I recently received an email from a client informing me of a most unpleasant personal "learning experience". While these types of events will inevitably happen to all of us, it is often difficult to come to grips with the idea that this is just part of life. Especially if our learning experience has been a painful one, as they often tend to be.

The thing which I find intriguing is that people frequently refer to these stressful events as "growth" experiences. Most assuredly there is a very real learning component associated with moments such as these -- but such a connotation in my opinion, gives "growth" a bad rap.

True "growth" is representative of positive change for the betterment of self. Moreover, it’s about self improvement and the further development of one's talents and abilities. Personal growth comes from the investment of your time, energy and resources for a worth while purpose and future outcome. In this regard, "Good" experiences make you feel good about you, which opens the door to self confidence, self assurance and what’s possible in the future. Conversely, adverse experiences serve to foster self doubt, which results in self limiting thinking and action.

My question for you my valued reader is “to what degree are you currently growing?” Are you growing at all? Have the hectic routines and rituals of every day work and life bogged you down to the point of stagnancy? Perhaps such a depiction is just temporal for today, because tomorrow you’ll... get on with the rest of your life. But will you really and truly grow and become more than what you are? When was the last time that you earnestly (not half heartedly) considered what’s “possible”? Not what the future holds in store for you (as if you had no say or role in it) -- but the future that you “dream” about having and living?

Are you just passively interested in your life? Or are you passionately committed to living life all-out with boldness and zest? If you’re not... then your dreams are but wishes which will never be acted upon. Your hopes are merely idle thoughts which lack genuine relevance in your life.

The reality is that you will only be passionate about what is most "important" to you. Many an investment broker or preacher will state that they can tell you what you are most passionate about, or what you place the highest "value" on in your life -- by simply looking at your checkbook. In like fashion, I would venture that I could as well tell whether you are actually growing or not.

How you ask? If you are truly growing, then you will have made a literal and physical investment in some form of self development or self improvement program for yourself. This might take the form of an adult education class, professional continuing education, a college course for credit, a series of "improv" classes, a bible study course, professional certification, leadership training or seminar... just to name a few.

If you have, the really BIG question is whether or not this is an isolated growth experience, an occasional (when it’s convenient) growth experience or a continual dedicated process of life long growth, development and improvement?

The second BIG question is "why" is all of this so all fired important? Then I ask you to stay with me for the slam-bang wrap up... because this is one time that statistics won’t be boring.

A research study once revealed that 97% of all people do not have written and specific goals for their lives. Interestingly enough... it has also been reported that 98.2% of all people do not achieve their goals and resolutions. In the final analysis only 1.8% of all people actually achieve what they set out to do.

I ask you to now earnestly consider that 99% of all wealth is held by just 1% of the general population... it is my absolute assertion that this is without coincidence.

Knowing what it takes to be part of this elite one percent of all humanity is one thing, doing the work to make it happen... well that’s up to you.

Copyright © 2009 Executive Coaching International | Thomas H. Swank, Executive Coach. All Rights Reserved.

Author's Bio: 

"Create the life that you want to live!" Top Ranked Executive Coach Tom Swank can help you become more empowered, more effective and more productive in just 30 days! Are you ready to step into a future of your own choosing, and your own making? Accomplish more than you ever dreamed possible by contacting Tom at (843) 347-1800 or by email at: Tom@APriorityLife.com