Forward Progress & Growth
Life is about forward progress. I had a great opportunity to reflect on life while spending 30+ hrs driving in a car. I thought a lot about my life on both a personal level and a professional level, which often intertwine.
I have made some interesting decisions in my life, both good and bad. Anything from doing a workout while injured, giving the wrong advice, saying insensitive things etc. Good or bad, I have not a single regret on any of them, even some of the worst decisions. Let me explain.
Every decision that has been made throughout my life has left behind some important lessons. Every good decision has obviously led to some favorable outcomes. Surprisingly, every bad decision has done the same. Bad decisions are crucial for growth and learning. I am not saying go out and make bad choices for the sake of it. However, to move forward in just about anything, there has to be a time when you experience failure. There has to be a time when you make a decision that you thought was right, but ended up being wrong. Sometimes, so horribly wrong that all you can think of at the moment was a “reset” button. However, it’s important to not regret these, but to absorb the hell out of them.
I am no angel by any means and still make pretty bad decisions. But one thing I will always believe is to own the wrong, learn from it and move forward. We can take this little piece of advice and apply it to any aspect of your life. Whether that be putting too much weight on the barbell and failing miserably on the workout because of it or opening up a business without the necessary permits and getting kicked out (which may or may not have really happened). You will not learn from placing the blame on others or by thinking things aren’t your fault. Accept responsibility, even if things aren’t entirely in your hands.
I was very fortunate growing up to have had a great Coach that was the purest example of an individual with a growth mindset. He taught and shaped me into the person I am today. He taught me how to move forward from losses by improving on the mistakes. He taught me how to work harder when the goal seemed so far fetched. He taught me how to never accept failure, but to grow from it.
I strive for all of the people involved in my life to have a growth mindset, rather than a fixed. It is hard to hit a PR in the gym if you firmly believe in factors being outside of your control. But even having a growth mindset can bring out some issues too. For example, I consider myself to be very far on the growth spectrum, perhaps too far. I take on things that I have trouble making time for, which will ultimately lead me into a bad decision (I bite off more than I can chew). And that’s how the cycle goes…
Overall, a decision that may seem like hell may be a blessing in disguise. Have a growth mindset, be positive and always push forward. Do the right things for the right people and trust your gut. Make decisions that you believe are for the best. Learn from your wrongs and accept responsibility for your actions. Even the ugly ones.
Keep pushing forward NECF! Continue growing from every good and bad decision, I know I will. Like my Coach would always tell me “the reward isn’t as great without the struggle”.