Did you know there can be no life without growth? Biologists list it as a fundamental defining feature that defines an organism as “alive.” Even if we are not growing taller, our body is constantly growing and changing. Hair and nails constantly grow, and the cells of the body constantly regenerate.
I would say the same thing is true for the soul. Without growth, the soul is essentially dead. Fortunately, though, our souls are never truly dead, and we always have the opportunity to grow. We can resist growth, perhaps, but the opportunity is always there. In fact, one could say that growth is the purpose of life, the reason your soul decided to come into this body, at this time, and on this planet.
That’s why I recommend seeing your time here on earth as your time in a “School of the Soul.” Everything in this life is conspiring for your growth. The struggles and obstacles we face are not just unfortunate circumstances; they are the curriculum that hold our potential for greatness.
Develop a Growth Mindset
If you want to get the most out of your life and open yourself totally to growth, you must adopt a growth mindset. This means fully realizing and accepting that everything is here for your growth. It is not unlike learning anything else that you hope to accomplish in life. You cannot learn algebra if you say to yourself, “This is too hard. I can’t do it. There is no reason to try.” Likewise, you cannot get the most out of your spiritual journey if you say, “This is not fair. I should not be experiencing this problem. The universe should take this problem away from me.”
Instead, you must deliberately take a positive approach to the troubles in your life, no matter how hard they seem. Of course, it is natural to express sorrow or anger at negative experiences, and you should not try to suppress natural negative emotions. But, a person with a growth mindset knows how to change their thinking quickly to a proactive mindset. Instead of thinking, “This is so hard. I can’t do it,” they think, “This is so hard. It will help me grow so much. I can do it.”
Watching Closely and Honestly
A person with a growth mindset always tries to see themselves accurately and honestly. Some lessons of life are obvious, such as when poor habits lead to health problems or when a small lie snowballs out of control. An excellent “soul student,” however, doesn’t stop there. Instead, they constantly check themselves, seeking to master their own minds and trying to be the very highest possible version of themselves.
To do this, watch yourself constantly as you go through your day, checking that all your choices are aligned with your soul. Don’t wait for some negative consequence to arise before challenging yourself to do better; be like an A student who studies long before the test. You might try something like journaling to help you get under the surface of your personality to see all that stands in the way of your growth.
Moving Toward Your Vision
Sometimes, setting lofty goals is the best way to rise to the next level of growth. Start with the big picture of who you would like to be. Consider all aspects of your being, including what kind of character you want. It’s fine to choose something special you would like to become in the world, but think about what kinds of changes will happen on the inside, too. Set the larger vision you would like to achieve, as well as the smaller goals that will help get you there. Then, keep going! You can never develop true strength of body and mind if you sit back as soon as something difficult comes along.
Soon, you will find true joy and gratitude as you make your way through life. Yes, there will sometimes be dark clouds overhead, but you will never stop standing in the light because you will know that you are the light, and that your soul is the bright center of your world.