In the busyness of life, the hectic schedules we keep and the many obligations we agree to, one thing often suffers: self evaluation and personal growth. We are too busy to consider and running too fast to be purposeful in our own growth. In this we pay a personal price.
The price is that we miss out on personal perspective and growth that can give us greater personal health and happiness and which can improve our relationships and life impact. How many times do we say to ourselves, "I wish I had known that when I was younger." An investment in our personal growth today can have a significant impact in the years to come. What we don't learn today will cost us in the years to come. It is the law of returns.
Growth always starts with self-evaluation. Taking the time to thoughtfully consider our lives, Emotional Intelligence, where we are going, relationships, work, finances, marriage and the major building blocks of our lives. And then being brutally honest with ourselves regarding the state of our lives.
In self-evaluation, journaling is a powerful tool. When we put on paper with our own hand the reality of our lives, good and bad, it is also imprinted in our brain. It clarifies what it is we are considering and demands action - a plan or strategy for growth. To journal one must set aside time, quiet the mind and think clearly. The opposite of the cacophony of daily life.
In addition, a periodic review of one's journal reminds us of our past thinking and often of our progress. It is a reminder and an encouragement.
Intentional reading on subjects that will help us think more deeply along with conversations with trusted friends provides us with both insights and a mirror with which to see ourselves. Of course there is no better mirror than scripture as it places in front of us the character, wisdom and teaching of God. And, as the book of Hebrews says, probes deeply into our hearts. For me, the simple act of blogging creates space in my life to think more deeply than I otherwise would.
Evaluation is understanding where we are whereas growth is doing something about it. Again I come back to putting thoughts on paper. I cannot reflect in my journal without also thinking through and writing down solutions, modifications or new commitments. It is a natural part of the writing process. And again, looking back on our journal entries in months to come we are reminded of our plan and can celebrate whatever growth has occurred.
This simple blog required me to carve out an hour of my time but it also caused me to think and to put on paper simple thoughts of self evaluation and personal growth. Without making space for it in my day there would be no blog. Without making space in our day or week for personal growth, there will be far less growth than there could be. I wish I had known that when I was younger...