The Organizer #31 | Growth

How do I grow more? Sometimes, the best way to become more is to try to do less.

Grow more with less

If it doesn’t help you grow, you need to trim it. Let it go.

That’s the theme of Angie Thomas’ Concrete Rose. It’s a beautiful and timely reminder.

Growth shouldn’t mean “more”

Growth is profoundly important for our well-being. It gives us a sense of purpose and direction; it stimulates our creativity and our intelligence.

Growth is a form of power. As we grow, we develop ways to shape our environments to support our goals and our values. We build knowledge and confidence.

But the allure of growth can sometimes pull us off course. It’s easy to be so seduced by the idea of who we might become that we fail to appreciate or enjoy who we are right now.

We can be so addicted to “becoming” that we are never satisfied. The healthy desire to grow can be replaced by an unhealthy belief that we aren’t enough, aren’t complete.

Growth gurus often throw fuel on the fire. Their personal development pitches push the same idea: you need to do more, be more, buy more. Their advice focuses on all the new things you can add to your life: take this course, adopt this habit, acquire this new skill, read this new book.

It’s no wonder the global “personal development” industry is worth $42-billion

As a culture, we cling to the notion that more is better. “More” means gaining, getting, and wealth. “Less”, on the other hand, is usually seen as undesirable. Less means loss, missing out, lacking, giving up.

This is not how it works in nature

Which brings us back to the rose.

“If it won’t help the rose grow, you’ve gotta let it go.”

Personal growth shouldn’t just about addingIt should also be about subtracting. Growth is about recognizing what is most important at your core, and focusing on what feeds it.

Trimming doesn’t have to mean radical transformation. Trimming can mean minor adjustments that restore some of your time and energy — like taking a break from Twitter or delegating a routine task.

When you trim away the bits that aren’t heading where you want to go, you stop directing precious energy to a thousand different places. Trimming doesn’t make you weaker, smaller. It makes you stronger.

What does growth mean to you?

If nothing else, thinking about trimming helps you figure out what growth looks like for you. Do you know what nourishes you? Do you believe that you can grow? That you deserve to grow?

Less isn’t always bad. Call it loss, call it trimming, call it quitting, call it whatever you want — you should intentionally choose to do less, often, and with great pleasure.

Trimming is necessary. It’s healthy, a sign of respect for the things you truly need and love. It can be a sign of hope. It’s a commitment to really living.

If you were looking for permission to do less, here you have it.

This is your reminder to let go of something,

Here is your excuse to opt for less.

If it doesn’t help you grow, it’s okay to let it go.

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