How to Tell If You’ve Stopped Growing

Hard to get out of bed in the morning? Has joy all but disappeared from your life? Still battling the same problems and worries you were 5 – 10 years ago? These are all signs we have stopped growing. So how does this happen?

It’s been said that aging is inevitable but growth aka maturity is optional. Personal growth is a choice. It takes intention and action. Growth doesn’t happen on its own. It happens when we take intentional steps to learn. When we grow we feel more alive, invigorated, and motivated. We look forward to each new day with enthusiasm and passion. We’re not held back by our problems. Joy pours out of us like syrup onto pancakes. Our energy level soars.

Many times it takes a crisis, a setback, or a big mistake to push us into growing and maturing. As I say in my book, “The Power of Faith”, rather than viewing difficulties as obstacles, try to view them as opportunities to grow. Life is a huge university and the trials we encounter are vehicles designed to move us forward into our destiny. As John Maxwell says in his book “How Successful People Win”, there are two basic reasons for our trials: 1) ignorance and 2) stupidity. Either we didn’t know better or we knew better and failed to act properly.

We all go through tough times. I would venture to say without tough times, we would grow very little, if at all. The tough times show us what we are made of and what needs to change. Most people resist change because they get cozy with the status quo. Like the fruit on my counter, if we stay in the same place long enough eventually we will rot. We were made for more. Here’s an example.

We all know people who are divorced. I am one of them. Divorce is ugly and painful and leaves us with deep wounds that take time to heal. We have three choices: we can either learn and grow from the pain; we can turn angry, bitter, and resentful, or we live in denial and pretend we are the innocent victim. Only the first is a healthy response. No matter how awful the other party may have been, we always have our part to play and our lessons to learn.

I learned more about who I am and how my past and my parents influenced me. When I had serious health issues, I realized I needed to make changes in my diet and my thinking patterns. We are, after all, body mind, and spirit. When one part of us is hurting, the other parts hurt as well. As author Wayne Dyer says, there is a spiritual solution to every problem and I agree. Our souls are trying to go to the next level.

Growth and change don’t always feel good at the time. We may experience “growing pains” as we transition into a new season of life, but let me encourage you by saying this. It’s all good. Trials can build character and make us stronger. They can uncover gifts and talents we never knew we had. Growth is good for our souls.

Is it time you felt more joy and energy in your life? If so, try adding something new: a new hobby, a new job, a new relationship. Give it some thought and do post a comment what you and let me know plan to do to expand your horizons.

Until next time, keep looking up!

Ariel

"The Secret " Law of Attraction – Is There Anything to It?

I’m sure you’ve heard of the huge success of the book “The Secret” and it’s corresponding philosophy called the “Law of Attraction”.  “The Secret” has sold over 6 million copies and in fact, both Oprah and Larry King discussed it on their shows. So what’s all this hullabaloo about anyway?

The law of attraction is the name given to the belief that “like attracts like” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can attract things into one’s life. This philosophy of thought originated with the New Thought movement that spawned such religions as Religious Science, Unity Church, and the Church of Divine Science. It is based upon the belief that people and their thoughts are energy and that like energy attracts like energy. Interesting, huh?

Yeah, that’s what I thought when I came upon some fast talking dude on a youtube video last night extolling the benefits of this process, and well, I just had to blog about it at 4:30 am.

Let’s just assume for a moment that there is some truth to this whole phenomenon. Let’s say we are made of energy and so are our thoughts and we do tend to attract what we think about. This concept is actually somewhat biblical when you read the Apostle Paul’s advice to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure and lovely (Phil 4:8) and to have done with all evil thoughts. However, that is where the resemblance stops.

Coming from a Christian perspective, my question is this: “Where does God’s will fit into the picture?” Sure, we can think about all kinds of things we want to attract into our lives, and they may or may not manifest themselves. In fact, Wayne Dyer, the international speaker and best selling author has a book on this topic called “Manifesting Your Destiny: The Nine Spiritual Principles for Getting Everything You Want”. Now, isn’t that a catchy title? It would capture most anyone’s attention.

It seems to me that the law of attraction is all about ME ME ME – what I want, what I desire and leaves God completely out of the equation, right? Now, I admit, it is tempting (notice the use of that word) to believe we can THINK things into our lives, and we may well be able to do so. However, I believe we are playing with FIRE when we try to take things into our own hands, outside the will of God. Remember the story of Sarah and Abraham and look where that one poor decision got us – years of Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

I don’t know about you, but I want the BEST that God has for me AND I am willing to put ALL my trust in HIM and no one else, including my selfish wants & desires. What about you? What are you desiring in your life? What are you willing to do to get it? Will you compromise and settle or will you trust in God?  Psalm 37:4 says “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  

Love to hear what you have to say about this post. I’m sure it will stimulate some discussion. Until next time, keep the faith and keep looking up!