Lean Into Growth

Potential. Potential. Potential.

We have it in abundance.

It is defined as “latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.”

Inherent in the definition for potential are three things. First, the qualities and abilities that we may possess are latent. They are hidden, dormant, and invisible. Second, these qualities and abilities are underdeveloped. Third, making these qualities visible may lead to future success, application, profitability, and serviceability.

To make your latent qualities and abilities visible, you must lean into growth. You must be intentional about developing personally and professionally. You must take steps on a daily basis to create the person you want to become.

Here are seven steps you can take to help you get started.

  1. Read Widely and Deeply -Reading can literally open up new worlds that may facilitate you in discovering latent qualities and abilities. It provides access to a number of mentors in every area of study imaginable. In addition, reading provides new perspectives, guides, and ways to improve the skill of your choice.
  2. Surround Yourself with Growth-Minded People – These people have the potential to influence and shape your life in more ways than you will admit to. They are people who are on a growing path themselves. They are not afraid of receiving or of giving honest feedback. These growth-minded people will help stretch your thinking and be invaluable resources.
  3. Embrace Change – Change is one thing that is not going away. Leaning into growth is an invitation for change to come in and live with you. That may be a scary and intimidating thought that can make you uncomfortable. Good! Because for the majority of us, we learn the most when we are the most uncomfortable. So, lean in and see how much more confident and resilient you can become.
  4. Go and Fail – Failure has such negative connotations. It is associated with being dumb, stupid, unworthy, loss, and fear. When things don’t turn out your way, you may feel, embarrassed, rejected, and ashamed.The reality is failing at something provides great lessons that can bring you closer to your goals.
  5. Leave the Past in the Past – Some people are more in love with the past than with the present. That is a problem. Whether your past was good or bad ruminating over it speaks volume about the quality of your life in this moment in time. You must learn from your past, so it will not become a hindrance. Leaning into growth demands that you move forward from your past to become better and stronger.
  6. Be Patient – do not derail your success by expecting immediate results. Growth takes time and is often slow, because it is a struggle between your old self and the new self you are becoming. Expect setbacks, obstacles, and disappointments – they are just temporary. With consistent efforts and actions, they will become smaller and smaller in comparison to the future success you will experience.


Awareness … Part 2

How can I make sense of all this?

How can I make sense of all this?

When we become aware of the big impact that the past has on our present, we can fully engage in the present instead of subjecting ourselves to what I call the “invasion.” It is an invasion because it is truly a battle that takes place within our mind; it is warfare and we are poorly equipped to fight it if we do not know the Word of God. When we continuously view things and circumstances from a past-time perspective, we remain stuck in that time frame; our choices and decisions are strongly compromised.

We try to walk on and live our lives, but the past will never stop its intrusion. Maybe we catch a glance from an old acquaintance we randomly encounter in the street; suddenly the past has come back into our lives. We imagine they are looking at us in a criticizing manner and  judging us. Even if we have not seen this person for many years, the inner voice in our head says:  “Oh, look. I bet he/she is talking about me, I bet he/she is thinking about all those past years.

So we start to avoid certain places or groups of people. We want to leave the past behind us, but how is this possible if it continues to rear its head whenever we leave home? Wherever we go, we are continually reminded of these past transgressions or of a period of time in our lives during which we lived a careless life.

If we attempt to turn the corner and walk towards the Lord, then someone will pop up to remind us of some past activity that is not in accordance with our new life and self-image. They may mock us for seeking to shift the blame for our internal flaws onto an external  factor. They may remind us of those times when we mocked the religious for being unthinking sheep who  were unable to take responsibility for their own problems and instead needed to rely  on a mystical world view that had more place in a world of cave dwellers than in a modern society.

Dwelling on the past can become a habit in itself. No matter how painful it is to relive the memories we  frequently seek solace in those times. However, the lens of time has a tendency to distort past events. When we let our memories play on loop in our heads, we may neglect certain details; we can be prone to attribute significance to things which in reality were unrelated.

If we are in a negative place this will tinged our memories. Instead of viewing them objectively and for what they really are, we instead start to blame ourselves. Continually asking the questions: “Did I do something wrong?” “Could I have acted in a way that would have resulted in a different outcome?” It is easy to go through these questions within our mind to live out alternate courses of events. This could even be a useful exercise.

Nevertheless, it is impossible to answer these questions with certainty.  Asking them eventually becomes a self-defeating exercise. We must live in the present and we cannot change what happened in the past. We must though, work on our present so as to walk towards our future, so as to be able to build ourselves a future, instead of remaining tied to our pasts. Whatever did happen took place for a reason, and we must have the good grace to accept this.

Awareness …Part 1



What is going on here? Why is this happening to me?

The world is fast when it comes to labeling  you as a victim when something bad happens to you. This is no different from what happens with those who have experienced a bad childhood.

So many people blame their parents for the disappointments and failures of their adult life! However, these same individuals have absolutely no awareness that in reality, their past is invading their present and destroying their future. It is not their parents fault what is happening today in the present, it is their own fault allowing the past to invade and affect their present.

Failure to connect the past with its impact on your negative and unproductive current thoughts and behaviors, results in repeating and expanding the cycle of pain. In an attempt to fix your past and alleviate the hurt and longing, you keep repeating the same bad habits over and over again, to no avail. Then you get frustrated and decide that life does not matter, so, why would you keep trying, right?

Life can seem too vast, and it may seem that one single person has no  chance of making a lasting impact on the world. We think that way and therefore, we accept defeat even before facing the challenge. We fill our days with activities which we tell ourselves that are valuable. We seek comfort in the trinkets and trappings of modern life, picking up things and accumulating a mountain of useless stuff. Stuff that we like to believe that define us and stuff for which we fiercely compete against each other to accumulate.

I remember being in that exact position. I felt ashamed. I felt dirty. I felt damaged. I felt overwhelmed. I felt that God did not want anything to do with me. I felt lonely. I felt used. I did not feel safe. I did not feel loved. The thought that permeated my mind was that I did not deserve to live. How could I ever look at people into their eyes?

All of a sudden, every person I came in  contact with knew that I had done something bad, something terrible, and I felt very embarrassed because of that. I secluded myself as much as possible to avoid this sad experience. I kept thinking the same thoughts and doing the same actions, not believing that I could have made the required choices to change my life and stand up to those negative thoughts at that precise moment…

Moving Forward

Not that I have already reached the goal or

am already fully mature, but I make every effort

to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by

Christ Jesus. Brothers, I do not consider myself to have

taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is

behind and reaching forward to what is ahead,

I pursue as my goal the prize promised by

God’s heavenly call in Christ Jesus

Philippians 3:12-14