Growing old and growing up are rarely the same thing. In fact, the wisest people I know – the grownups in my life – are often the ones living the most youthful, fun-filled lives.
That’s the thing about growing older, you should also be learning, exploring, expanding…growing up. It isn’t easy, but it’s damn sure necessary.
To grow up you must consistently do two things: reflect and shun. Not merely reflection, but reflect and shun.
Growing up requires you to look back on who you’ve been and what you’ve done and how those things have served you…or not. As you discover things not writing for you; people that no longer breathe life into you; habits, traits and beliefs that no longer propel you – then you must shun.
Shun it. Shuck it. Get rid of it. Tell the person in your life draining you of every ounce of joy abd hope to kick rocks. Tell your stinking thinking to beat it. Get your butt up and get it into gear because the time is now.
Growing up is not something you’ll do one day, it’s something you need to do today – every day. Every single day of your life must be devoted to looking at who you are and how you are, finding what works and what doesn’t so you can continue to become who you are meant to be. The individual you desire and deserve to be.
Too many of us are still riding on yesterday’s success. Yesterday’s romance. Yesterday’s high. The problem is, when it wanes we can’t understand what happened.
Yesterday is gone and you can’t get it back. If you grip it too tight you cone the life out of it and the potential it holds for today. Fact is, the greatest hindrance to tomorrow’s greatness is yesterday’s success.
I had an incident recently with my son’s school. He came home from camp with busted lips and a bruised face. It wasn’t that he was getting hurt at camp that bothered me (he gets that rough and tumble stuff from me), but it was that no one noticed it until I said something about it, so they couldn’t tell me where they injuries came from.
When I met with the director, he assured me that this was the first time in their 25 years that he’d heard such a complaint. My response: That’s all the more reason to be diligent. In 25 years you have a different community of teachers, students and parents. What w worked then doesn’t work now. If you want this to be the LAST time it hands for another 25 years, you need to investigate and ensure it’s isolated. (Though in talking to other moms, I know it wasn’t. It was the beginning of a shift). Needless to say, I pulled my son from that school.
The fact of the matter is, that director had gotten cocky. He was riding on yesterday’s success without considering how it would affect today’s growth and tomorrow’s achievements.
Growth is often preceded by shrinkage. Some setback or pain that leads us to evaluate our current place. Growth then occurs when we are done reflecting and commence to shun whatever falsehoods we’ve succumbed to.
In this case, it was false that my son’s incident was isolated and it was false to believe that the system that had been working was still working. They did not reflect and they did not shun, and they did not fare well as a result.
Reflection is vital because it requires us to review our patterns, processes, behaviors and beliefs for the purpose of understanding how they affect us; positively or negatively.
After reflection, we’ll need to take action. Whether that means replicating or revising, depends on what you’ve discovered about yourself. No matter what, though, your goal should always be to maximize the harmony, consistency and joy in your life – and that requires you to shun.
Whether you’re shunning your own bad habits and bad thoughts, or shunning negativity by sheltering yourself from certain external experiences…something must go.
To figure out what to get rid of, most of us will need to go back to our youth, when our character was first formed and our worldview first developed. We’ll need to examine and explore, in order to identify and annihilate any deep rooted “unintention” – those things which negate what we say we want and sabotage us as we work toward them.
Though this is ideal, it isn’t always what we do. In fact, most of us reflect often; thinking on things that happened recently. We note patterns in our lives that are only a few years old. We think changing that will change everything else, only to find that we’re working to remove the same issues again a few years from now.
If your mind is a garden then unintention is a weed. As with any weed you’re going to have to dig deep and clip it from the root, otherwise it just Lewis coming back. And don’t let the door get into the ground, you’ll have to change our the soil entirely abd undergo all kinds of treatments. Talk about work!
So be good to yourself; start easy early abd go back to the beginning. Give yourself the live and light you need to help you grow. Think harder. Think longer. Think deeper.
Reflect, then shun. Don’t just grow old, grow up. After all, it’s the grownups have all the fun.
As always, good luck and God bless.
Good luck and God bless.