by Angie Harvey

The word on the street is that we’ll pay top dollar to see our favorite play, take from our household finances for a concert seat and spend countless hours watching the detailed life of strangers on TV without much hesitation or pause. It’s also known that we are communicating less, talking more trash and getting more accustomed to being depressed and feeling inadequate. Yes, we’re feeling less than and not enough as we continue to purchase and wear our designers clothes, sharp shoes, fancy cars, nice homes, smart phones and using every vacation day earned to go on international vacations.

Most folks wouldn’t consider spending nearly as much money on personal and emotional upgrades as we do material things and not even one third of the time minding their own personal and emotional business as we do tending to others’. We’re simply investing our time, money and energy in things that will never be fruitful to a drained spirit, depressed mind, depleted soul or weak body. The only way to be upgraded is to put our time and money where the GROWTH is … or should be. In us!!

What’s our problem?
Never fear, if misery loves company we’re in great company. I’ll immediately offer up an excuse if you need one; we were not raised, taught, trained or oriented to put as much stock in ourselves as we were others and other things. We didn’t hear as much about the sane family up the street as we did about the family that bought the big house and had the nice clothes down the road. We live in a society that pays musicians, athletes and performers six and seven figures because we five figure folks will pay good money to be entertained and taken outside our minds.

Bottom line it’s what most of us know from years of conditioning from folks that didn’t know any better either. It’s not what you know or how you GROW but what you have and who you know. We were not taught or encouraged to feel what we felt, talk about what we experienced, seek professional assistance or practice effective self care. In fact most of these things were discouraged. Instead we were taught to shut up, dress it up (at all cost), live it up (usually beyond our means) and give up; anything we needed to do to cover up what we were thinking, feeling and believing and prevent us from GROWING up.

Although the world is filled with more GROWTH opportunities than ever before there are also ten times as many places you can go to be numb, not talk, not express your feelings, to lose yourself and to keep the “you are not enough” tapes playing on repeat with remixes. In order to know new things we have to first unlearn some of the old things and be open to learning some new things and to believing that we already have access to everything we need to GROW up.

Put up and GROW up!
I’ll let you in on a little secret; GROWING up doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, it isn’t as painful as living an emotionally unfulfilled life and it won’t take up as much time as you think. However, it will require you to wake up, get up, wise up, show up and follow up. Yep, you can upgrade yourself!!

Wake up to the reality (not a show) that being GROWN requires you to continually GROW up.
Get up (on it) and willingly take on the responsibility for yourself. Most of us come from a place that we can blame someone for some things that happened or not when we were younger but we are now the only ones to blame for what happens from here on out.

Wise up to the fact (yes, of life) that the more we consciously seek to be taken outside our minds by entertainment and social media the less time, money and effort we have to invest in ourselves.
Show up (not a game show) for yourself by seeking any and all opportunities to learn more, do more, and GROW more.
Follow up (otherwise be a leader) and know that there will always be things that you will have to come back to, learn more about and seek additional information to stay connected to your GROWTH journey. And besides follow up is just the GROWING things to do.

I believe there are many areas that we should be willing take an active role in changing, enhancing and maintaining better. Those GROWTH areas include but are surely not limited to personal, professional, financial, spiritual, societal, relational, familial, communal and recreational.

We all deserve greatness and should do our part in creating that for ourselves. As we embark on a new year may I suggest that we also employ a new way of doing things. A new way of doing you. A better way of living. I’d like to suggest that you put your time and your money where your GROWTH is.

Let’s get GROWING!

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