9 Smart Strategies to Grow in Life
As I write this newsletter, it’s the week my dad, who passed away last August, would have turned 91. My dad was a good man and lived a long, productive life.
A few years ago, before the ravages of dementia stole the best parts of his mind, dad told me about an article he’d read in a Readers Digest magazine when I was a girl. He felt he’d learned some things in that article that helped him become a better parent to me and my brother.
I miss my dad. As I reflect on his life and that conversation, I understand with greater clarity that there are many ways we can grow and learn in our lives.
In the last newsletter, I offered some ideas about the concept of a “growth mindset”. People with a growth mindset believe that we can grow, change, and perform better through our learning, and experience; that through our efforts we can rise to life’s challenges.
We all have opportunities to make choices to empower ourselves and others every day. Here are a few ideas…
1. Listen attentively in conversations. We can learn a lot from kids, elderly, colleagues, and even the person sitting next to us on the train. We often learn more by listening than speaking.
2. Be a life-long learner! Take advantage of opportunities to read, attend a workshop, listen to a talk on-line, or take a class. When you learn something you want to remember, write a note or create a visual to help you recall that treasure or fact that you want to take with you. Carry these takeaways into your life.
3. Pay attention to your inner knowing. The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu is quoted as saying, “At The Center Of Your Being You Have The Answer; You Know Who You Are And You Know What You Want.” Listen to messages from your heart, your gut, your energy, and your inner voice.
4. Get into action towards something you want to achieve. Use to-do lists to stay focused.
5. Seek the nugget of wisdom in whatever and from whomever you are engaged with. There are often opportunities to learn from what we see, sense, hear, feel, and experience.
6. Try new things. Maybe a new game, a new recipe, plant a vegetable garden, sing, ride a bike … Whatever feels right for you.
7. Create a better balance between life and work. How does the way you use your time align with your goals, relationships, and energy level? Honestly check in with yourself about this balance from time to time and strive to make changes as necessary.
8. Ask for honest feedback. Learn to receive it well.
9. Develop a gratitude practice. Write down a few things you are thankful for each day. Research indicates that recognizing our gratitude and writing it down can contribute to well being, vitality, and optimism.
Do you believe that your efforts and experiences can lead to growth and change?
How can you challenge yourself to grow in your life?
- Dweck C. (2014, December 17). Carol Dweck:The power of believing that you can improve (video file). https://www.ted.com/talks/
carol_dweck_the_power_of_ believing_that_you_can_ improve?
- Dweck, C. (2016). What having a “growth mindset” actually means, Harvard Business Review, Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/01/what-
- Emmons, R.A. & McCullough, M.E. (2004). The Psychology of Gratitude. Oxford University Press.
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Ilene Berns-Zare, PsyD, PCC, CMC is an ICF Credentialed Professional Coach and Speaker. Ilene helps people live their best lives by bringing mind, body, and spirit into flow with their strengths, callings and potential. She inspires clients to find fresh perspectives and access their full potential as creative, resourceful, whole persons. Find Ilene online and access free resources at http://ileneberns-zare.com.
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