Most of you are probably familiar with the idea that growth is non-linear. Much like the trajectory of the Project Mood Curve, it is not a straight line going up in one direction. You will experience dips in your pursuit of growth, and it will require effort to get back on the right track.
But what if I told you that growth is not only non-linear; it’s also an end at which you will never arrive? Much like your Transcendent There, it is something that you will always be striving toward and never reach. We will never get to a place where we will have done all the growing we can do.
Freedom from Perfection
This means two things for how we approach growth: First, it means that we don’t have to be perfect at everything right now. I’m definitely speaking to the perfectionists in the room. There are also some of us that may need a little extra incentive to not stay stagnant. But I’m going to assume that if you’re here and interested in the Servant Leadership toolkit that you want to grow.
Receiving all this information and tools at once can be overwhelming. We want to empower you to take control of your actions and grow toward your There, but it’s unrealistic to expect to change everything at once.
Knowing that you will never arrive at a place of ultimate growth means that you have the freedom to take your time. You’re not on a schedule that you can get behind on. You also can’t get ahead on growth.
Freedom from Achievement
Second, the fact that growth is a never-ending process means that it’s not something that you can check off your to-do list and move on from. It is something that will follow you all throughout life. We’ve often heard debunked the idea that you will be happier or more satisfied after you reach the next milestone in life: “after I graduate, when I get this promotion, after the baby comes, then I’ll be happy.”
We can live out of the same mindset when it comes to growth. We can view it as something to check off; the next step in achievement to be gained. It can become all too easy to start to think, “oh, when I get this routine in order or conquer this bad habit, then I’ll have achieved enough growth.”
Growth is not an end in itself, to be achieved just for the sake of growth. It is aimed at helping you pursue your There and better serve those in your organizations. We should strive to grow in self-governance, in goal setting, in intentionality, and in wisdom with freedom. The freedom to understand that we are not on a race to perfection and to pursue growth for something other than the achievement of it.
Gracie McBride is the Content and Systems Management Coordinator for The Crossroad.