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Seven “Have-to’s” to Achieve Personal Growth

Quite frankly, I wish personal growth would just happen! I wish I would just get better and money would fall out of the sky. I wish my waist would get smaller even as I sit on the couch in front of a warm fire eating Breyer’s Vanilla Bean ice cream. Oh, how I wish it was easy!

Okay, enough whining, enough dreaming, enough lack of reality. I have it out of my system! The reality is that it is work to grow personally. The sooner we realize that, even lovingly embrace that, the sooner we jump on the highway of success! The fact is that we “have to” do some things!

As my uncle the truck driver use to say to me when I was a kid, “Wish in one hand and spit in the other – then see which one fills first.” (Remember, he was a trucker, and somebody else may have been a bit more elegant, but I still remember it today, 25 years later. I recommend however that you take it at face value. It isn’t a fun experiment to actually carry out.

Without any further ado, here are the seven “have-to’s” to achieve personal growth for yourself. Don’t wish anymore! Get on the ball and start reaping the rewards!

  1. You have to know what it is that you want. Wanting personal growth isn’t enough. Do you want more money? How much? Do you want to lose weight? How much? Do you want a spouse? Who? Do you want to travel? Where? Do you want more freedom in your professional life? What would that look like? Clearly define in your mind what it is that you want! Once you do…
  2. You have to decide that you really want it. Do you really want it? That is the place to start, really, because I have realized working with people that many of them really don’t want what they think they want once I talk them through all of the issues. Is this what you really want or is it a dream you have to escape something else? For example, do you really want to quit your job and start your own company? Do you want the risk of reputation? The risk of capital loss? Do you want to work from six in the morning until nine at night, seven days a week for the next two to three years? Do you really want it? Yes? Proceed…
  3. You have to be willing to sacrifice to get it. What will you give up to get personal growth? I know what I have to give up to be able to fit into size 32 pants – mud pie! Now, you may not think that is so bad, but you don’t know how bad I love mud pie! I know that it is a sacrifice for me to get to the gym every day of the week (okay, I usually take two Sunday afternoon’s a month off). I know how much I write the check out for each month to belong to the gym – it would feed a small army. This is sacrifice, all of it. What are you willing to sacrifice to get personal growth in your life? Are you willing? Then proceed…
  4. You have to be willing to be criticized. Surprisingly, the average person doesn’t like the average achiever. Why? Because they make the average person feel, well, average. They resent that the achiever makes choices they don’t make, even though they could too. And they secretly resent that the achiever benefits from rewards that they don’t. It seems odd, but working with thousands of people over the years I have seen enough jealousy and envy to fill every seat in the Rose Bowl. Can you handle that to various degrees? Then see number five…
  5. You have to decide you want it more than other pleasures. What is more pleasurable: Ice cream every night or a proper weight? What is more pleasurable: Sitting on the couch or pounding away on a treadmill? What is more pleasurable: Spending your money on the things you want right now or saving for later? What is more pleasurable: Getting off at five every night or working endlessly on the weekends? What is more pleasurable: Reading a favorite novel or a technical book? What is more pleasurable: Four weeks of vacation or one? You get the point. In order to grow personally or professionally, there will have to be a desire to work hard in spite of the pleasures that call your name. And if you work it right, in the end there will be plenty of time to reward yourself with the pleasures of accomplishment. Do you want it more that other pleasures? Really? Then let’s move on…
  6. You have to take a long-term approach. Why do most people fail to accomplish their personal growth goals? Because they take a short-term approach. They know what to do. They do it for a week or a month, then they quit. Every January the gym gets so busy. Then February rolls around and I have no problem getting on the machines! In order to accomplish your personal growth goals, you absolutely, positively must view it as a long-term goal. For example, when most people want to lose weight, what do they do? They change their diet until they lose it. Then what? They change it back and gain the weight back. Instead, they ought to say, I am changing the way I eat for the rest of my life and slowly but surely my weight will take care of itself. And it does! Are you capable of seeing your personal goals in the log-term? Well then you are ready for number seven…
  7. You have to diligently, methodically, and relentlessly work at it. Every day, every week, every year. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it. I was on a conference call with Zig Ziglar last night and he made an incredible revelation. For 25 years he has read for three hours a day! No wonder he oozes information! That is diligence. That is methodical. That is relentless! Can you do the same for yourself in the area you want to grow in? Certainly! But will you, that is the question. If you do, you will achieve any dream you set forth for yourself!
  8. You can achieve personal growth! It is entirely possible for you to live your dreams! Put the above to work and you will see them unfold before your very eyes! Just remember, it won’t just happen to you, you “have-to” do some things!

Chris Widener, is a successful businessman, author, speaker and television host. He has authored over 450 articles and nine books, including a New York Times and Wall Street Journal Best-seller. He has produced over 85 CDs and DVDs on leadership, motivation and success.

Copyright © 2017 Chris Widener. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. www.ChrisWidener.com