BY STAN KONTOS
When we set goals and things do not go as planned or they seem to go wrong, it is easy to think, “Why is this happening to me?”
What we all need to realise is that on the journey to achieving our goals, things do not “happen to us” but rather they “happen for us”. Everything that happens is there to serve us at a deeper level – each experience helps us to grow and become more. So when things go wrong, this is an opportunity to outgrow what we need to outgrow and so take ourselves to the next level. We must always aim for a “breakthrough” – to take the challenge on and grow through it. If we do not choose to grow through it, then we “breakdown” and so remain in a suppressed state where there is no growth. We will then most likely experience a similar event again, which will bring another opportunity to grow.
Life is all about personal growth. We all generally desire to do better in everything – we want to progress in our careers, to have more income to enjoy or to help others, to find more happiness, to have deeper and more fulfilling relationships, to travel and experience more of the world, and so forth. Our life is like a plant in that it is always seeking growth; if it does not get it, then it begins to wilt away. We must always aim to be vibrant and growing – it is vibrant and growing plants that yield the best fruit for all to enjoy.
Knowing this, we must take as much charge of our life as we can and put ourselves in situations to grow. This is where setting exciting goals comes in. If we do not seek personal, professional and/or spiritual growth, life will throw a big problem at us to force us to grow. Which person do you want to be – the person who sets a pathway of growth or the person who waits for life to give them a big problem to solve?
I have always preferred to take charge of my own pathway (as much as possible) and grow through my own self imposed challenges. The challenge to become better, the challenge to do better, and the challenge to have a better experience of life. Of course there will always be challenges that we don’t see coming, however, when this happens, the key is to take the “bull by the horns” (so to speak) and carve a pathway to resolution. Never sit back when a challenge is on – it is the time to step up, plan, take action, and focus on the outcome that will resolve the challenge.
What kind of challenges have you faced so far? Have you had issues with your health? Have you had to go through a divorce? Have you endured a significant financial loss? We often find that with ample time and healing, these challenges can cause us to grow into better, wiser people.
However, here’s a good question. Looking back, and knowing what you know now, could this challenge have been prevented? If you have had to survive through cancer, could a healthier diet over many years or resolution of emotional blocks (such as with forgiveness) assisted with the function of your immune system? Had you invested more time into assisting your life partner to grow and feel supported, or had you the knowledge to make a better partner selection in place in the first place – could that divorce/separation have been avoided? And if you had the right mentor and good business or financial advice, could you have avoided the financial hardship?
One of the greatest ways we can avoid future pain is to learn today what we need to know and challenge ourselves to grow now. One of the best ways to grow is by listening to others experiences and learning from the challenges they have already faced. This is why I am so passionate about Breakfast at the Next Level. The audience gets to meet amazing people who can impart their life’s wisdom. At our next breakfast, I will be interviewing Darryl Gobbett from Prescott Securities. Darryl has a wealth of experience having served the Prime Minister in the Federal Treasury at the time the Australian dollar was floated in 1983; negotiated through a State crisis in a Senior role at the State Bank, (he joined the bank just before it’s collapse in 1991); conducted the very first seminar informing SA businesspeople of the potential of the internet; and having played a key role in many of the major economic developments in SA.
Once we get through a life challenge, we then enter what I call a “plateau stage” where we can coast for a little while and enjoy this much needed period of rest. However, it is important not to stay there too long or life will bring another wake up call – this is the time to set new goals and personal challenges to once again strengthen those personal growth muscles. If you remember that life is about growth and keep yourself excitedly challenged, then you will enjoy the journey.
At the end of your life, I hope you will be able to look back and answer the question in a positive way “Was my life an example, or was it a warning?” I hope your life is a masterpiece and masterpieces are created from great challenges. This is the example I wish for you.
Live with passion, stay on your life’s purpose and always be at peace.