Personal growth doesn’t just happen. It’s chosen.
If you love something and it brings you joy, then it matters to you. If it matters to you, you should commit yourself to it.
Don’t ever get discouraged because you aren’t very good at it at first and it turns out to be a difficult challenge. If you stay committed to it, it will get easier. You will get better at it. And you will thank yourself for having the courage and determination to commit to your dreams.
If you do get discouraged and settle for something that doesn’t really matter to you, you will feel “off”. You will have lost the feeling of joyful growth and you will be out of it and just going through the motions in Life.
Through your commitment to what matters to you, what matters to you will grow. Everything you do now; every one of your accomplishments and the skills you’ve developed, grew because of your commitment to them.
For me, I can remember how much of a challenge it was to get used to being in a committed relationship. For the first time, I was in an intimate partnership where secrets could not be kept without harming the partnership. I had to learn to communicate openly so that no resentment built. I learned that by first experiencing resentment and realizing what caused it. I experienced all the things that can put relationships at risk of collapsing. Not once did I think of giving up though, and neither did my wife. We were committed because we mattered to one another. I am happy to say we still matter to one another, because we see that challenges in the relationship are temporary if we work at them together. We look back now, after being together for seven years and are shocked at how much we’ve grown in our relationship. It is a source of pride for both of us.
I look to that determination and commitment as inspiration for the rest of my life. I also look to the times I learned to drive a car, ride a bike, beat a video game, graduate from school, or any other challenge. I accomplished them by committing to them, and my commitment didn’t feel like work, because each of my challenges mattered to me. Of course, there have been challenges that I chose to drop because they didn’t matter. Those felt like work and struggle.
So I now look at what I want to improve in my own life, spiritually, physically, and mentally, with renewed optimism. Last night, I made a list of things i want to commit to and the things that will improve for me, because they are one and the same. Remember: what we commit ourselves to will grow. So if we are committed to settling for less than we want, guess what? Our ability to settle will grow and soon we will be perfect settlers!
So it is probably a good idea for each of us to look at our own lives and see what we want to improve, and then choose to commit to the challenges. My list includes: meeting and connecting with more people; getting physically stronger; continuing to learn Spanish; committing to running my business as best as I can and improving my finances; getting better at swimming, snorkeling, and perhaps scuba diving; becoming a better basketball player; being more positively oriented; getting better at writing; being more self-confident and being true to myself; being more free-spirited; being a better husband, brother, son and friend by paying attention to those around me. It is a growing list, which I love, because I think I would be a bit bored without it.
I know that if I commit to my challenges, they will improve for me. I don’t care how much I fail at first because I also know the pain of letting go of things that matter. I will get back up and move towards being who I want to be and I will enjoy the feeling of getting better at all that matters to me. It is a great feeling to grow in the way you prefer to! That feeling sums up my list. I love to improve in things that matter to me, and that is why I will commit to them.