I learn personal growth life lessons from some of the most interesting places – including the locker room at my local health club – The Salvation Army Kroc Center of Grand Rapids.
I had just finished doing a family exercise class with my wife and kids right before lunch, and went to the locker room to change. I greeted the other man who was already there in the locker room and I asked him, “What kind of workout did you do today? Weights? Treadmill? The bike?”
He replied that he did the weights and the treadmill. I told him that I usually do those too – earlier in the morning – but this time I did a Piyo class with my family (Piyo is part Pilates and part Yoga), and I discovered my hamstring muscles weren’t as flexible as they needed to be because some of the poses were difficult for me to complete.
As the other man gathered up his belongings and walked out the door, he said:
“Yes, stretching is more important than many people realize. I believe we all need to stretch more.”
When he left, I just presumed he was still talking about stretching our body’s muscles.
But a few seconds later, I wondered, “Did he mean something more?”
Not just the stretching that results in physical agility and strength, but the kind of stretching that results in personal growth and development too?
Stretching Your Personal Growth Muscles
The kind of stretching that results in our personal growth and development keeps us agile and ready for anything that comes our way. It helps us go farther than we ever thought was possible – helping us reach our full potential.
Unfortunately we often experience our greatest personal growth through times of trial and adversity – when we get out, or are pushed out, of our comfort zone into unfamiliar territory. When we take a risk or experience a circumstance that turns our world on its side.
Adversity is often the greatest motivator for life change. Tough challenges spur us on to action. When we stand up to our challenges, we will often be catapulted to new heights and go farther faster than we could have otherwise.
Which is why Doug Weed said:
“Goliath was the best thing that ever happened to David.”
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I’ve tried to avoid or ignore challenges and trials in my life in hopes that I could just maintain the status quo of my current reality.
What I’ve discovered, though, is that you can’t really stay static – you’re either moving forward or backwards.
If I don’t allow myself to be stretched when difficult circumstances come my way, or if I don’t stretch intentionally stretch myself through my personal growth & development plan, I won’t just maintain my current position, I’ll actually lose ground.
Are you being stretched by a Goliath-sized challenge right now? Don’t shrink in the face of it. Stand tall. Face it. Let it inspire you to take bold action and move to the next level in your life.
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