“Life is growth. If we stop growing technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead.” – Marihei Ueshiba
It’s the second week of 2021 and I am almost certain most of us in some way or the other have gotten aligned on our pursuits for the New Year which is a great first step. Students are back in school and professionals are back to their offices setting out for what lies ahead in the year. On a personal account, some have resolutions on the key achievements they intend to make by end of the year which is a great starting point. On this account, I have taken it upon myself to give each of your reading this a nudge to reflect on what you have set out to accomplish in the year. This may not be what you expected but I believe it’s timely. There is no need to have you got through 365 days working on something you aren’t sure is the ideal blueprint of your core desires and wishes. This got brought to light this evening when I joined in on our family call.
When we set out to set targets and goals for ourselves, it’s mostly driven by desire and wishes for things from the outside world. To buy a house, to buy a car, to get a well paying job and the list continues. Of all these, in few times do we ask ourselves whether these desires drive growth in our lives or not. If they don’t make us grow to be better versions of ourselves for the next year then they may not be ideal for us. Why do I say this? It’s because when we set out to achieve all these we may acquire them and then in the coming year it’s all gone and we have to start from scratch and with our current circumstances we know better than to wish to start at the bottom again. This is why I believe all our aspirations and goals for the year should be anchored on our growth and development at the individual level. On this account, I also believe that it is important to map all our facets of development and take stock on where we are, how we intend to go through the year and where we wish to be at the end of the year.
The Facets: Physical, Social, Financial, Professional and Spiritual. These are five (5) key areas of our growth that need to be factored in all we do. Unfortunately, we focus on financial most times because in a way it’s measurable in economic terms and possessions. On the contrary the others that may be measurable in abstract terms thus elusive in nature are as important. Physical growth ensures you are healthy to work and achieve your goals while at the same time be able to enjoy your successes. Social growth helps you foster meaningful relationships that help you walk the journey of life with fulfillment as a social being. It also helps you relate with others better i.e. emotional quotient. Financial development is outright, being able to afford your needs and wants in life. Professional development is rather not as clear because most people equate professional growth to financial muscle. Professional development may accord you financial growth but on it’s own account it refers to you level of skill, expertise and mastery in a particular field characterized by possession of specialized knowledge. In short are you part of the conversation on current and emerging trends in your field? Do you have a role to play on that caucus? If not you are as dispensable which means you may not be growing as you may think.
Finally, we have or are believed to have a soul. There is an inherent feeling about what you consider right and wrong whichever the guide on that it exists. Nurture it and stay rooted on it because when all else is gone, you need something to hold onto. Your belief is all that you’ll have even though it may not be as independent because of the influence of religions and human societies but at least there is something. Focus on developing it and keep at it. I wrote about some of these concepts last year in February following a workshop we had hosted on Personal Development in the Face of Uncertainty just before COVID-19 set in in Kenya. Looking back I believe it helped me in the previous year. Take action in making 2021 better. Use this week to anchor yourself on what matters and make it matter.
“Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort, time and energy needed to develop yourself.” – Denis Waitley