Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

I would like to call upon the becoming better community to embrace growth.

This is not quite the same as having a “growth mindset,” though it is related, and I do also recommend developing a growth mindset.

To embrace growth is to embrace the natural way that change happens.

To embrace growth is to embrace slow, steady progress.

Embracing growth is about setting realistic expectations for what we can do. Very often we overestimate how much we can improve in the short-run, while underestimating how much we can change in the long-run.

If you currently feel like this tiny sapling, please don’t gaze up at the giants overhead and think, “I’ll be that tall next year!” But also don’t think, “I could never be that tall!”

This magnificent tree took many years to reach its tremendous size. It didn’t rush. It didn’t worry that it was growing too slowly. It didn’t judge itself for not being tall enough yet.

Being in a rush to see the outcomes we want is a recipe for disappointment, burnout, or both. To embrace growth is to embrace patience. To embrace growth is to embrace a sustainable pace of self-development. Like this tree, we can only grow to the stature we dream of with sufficient time.

And what you see above ground is only half the story. Such a tree could not exist without an extensive network of roots reaching deep into the ground.

We, too, must put down deep roots if we wish to reach great heights. Although we may be eager to show off our achievements in public, it is the progress we make behind the scenes – the roots we lay underground – that really matters. The real work of growth is done in private, down in the dirt. It isn’t glamorous. It isn’t sexy. But it is necessary.

And it is this work of laying down roots that we must fall in love with in order to grow tall. True, you can get lucky and achieve public success without doing this background work. But I wouldn’t count on it. Nor would I recommend it. A tall tree without deep roots will be blown over in the wind, just as a successful person who isn’t grounded can be brought down by minor hardships. A successful person with deep roots can weather any storm.

Let’s slowly and steadily cultivate that invisible strength.


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Image Credits

Title Image: Creative Commons Public Domain. Courtesy of Pixabay.

Sapling: Creative Commons Public Domain. Courtesy of Pixabay.

Tall Tree: Creative Commons Public Domain. Courtesy of Pixabay.

Posted by Chris Loper