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Choosing Personal Growth Over Stagnation

By MICHELLE M MILLER

OF the endless list of topical issues discussed on a daily basis, personal growth receives little attention.  This lack of focus on personal progress has resulted in many people remaining in stagnation.

Personal growth is defined as ‘development activities that improve awareness, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.’

Moreover, market research and statistics, suggests that personal growth is a 64 billion dollar industry worldwide. And in the US alone, it is an estimated 9.6 billion dollars. Despite these massive figures, personal growth as an industry in the Bahamas remains essentially non-existent.  As adults across socio-economic lines are not regularly engaged habits of personal developments, such as investing in books, seminars etc.  

To a certain extent, many are comforted by typical academic accomplishments.  And once the degree is obtained, the notion of personal growth is given little consideration.

This often leaves many of the working class with a narrow sense of awareness, unable to improve their personal disposition beyond the limitation of their academic education.  However, considering the speed with which the masses capitulate to acquire things like iphones, ipads etc; it is odd that so many are not engaged in self-improvement.  Apparently, people are more motivated to invest in expensive gadgets than in themselves.  

When you assess the value of your life and your personal capacity to grow, you must determine that you are worth the investment.  If you are not advancing from the inside out – you are living in stagnation.

Stagnant water is murky and has an unpleasant scent mostly because it isn’t moving.  Similarly, stagnant individuals live in their own degree of murkiness. They may also have self-depleting habits, suffer from poor self-image and tend to settle for less than they are capable of.

Stagnation leads people to become comfortable with status quo, unprepared for change.  This comfort zone is the quickest path to staying stagnant.  A typical story goes as follows: Marcy got the job and she liked it.  Day in and day out, she did what she was paid to do.  Went home, had dinner, watched TV and went to bed.  Year after year, Marcy continued this routine, never once reading a new book or attending a personal growth seminar.  

Apart from being a very boring life story, what could she expect if the company downsized?  What would she do if her job became redundant?  What other skills did she possess?  Being so comfortable will be the furthest thing from her mind.  Instead, fear and the looming insecurity will take over Marcy’s thinking.

Indeed, economies are shifting the world over.  Unlike Marcy, you need not wait until your job is at risk to choose personal growth.  You need to think now about how you can improve your expertise.

Life is not a static, but a dynamic experience.  It is about movement. If you are not growing, you are standing still.  Aside from avoiding personal insecurity due to job loss, personal growth offers other inspiring benefits.   Expanding your self-awareness, increasing skills and advancing your areas of expertise can be fulfilling as well as lead to job security and life improvement.  

Here are some key questions to determine where to begin.  

What do you want for your life?  

Why is it important?  

What skills do you need?

How will you acquire those skills?

Today, set aside some time to answer these questions so that you can plan and direct your personal growth agenda.  You are a growth seeking being; improving your skills will also enhanced your self-value and personal fulfilment.  Now is time to take the lead and shift your life paradigm!

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