Show me a man who does not like growth, and I will show you one that chews challenges for breakfast. No matter how tacky it may sound, the fact lies in our constant efforts to tackle change in a favorable way day in and day out. How else could we see growth if there was no change anywhere? It reminds me of an adage, “Change is inevitable; growth is intentional.” -Unknown. For all practical purposes, both ‘change’ and ‘growth’ are inter-twined. However, we must keep in mind the solemn advice from Ellen Glasgow: “All change is not growth, as all movement is not forward.”
A successful individual unmistakably goes through this cycle of change and growth with a keen eye on details. Hence, his/her actions stay away from the slightest deviations that could derail the process of growth. Change for the sake of change invites unwarranted hardships when allowed to overtake our preparedness. No wonder preparation helps us prevent frequent reparations. Depending upon any specific profession, attention to detail will certainly help us keep track of available resources for use as and when required. These may not always be restricted to material things. Human resources have proven to be one of the most valuable assets to come to our rescue when disaster strikes.
Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.
–Herbert A. Otto
When we discuss leadership across any sphere of life, we shall find innumerable examples of individuals that defied all naysayers in unhindered pursuit of their personal goals. If it was not an act of experimenting with their own lives first, what else would be more deserving of credit for their success? Does it mean anybody can follow these examples and stand out as a forward-looking individual? Yes, it is accurate, and not only that, it is doable no matter how many challenges one may be facing in life. Handling each problem with attention to detail is a sign of growth. Leaving the smallest fractions of adversity behind puts us on the road to positivity.
Chaos in the world brings uneasiness, but it also allows the opportunity for creativity and growth.
The above words of wisdom help us revel in chaos. Given a consistent, peaceful environment where there are no challenges, we shall find a natural sense of comfort. Lack thereof will push us to the back seat. More often than not, we are called upon to unravel, create, or improvise the most appropriate solution when an unforeseen event occurs in our life. On the home front, we may only need to fix things or arrange supplies for daily necessities. Business demands a higher level of creativity under the circumstances. Leadership role would undoubtedly call for a higher level of ingenuity backed up by one’s own life experiences to impart guidance to the team.
Moving forward, we cannot underestimate the chaos that world leaders face given situations like the current COVID-19 outbreak that threatens to become a pandemic. How leaders handle the challenge in their own countries to save the populace would probably be a subject of discussion for many decades here onwards. Those that excel will restore order and keep the wheels of growth moving forward.
Do not fear risk. All exploration, all growth is calculated. Without challenge, people cannot reach their higher selves. Only if we are willing to walk over the edge can we become winners.
Time and time again, we are advised to get out of our comfort zone. If we want to make a mark, we must first get off the beaten track and chart our course. It entails risk-taking. Crossing over from the known to the unknown is always a risk, but there is no glory without risk. No matter where you look, each outstanding individual presents a testimony to the storms of discomfort, uncertainty, danger, or loss he/she overcame. A common man may find it unnecessary, even irrelevant, to go through all the trouble. However, the world we live in today, with all the conveniences, the gadgets, the luxuries, and comforts, is the cumulative result of the creativity of dedicated individuals that took (and shall continue to make) chaos for an opportunity and leave us awe-struck.
Before we go, let us pay heed to another crucial piece of advice, coming from Frank A. Clark:
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.
We often see innovators given less than admirable names simply because of their focus on specific concepts that become their life’s goal. Their near and dear ones try every possible tactic to wean them away from their efforts. In the face of negativity, these individuals often insulate themselves in a self-created cocoon, so the outside influences do not force them to change direction. We must keep in mind the immense power of criticism that can go either way. We can either give constructive criticism or the destructive one, and the choice is entirely ours. Trying to understand the direction this person intends to take. Our genuine efforts should provide a helping hand; on the other hand, insensitivity could lead to a negative stance that may do more harm than good.