Are You Willing to Grow?

I had a discussion the other day with a friend of mine, a young man who’s my younger son’s age—37.  He lamented that his father—whom he’s in business with, a very successful man and a great salesman—is old-school about almost everything and refuses to change his business methodology, especially about marketing. The man gives lip-service to change, admits he knows he should, but never takes any action to do so.  This really hit home to me because, to promote my upcoming book and new website, I’ve had to embrace the very changes my young friend was talking about: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and other social media. This got me to thinking about the subject of growth—whether we’re willing to face it head on, expand our comfort zone and become more, or avoid it at all costs because…especially for us older folks, it can be so damn intimidating.

After achieving a modicum of success, it’s only natural to want to remain on the same track, do it the same way you always have—witness the old adage “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it”; have you ever used that worn out expression?  It’s also natural to want to remain right where you are, especially if it’s a rather lofty plateau you’ve climbed up to, comfy and snug. The trouble is, as the world changes around you at lightning-fast speed, it’s impossible to do that.  In the real world you either continue to climb upward, or, alas, arduously tumble down down down; sad perhaps, but so true.  Your instincts, and the people around you, whisper that you must change, grow; but you fight it every step of the way.  Why?

Fear, that’s why.  The Great Enemy.  It always boils down to Fear and its twin associates—Doubt and Indecision.  Napoleon Hill said, “Indecision crystallizes into doubt, the two blend and become fear!”  Here’s the truly sad, pathetic result of succumbing to that fear: the true measure of a man or woman is how much they grow in their allotted time on earth.  You were created to be great, and the only way to attain that greatness is to embrace growth, continue to strive to be the best you can be.  Nike says, “Just Do It!”  Good for Nike—it’s a terrific slogan. Or another way to say it is “Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway”; that’s the title of a great book, by the way.

My older son, Michael, left me a voicemail yesterday telling me how proud of me he was–that I was doing what I felt so passionately about, that I was willing to grow; it brought me to tears.

So, I implore you to embrace growth, don’t run away from it.  If you have children, they’ll be proud of you; and I ask you, What could be more glorious than that?