Growth is a Process

After a few weeks of diving into grief we decided this week to bring our dear friend Gabriel Mangold onto the Podcast to discuss, “Growth as a Process.” It was a fun podcast to record, and I personally walked away with several helpful tips from Gabriel’s experience.

Growth is a process and a process is growth. One of the first things that jumped out at me in our conversation was the importance that having a process in and of itself is growth. Once again, the destination is not the purpose, the journey is. We get caught up in trying to reach an end state that we forget that the real gift and the real growth comes from the process of getting there.

Form follows function. We talked about struggles and success with dealing with issues around health and food. He pointed out the importance of function. When we eat and train for function or purpose, the outcome of the form is much more rewarding than if we had just chased the “body” we were looking for. When you only focus on the aesthetics, you can lose sight of the function or purpose of the body. Instead we can find ourselves in unhealthy eating habits and training to the point of injury rather than health.

Discipline is a key to success. The process of growth requires it. Disciplines allow for the repeated behaviors necessary to be consistent long enough for change to occur. Viewing discipline as a practice helps us to be easy on ourselves to get back on track quickly rather than look at setbacks as failures. Persistence and consistency lead to unrecognizable change in the long run.

Honesty is another key to growth. In order to be honest with ourselves, we have to learn to be honest with others. Having friends and professionals in our corner that we feel comfortable enough to be totally honest with leads us to be truthful with ourselves. Honesty is a practice that is another growth process. I say a practice because it is not a black or white thing. There is a spectrum of truth between dishonest and honest. Learning to be truthful at deeper levels over time helps us to grow.

Our discussion also made me think about how important it is to have a schedule, a program, or a plan for our growth. It does not happen spontaneously or randomly. Growth is created through intentional action over time. Allowing ourselves time every day to work on our personal growth is important. This does not require a large amount of time either. One of the most impactful discipline’s i’ve ever practiced is to build a 5 minute time period every morning for prayer and a daily reading. Over many years it has created a tremendous amount of growth and change for such a small amount of time.

So if we’re still working toward a change. Keep going. We should stay true to function and purpose, practice discipline and honesty, and know that over time we will get to something far different and more rewarding than we had initially imagined.