Growth and change are the only constants in life. We don’t stop growing until the day we die. I’ve always believed that learning doesn’t end when we leave the classroom, nor when we finish school and obtain our degree. Learning doesn’t even have to be contained within the four walls of an educational institution. Instead, it is a life-long process that unfolds wherever we happen to be. Each day presents us with opportunities to grow, and every new experience holds a lesson from which we can learn. The choice is always up to us whether we do or not. We have to be open to receiving those lessons. If we shut down, we close ourselves off to growth.
On this topic, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
Somehow we always have the secret hope that we can get ourselves together, work out all our issues, discover all our talents, accept our life’s work, and then relax and get on with it.
What a shock it is when we finally recognize that character building and growth are life-long processes and continue throughout our lives . Just when we think we are clear about the direction of our lives, and we settle into that security (stagnation), something shakes our complacency. How much easier it is to recognize in the first place that life is a process and to open ourselves to the cycles of growth in ourselves.
As a perfectionist and person who does too much, I can confirm that we fall into the trap of believing that we can achieve our final “perfect state” and remain there. Nothing in life is permanent, yet often we humans try to hold on, clinging to the hope that things will stay the same as they are now when we are happy and in a good place in life. Part of the process of growth though is change. If things were to remain the same, then we would be stagnant. Life would get boring indeed if there was no change! What do we have to look forward to if there is no growth in our lives? Growth signals not just change, but improvement over time. When we grow, we become better humans through experience. We never achieve perfection though. Growth is a process that follows us throughout life, and our learning is never done. Remembering this helps us be a little kinder, gentler, and more forgiving of ourselves when we make mistakes. We are just learning, after all! It’s all part of the process.