Monday I shared Part 1 of this series on growing. I am passionate about this topic, and I literally get antsy when I have great information to share with others. I once heard Beth Moore say, “You know you’re a teacher at heart when you feel like you can barely breath until you share what you’ve learned.” Apparently that’s me. When I find something incredible, I look so forward to sharing it with others. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this short, two-part series, you can go back and read it here.
I got all this amazing information from listening to a single podcast episode of EntreLeadership. Chris Locurto interviewed the author and I was blown away by the content. I urge you to listen to the episode for free.
Here I will pick up where I left off, highlighting some great concepts Maxwell shared:
- Growth is not automatic process. You don’t get better automatically. Exactly. And this is why Matt and I each have a list of books we want to read. Books show up on our doorstep almost every day. (Matt’s ordering things like crazy now that shipping is cheap and reliable. While overseas we avoided ordering things unless absolutely necessary.) If you don’t like to read, I urge you to try it again and again. Matt wasn’t much of a reader when we met. During our down time he’d play guitar and I’d read. It wasn’t until after seminary that he really started to read for his own pleasure, and now, he reads considerably more than I do. If reading really isn’t your thing, start by listening to books on audio. The first book I ever listened to on audio was Boundaries by Henry Cloud. If you are having trouble of almost any sort, you can probably find the answer to it in this book.
- Develop and discover your strengths. Sure, we can find out what we’re weak at and try to fix those areas, but that’s not always the best idea. Our pastor at NewSpring spoke on this recently. I could try with all my might to become the best cake lady in town. I could go to classes, scour the internet and beg my cake-making friends to show me the ropes. If I tried really hard, I might be able to make a cake that doesn’t stick to the pan or fall apart the second I try to ice it. But guess what? Making cakes isn’t really my thing. It’s not what I’m strong at. (In my defense, Bailey added the green goo-icing. Still, that is one ugly cake. Fortunately for my sons, I recognize this fault and have a better cake for their parties… these homemade cakes are just fun to make together.) I need to ask myself what I’m already good at, what I enjoy, and develop those! Those are the things God created me to do. I need to develop the things I’m good at and guess what?!? I’ll find success in those areas as a result!
- The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. What can we do daily for growth to be a reality? Sometimes we think about big changes but we need to break these down to a daily routine. Every day you’re either repairing or preparing. Intentional growth is preparing a person for success. Say you’re trying to lose thirty pounds… If you’re not doing something today to lose a half-a-pound, you won’t reach your goal of losing the thirty. Oh, this is rich, RICH STUFF, right here. I could write for an hour on this but I won’t. Suffice it to say that my 2012 goal was to lose weight and I lost over 30 pounds, and it was due to daily decisions. This particular idea hit home to me and I simply can’t agree more with it. Here is a picture of the tool I use to be intentional in all the areas I deem worthy of my time:
For a more detailed description of the above image, click here.
- Law of the rubber band: Have you ever thought about the fact that there is no value in a rubber band unless it is stretched? Name one thing you’ve ever used a rubber band for that didn’t include stretching. The secret of the success of the rubber band is that it can stretch and then contract to hold things together. The ONLY way you can add value to yourself and to others is to stretch yourself. You want to be out of your comfort zone but not gift-zone. Like my 2013 goal, I’m being stretched. Eventually I’ll be stretched to a point of real discomfort. I know that once I’ve told you what it is, I’ll be held even more accountable. I will be nervous and scared and timid, but that means I’m growing. Ugh… this would be so much easier to explain if I had already told you my goal… but that’s for another day.
In closing, there were two questions John Maxwell asked the listener to contemplate and I thought I might share my own answers with you. It’s not impossible to “grow yourself” or “develop others” but it just takes a little time.
1. What are you doing to grow you?
- listening to a variety of podcasts
- working on my 2013 goal
- daily Quiet Time
- training for a half-marathon (for later on this year)
- reading nonfiction books
- being intentional: I set reminders on my phone to help me remember to do specific things… this helps me be intentional.
2. What are you doing to develop others?
- looking at the boys when they talk to me (I need to write about this someday…) I’m trying to show them that I care about what they say, most importantly, but I also want to teach them that to show others they are valued, eye contact is necessary;
- writing… I hope in some way I can share valuable information with others;
- communicating with individuals via email, Facebook messages, or snail-mail;
- I am a full-time mom… I develop four people daily, for better or for worse;
- I am a full-time homeschool teacher… I am developing their intellect… I hope!
Prize: One copy of John Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth in the format of your choosing.
Purpose: I want as many people as possible to listen to the whole episode and glean as much information as possible from it. A side benefit in my opinion would be that you’d buy the book I’m referencing here. An even further benefit would be that you’d really enjoy Chris LoCurto’s podcast and listen to more episodes, further expanding your growth. I know it’s a business/entrepreneur/leadership podcast but I’ve listened to almost every episode even though I’m not really any of those things at this time in my life. Being a mom is enough to make me want to listen to these!
1. How long did John originally think he would be on his growth journey?
2. Growing people are _________.
Extra Credit. Who does Chris LoCurto sound like? (If no one gets this in a few days, I’ll give a hint.)
To submit your answers, comment on the blog post. The first person to get the first two questions right wins! The third question is extra credit, but it just gives you a million pretend points. It doesn’t help determine a winner or anything.