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What is your Growth Goal?

Reflecting on DeploymentI have often said, “There are basically only three types of people, those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wander around in circles asking what happened?” I would like to think that I am mostly in the first group, though recently struggling with my new role only working part time has filled me with doubts about who I am and where I’m going. As a result, I feel like I have been spinning my wheels, going in circles, and getting nowhere fast. I have grappled with a range of immanent changes and evolving issues leaving me feeling… flat. Since I write these ponderings for me in the hope that it might help others as well, I had to ask myself, “What are you going to do about it?” I came up with six things to focus on:

  • Go forward! Regrets about the past and dwelling on what might have been are usually not helpful, so I need to get over it and start moving forward. Accept that things will continue to change, so embrace those changes rather than trying to fight them!
  • Responsibility! Yes, I have to take responsibility for my actions but I should not take responsibility for other people’s bad choices. That might seem obvious but the key is to learn from those situations without getting bogged down in them. Winston Churchill put it like this “Responsibility is the price of greatness”.
  • Open to new ideas! It is great to have Troy (my new chaplain colleague) here, because he continually challenges me to consider new things and rock me out of my comfortable ruts! It may not be easy but it is necessary… I think. Refuse to be the pessimist, look for the positives and be in the first wave rather than being dragged along kicking and screaming.
  • Work at it! All the worthwhile things in life take effort and perseverance. There are no shortcuts to growth and development, so quit whinging about it and get on with it, most of the time it is not as bad as it initially seems. If it seems overwhelming, break it down into bite sized pieces, because that is how you eat an elephant.
  • Truthfulness! Quit lying to yourself (and maybe others) about who you are, where you are going and what is really important to you. Just trying to please others might work in the short term but trying to be someone else is very emotionally draining over the long term.
  • Hope! These current crises may seem big, but most are just temporary setbacks. All too often I deal with people who just give up, believing that the light at the end of the tunnel is a train, not daylight and success! Hope makes all the difference. Grab hold of the fact that the best is yet to be and move forward with passion.

No matter how old we are we need to keep growing, because when we stop growing we die! I can identify with what Paul says:

“I don’t know about you, but I am running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself.”(1 Corinthians 9:26-27, The Message)

That’s my GROWTH goal – what about yours?

Chaplain Ian S Whitley

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