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Everybody loves to grow: Where can we find growth?


“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are” — Max DePree
Everybody loves to grow, but not everybody loves to go to where his or her growth is. There are eight places that are significant to our growth, which we may not obviously want to go. So, the question is: Where can we find growth?

I can assure you that the answers in your mind won’t necessarily align with what you are about to learn. Most times, growth happens in places and with people that we tend to avoid.

Among Those Who Don’t Agree With Us
Frank Clark said: “We find comfort among those who agree with us, but growth among those who don’t.” People who think their opinions are superior to others are most prone to overestimating their relevant knowledge and ignoring chances to learn more.

The people who don’t think like you are your greatest source of enlightenment. It is normally people that are not like us that help us grow the most. Companies that had maximised growth are really those that value diversity and inclusion.


The greatest proof of our education is in how we respond to people whose opinions are different from ours.

In Places Where We Are Held Accountable
Growth doesn’t happen in places where you are not accountable to anybody. Steve Covey said: “Accountability breeds responsibility.”

Being accountable to somebody, such as friends, family or a trainer, can be a powerful tool to ensure progress towards your goal. Confucius said: “A man who has committed a mistake and doesn’t correct it is committing another mistake.”

As a personal development coach, I have come to realise that the only way to intercept our ‘destructive’ tendencies is through accountability.

Making Mistakes
Making mistakes is an integral part of success. Tony Robbins said: “No matter how many mistakes you make, you’re still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.” In life, the fellow who never makes a mistake takes his order from the one who does. Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new. Any learning process that does not accommodate making mistakes would always short-circuit the learners’ capacity for innovation.

Adam Osborne said: “The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake- you can’t learn anything from being perfect.” When you make mistakes in life, which you will always do, take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them. The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.

John Wooden said: “You can make mistakes, but you aren’t a failure until you start blaming others for those Mistakes.”

Among Our Enemies
Your enemy is your greatest teacher. Enemies in your life are good things. You don’t have to go searching for them, but when you find them, it can often become a blessing in disguise.

Robert Brault said: “The Lord gives us friends to push us to our potential and enemies to push us beyond it.” Your friends would give you comfort, but your enemies would give you a future. Dr. D.K. Olukoya said: “Sometimes, what a man needs to get ahead in life is a powerful enemy.”

In The Midst Of Adversity
A Greek poet, Homer, said: “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant.” Every adversity in life advances us into the next level. For you to succeed in life, you need an enemy, but for you to succeed greatly, you need a great enemy.

There is no education like adversity. Every problem and adversity introduces a person to him/herself. The struggle of today is a prerequisite for our survival tomorrow. Our response to adversity would either leave us better or bitter, groaning or growing. William Arthur Ward said: “Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records.”

In The Midst Of Criticism
Criticisms, whether constructive or destructive, are not pleasant, but necessary for growth. Norman Vincent Peale said: “The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.” Criticism is a form of feedback. Ken Blanchard said: “Feedback is the breakfast of champions.”

Criticism is a form of communication. Under normal circumstances, a person criticises because he sees a genuine problem with your work. Keep cool, listen attentively and place yourself in the shoes of the critic (see from his/her point of view). It makes you understand them better and see a fault that you may not have seen earlier.

Having a defensive mindset from the onset would impede your ability to grow from it.

In Conflicts
Helen Hunt said: “Conflict is growth trying to happen.” There is no environment or relationship that is conflict-proofed. Seeing conflict as an opportunity for growth is the most purposeful way of resolving conflict. Conflict is a call for adjustments.

The strongest relationships are often the most adjusted. We must keep adjusting ourselves to new realities. The onset of conflict has been the doom of many relationships and marriages simply because the parties involved are too impatient to allow conflicts to grow them. We must not just go through conflict; we must grow through conflicts.


The most enlightened way of living is to always see conflict as an opportunity for growth, opportunity to know people better, opportunity to know ourselves better, opportunity to know our threshold and ‘elastic limits,’ and most importantly, as an opportunity to adjust to a new reality.

In Times Of Failure
I have often said that the greatest hindrance to success is not failure, but the previous success. The only thing worse than failure is our wrong approach to it. Our approach to failure would determine how long we stay in it.

The acclaimed father of modern automobile, Henry Ford, forgot to put a reverse gear in his first car. It was a massive error for a car that was much awaited by many. When Ford was asked to say something about his global blunder, he ended up redefining the erroneous interpretation of failure. He said: “Failure is simply an opportunity to begin again, this time, more intelligently.”

Many people fail continuously simply because they do not learn from the previous failure. Nelson Mandela said: “I never lose. I either win or learn.” Don’t see failure as setback; see failure as feedback.


In this article:
Gbenga Adebambo
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