I’ll start with a bold statement in saying that an essential element to sustaining life is maintaining a perpetual state of personal growth and as such, the enemy of life is therefore stagnation. I use the word ‘life’ loosely, many of us manage to survive, a state of existence, which we sometimes confuse with life – but living, living has a certain level of vibrancy, richness and fulfilment – living is not about surviving, living is about thriving.
One only has to take a moment to reflect on ones own life to see that those moments when we felt the most alive, the most present, the most engaged is when we felt we were growing, creating, producing, moving forward., being challenged, dare I say, when we were probably the most uncomfortable. It’s in the discomfort where we thrive, engaging a whole spectrum of different emotions that allow us to fully embrace the totality of our humanity.
Sadly, in retrospect, most of us are happy to stagnate, that is, happy to merely exist. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, stagnation is the beginning of the onset of disease, our physical faculties along with our inherent functions as humans begin to decay at the onset of stagnation, leading to our inevitable demise.
Growth on the other hand requires courage, requires one to push the possibilities, shatter ones owns perceptions, to be willing to tear it down, break the wall and rebuild – to extend oneself and go beyond ones perceived limitations. This usually requires going outside ones comfort zone into a state of complexity; this complexity is what ultimately challenges us and offers us the opportunity to grow.
Even muscles tear before they grow and strengthen – this is where we need to take ourselves sometimes, breaking could also mean breaking through – I would even argue, breaking is still better than stagnation, as it allows us the opportunity to rebuild. I think many of you would be surprised with what you are capable of – the secret is to give your self the chance to shine – so step up, grow a little, see how it feels.