I have a friend who takes inner city children to watch skyscrapers being built. He does this so they can see, first hand, that before even one ounce of steel can be erected; workers and machines must first dig, dig and dig. The children learn a valuable lesson; before a building can soar through the sky it must first go down deep in order to develop a solid foundation. Life, they also realize, follows the same principles.

Everyone wants to enjoy more success, happiness, love, energy and prosperity. Everyone wants to soar higher. But if we don't go deeper first, we will only be able to reach small heights; and worse without a foundation we may easily get knocked over.

To observe this principle playing out in society just look at all the famous celebrities who turn to drugs. Without a solid foundation the fame overtakes them and they crumble. Notice corporate leaders that sacrifice their ethics and employees in the name of financial gain. Think of all the people you know who are not using their strengths to build a better career and life. Watch all the businesses that fail because of negative employees. Without a solid foundation and set of core principles success doesn't last. And without a solid foundation you'll never realize your amazing capacity and potential. You were born to reach so much higher than where you are right now but this won't happen unless you go deeper, build your core and develop your foundation.

Going deeper doesn't mean you spend years in psychoanalysis. Rather it means you take the time for personal growth and make a commitment to be stronger, better and wiser than you were yesterday. It involves a core set of principles that define who you are and what you stand for. It requires you to ask the hard questions. Why am I here? What is my purpose? What is holding me back from living the life I was born to live? What must I do to live life to the fullest?

Then it involves taking the time for reflection, solitude and study to allow the answers to unfold and reveal themselves to you. If you ask and make yourself open to the answers, they always appear.

Going deeper, most certainly, also requires action. Just as builders of skyscrapers have to dig, so must we through our actions. If we define ourselves by a core set of principles then we must take actions that align with these principles. If we want to go deeper we must invest in our mental, emotional and spiritual growth by reading books that challenge us and help us grow; by attending lectures and seminars; by joining groups that expand our comfort zone and; by seeking mentors that show us how to dig more skillfully. No one digs alone and the simple truth is that we all depend on each other.

As someone who has done a lot of digging in my life and helped many others go deeper and create their core and foundation I can say without a shadow of a doubt that the heights you will reach in your life and career is directly proportional to the time and energy you invest in personal growth - developing your core and foundation. To be a great leader you must be someone who has developed the character, integrity, strength and skill to lead. To be a success you must be someone who can handle success. I can't promise that you won't face many challenges and adversities as you build your life but I can promise you that if you are willing to go deeper, like the skyscraper, then you will soar as high as you can dream.

Author's Bio: 

Jon Gordon is a leading authority on developing positive, engaged people, leaders, schools, businesses and teams. He is the author of The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel your Work, Life and Team with Positive Energy, The 10 Minute Energy Solution and Energy Addict: 101 Ways to Energize Your Life. Jon and his tips have been featured on CNN, the NBC Today Show, Men’s Health, Forbes, Natural Awakening Magazine, and more. He is also the co-founder of PEP- The Positive Energy Program, which creates and funds programs that develop healthy, positive children around the world. Learn more and sign up for Jon’s free weekly energy tip newsletter at www.JonGordon.com