He run to my office at least three times a day (over a couple of weeks) to be measured. With much gleam on his face, Oscar kept screaming, Ms. Mercy, I am growing, can you measure me, pleaseeeeeeee!!!. I know you are busy but can you measure me pleaseeeeee, pleaseeeeeeee!!!. Alright, I said, I would measure you for the third time today but I don’t think there will be any change between your height from this morning and now. If you have been around a relentless 4 year old, then you would understand my need for sanity and the decision to measure him a third time against my better judgement (ahhh, the things we do for children).
Sure enough, there wasn’t any change from the morning. After a grueling moment of convincing Oscar to wait for a few more weeks until his next measuring appointment, he shrugged his shoulders and reluctantly succumbed. Weeks went by and I thought he had forgotten, or at least, I was hoping he would. 8 weeks later, he came back with the same request, this time, more eager than the last. I hoped that for his sake, there would be a change, and sure enough, there was, albeit little. He had grown taller by at least ½ an inch and it cause for celebration. Apparently, there is a game at one of the park he visits and he is not allowed to partake in that activity until he is of a certain height. So all this while, his strong penchant for measurements was directly linked to his quest for admission into that game. Alas, mission accomplished.
As he left my office that day, I kept pondering about this concept of growth and it’s application to adults. Sadly enough, sometimes, we stop growing when we become adults. We accumulate chronological years, but not necessarily growth, and yet growth is supposed to result in maturity. Undoubtedly, a person’s level of maturity is much more important than their years. Ever known someone who had a quick temper as a kid and still exhibits similar traits as an adult? That’s a sure sign of lack of growth. Truth is, anything that ceases to grow, begins to die. So how do we grow as adults? How do we measure our growth as adults? Surely, we can’t determine that type of growth via a measuring tape but there are other ways of assessing growth or the lack thereof. One thing is for certain; your desire to grow must surpass your desire to die and your desire for growth must be fostered by having a specific goal in mind.
Like the kid who needed to be of a certain height in order to be admitted into that game, we to as adults, must have a specific goal in mind in order to climb higher heights. It takes a greater effort to show growth than it is takes to accumulate years. Everyone can age but not everyone “grows”. Growth can be as simple as becoming a better parent, friend or sibling, learning a new skill, striving to advance in your career or even making a switch, learning to forgive or to overcome a fear. Perhaps, one of the most important indicators of growth is self-control. A person who watches their tongue and has control over their emotions is sure to win many wars. As we draw close to the end of year another year, don’t wait until Dec 31st or January 1st to map out your growth strategy. Do it now and see yourself soar. So I ask, “what is your current growth strategy?