memorize the chord shapes, and where to put my finger on the fretboard, but only when I started to put the chords together to play songs did I really understand how to play the chords, tips and tricks to play them easier, and change the sound according to the situation. One of the best ways to learn, is to just do it, and find out.
And you will make mistakes. It won’t be perfect, and it may not even be pretty. You can and will fail. It’s all a part of learning, and of growing. Ever heard of the phrase “growing pains?” That’s it.
Nobody ever started out an expert, and nobody ever started out looking like one. Accept the fact that you will make mistakes, and not be good at first. That’s ok. That’s part of learning, and getting better. Every master was a student once.
Growth requires taking risks. People keep on saying that you’ve got to get out of your comfort zone. That’s because beyond it lies your growth zone. To expand your comfort zone, is to grow. Throw yourself off the deep end, and get to learning and doing. That’s one shortcut to getting good.
Growth requires creating. It’s making the effort to just go ahead and do it, despite the results you may get. You may not succeed at first, but as long as you keep trying and doing, you’ll get there.
Growing is living. Growth is choosing to live. I heard one time, that “the moment you stop growing, is the moment you start dying.” As it is for living things, organizations, beliefs. Choose what gives life to you, choose to live.
Growth also requires having faith. Faith that in the end, you’ll get to where you want to go to. That you will learnt a thing or two. That you’ll have become a happier, stronger, more open, happier person.
Grow, and keep on growing.
Grow to Succeed.
1. Stupid, Ugly, Unlucky, and Rich: Spike’s Guide to Success(June 1, 2006) by Richard St. John