When you reach a certain age, you may feel like you’re grown up. You’ve completed your education and passed the stage of life characterized by growth. But the truth is, you grow every day for as long as you live. Even after you’ve gotten as tall as you’ll ever be, you keep growing.
Your cells continue to regenerate. Your hair, though perhaps a bit thinner, keeps growing. Nails, however brittle, keep growing. You are designed for a lifetime of growth. So why do we think we’re supposed to stop learning once we finish school? Where did we get the notion that at some point our world should no longer expand and we should settle into a comfortable rut?
Who said dreams belong to the young? Where is it written that new love or a business venture or a move across the country cannot be experienced in our 60s or 70s or beyond? Why do we think it’s too late to start something new?
Take a few minutes and allow your mind to float free. What would you absolutely love to have or do right now? Never mind what you think is likely. If anything was possible, what would you go for?
In my “No Buts About It!” workshop, I challenged participants to answer that question. Dancing around the room, I asked them to consider me their fairy godmother, able to grant them their fondest desire (as I waved my “magic” wand in the air). I asked them to imagine that no one else’s opinions mattered. That they were free to do anything they truly wanted. If there was no way they could fail, what would they endeavor?
Think about it. What is your heart’s greatest desire? You are programmed to keep growing, and you’re here to do something no one else can do in the same way you would. There’s something next that your soul is crying out for you to do.
It might be something big, or it could be something rather small. All that matters is that it means something to you. Not to impress anyone. Not to puff up your ego. But something that satisfies a hunger deep within that you’ve ignored for too long.
Look at a dandelion as it pushes its way through a concrete sidewalk. Consider sequoia trees stretching up to mammoth heights. All around us are reminders that we never stop growing. To try to invites all kinds of addictions and numbing, self-destructive behaviors. To stop growing is to start dying.
Get clear on what you are meant to do or be now. This week, dare to take a step in that direction. A quote attributed to the German philosopher Goethe says, “…the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves, too…What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”