As we come up on the new year, it’s a good time to talk about MEANINGFUL growth and change.
1) Growth is a response to stress. Nobody expects their body to improve by sitting around on the couch avoiding the stress of exercise. Same with intellectual and spiritual growth. There are limits to this obviously, but seeking a carefree, stress-free life will make you stagnate. Worse, it will weaken you.
Don’t avoid stressful things if they are part of you reaching your goals.
2) Change something MEANINGFUL about your life once a year. Change jobs. Move. Have another kid. Write a book. The bigger the change, The more profound the growth associated with it.
At the very least try something new. New sport, new medium, new diet, new hobby, new wardrobe. I moved once a year for about 10 years. I changed careers, I changed the focus within my career, I moved cities five times, I sold gear and bought new gear, I wrote and composed in new genres.
I transformed my body.
I got married.
I had children. The younger you are the easier it is to make huge changes with low consequence.
Failing at something new in your twenties is virtually consequence free, so don’t be afraid of it
3) your limits are more likely to be in the realm of duration, not intensity.
Almost anyone can run 100 m. Running a marathon is elite.
When it comes to big stresses, a few weeks is probably going to be your max. You can live any lifestyle for a couple of weeks. The resulting growth can be profound, but don’t expect to be able to work 18 hours a day indefinitely.
There is a reason military programs like BUD/S are broken down into six to eight week sections.
Alas, we cannot all be Conan and endure 20 years of pityless combat with no rest.
4) Discomfort is immediate, growth is delayed.
It can take years to build a body. It can take years to develop your skills in a new artistic pursuit.
Don’t be that guy who quits going to the gym after a month because he hasn’t seen results.
5) processes are more important than goals.
There is no end game to the dynamic processes of growth. If you focus on the process and progress, everything is in a net positive. Did you start going to the gym wanting to look like Arnold, only to realize that you don’t have the genetic potential and don’t want to use the drugs to achieve it?
The process has delivered you a huge positive anyway.
Have a good 2020!
By the way, my newest book is out! Get it here: