Pursuing Growth for Accomplishment, Fitness, Influence, Success? You're Doing it Wrong.
The world of personal development is noisy.
In some parts of this world are well-meaning, but woefully anemic bits of advice about how to move forward, get unstuck, and finally attain your dreams.
In other areas of this world, are modern-day peddlers of snake oil using gimmicks, empty promises, pithy social media posters, and the power of personality to convince you to seek what you desire.
But is what you desire always right, good, or... clear? Even when the answer is yes, is pursuing goals—which are just desires turned into plans—the real quest of personal growth?
I don't think so.
When we focus first and most on desires and goals, we're in a dynamic of chasing the benefits of growth rather than growth itself. It's easy to think that if you are accomplished, confident, fit, influential, and outwardly successful that you'll then find deep meaning in life, right?
We have it backwards.
Growth is the increase of meaning. More meaning leads to more clarity, which often (but not always) leads to more accomplishment, confidence, and other benefits of growth. Growth, however, always leads to satisfaction and transformation.
Increased meaning is satisfying whether or not we get the trappings of "success." With meaning you can live happy, without your desires fulfilled, but without meaning you may not want to live at all.
If you're doing personal development merely to get the benefits of it, then you're doing it wrong. Pursuing the benefits of growth apart from seeking meaning is the road to disappointment, even if you get what you desire. There's a reason the world is full of successful-yet-empty people.
Don't pursue growth FOR accomplishment, fitness, influence, or success. Pursue growth in meaning THROUGH these things.