There is a defining feature that separates the wise and successful person from the rest. Many people might achieve success as defined by worldly standards – wealth, fame, and power. But money, fame and power are fleeting. Who was the Oscar winner for best actor in 1989?
There is a fallacy in modern thinking today that success breeds growth, however this is not entirely valid. Unfortunately the news tends to selectively reflect many of the poor choices that people make.
While many successful people can and do achieve growth, both do not always come together. Those who constantly work on their spiritual and personal growth will always add to their success. Authors Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus stated, “Is is the capacity to develop and improve themselves that distinguishes leaders from followers.”
If you want to improve your relationships, marriage, work, parenting, economic position, your influence in your community, or anything else, it first starts with you.
I believe that all growth is spiritual growth. I define spiritual growth as having a personal relationship with God, others, and pursuing a life of holiness that He has created for us to live. This is a life of deep relationship.
As Paul says, we are “separated from the life of God” (Eph. 4:18). We must be reconciled to life the way it was created to work.
In the years that I’ve been privileged to work with students, parents, doctors, and treatment staff at various hospitals and inpatient and outpatient facilities, the key personality trait that I’ve witnessed the wise to possess are those who embrace growth. They ask for feedback and welcome opportunities to improve.
How many of you welcome an honest critic?
People who are wise understand this principle: in order to be better tomorrow, I must be teachable today.
I am always willing to help a person, yet the one thing I’ve learned is that you cannot do the work for them. If you love someone, you can’t enable them. It’s like a mother who continues to tie her son’s shoe laces until he’s 30. Uh… gross.
“An open mind is the beginning of self-discovery and growth. We can’t learn anything new until we can admit that we don’t already know everything.” Erwin G. Hall
Parents, when you model this for your children, you are giving them a huge gift that is simply priceless. A humble , honest heart will open far more doors for your child than one that is arrogant, conceited or manipulative. But it starts when they see it in YOU.
Ask the Lord to hold up His mirror to you, and ask a trusted friend who you know loves you and is for you to speak the truth in love.
When you have an open heart and a teachable spirit, God can do amazing things in your life!