Focus on health, because healthy things grow
Environmentally friendly Personal Growth.
There is a lot written about personal growth, and there are as many ways of growing as there are people wanting to grow. One really important feature of any strategy for growth has to do with the environment for growth.
By this, I mean the other people that you share your journey with. Personal Development guru Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Put another way, the people you spend your time with will influence the person that you will grow into.
“Don’t just focus on growth; focus also on health, because healthy things grow.”
When I started cycling in a journey towards getting fit I started out by cycling with a few mates. We would go out on our mountain bikes from time to time and explore some local open land and encourage one other to attempt more adventurous hills and descents. We had fun and I was starting to get fitter, and before long I was as proficient as any of the others.
I noticed that the times when my cycling moved on most effectively was when we were joined by a friend who raced professionally for a national cycling team; he was always showing us something just that little bit more challenging than any of us would have attempted on our own. At that time we would all enter the occasional Mountain Bike race from time to time and usually finish somewhere in the middle of the field.
After a while, I decided that I wanted to make more progress, and so I ended up joining a local cycling club, and it was there that I was challenged to join in what they called the “reliability rides” early in the new year. This involved three rides over three successive weekends on a 50-mile ride, a 75-mile ride, and finally, a 100-mile ride, and the series was used by many enthusiastic amateur cyclists to get started back into training at the beginning of the year after a lay off over Christmas. For me, it was the first time I had ever ridden 50 miles. And 75 miles. And 100 miles!
Before long I had entered a Mountain Bike race series and I could start to track my progress against my peers, and not long after that, I had signed up for some local road races and Time Trials. We would meet weekly to discuss all things cycling, and that was the first time I ever heard anyone call a bicycle “sexy”! This was in reference to a fairly expensive bike with some rather cool new gadgets and features. To me a few months previously it would have been just another bike. Now that I was among other cyclists and we were all discussing the latest features I knew exactly what he meant.
“If you’re always at the head of the class, then you’re in the wrong class.”
~ John Maxwell
What I found was that by spending time with others that were interested in the same topics as I was, we naturally started to explore more, to attempt more, and to achieve more than any of us would have ever achieved on our own. That’s when I learned about John Maxwell’s “Law of Environment”. What he was describing was that everyone is in an environment, and that environment can be healthy or unhealthy. Growth happens naturally when the environment is healthy.
“Whether you are a success or a failure in life has little to do with circumstances; it has more to do with your choices.”
~ Nido Ruben
One of the main choices that can contribute to growth is to create a healthy environment, and that means being intentional in the people that you associate with. Some 80 years ago Napoleon Hill wrote about forming groups of like-minded business people, rather in the same way that cyclists form cycling clubs, so that they can discuss and explore topics of interest, showing each other something just that little bit more challenging than any of us would have attempted on our own. He called these groups a Master Mind Alliance, and they subsequently became known as Mastermind Groups, as the very fact that several people got together then an additional ‘mind’ emerged, the Master Mind, which was created by and from within the dynamics of the group.
If you want to grow and you’re serious about making it happen, then make sure that you don’t neglect to create and maintain a healthy environment by being around like-minded people that are further ahead on the path in some way than you are. When you find yourself near the head of the class it is time to start looking for another group; when you find yourself at the head of the class, you know it’s time you were in the other group!
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a Leadership specialist and uses the PRIZE Winning Leadership model to help leaders improve their effectiveness and that of their teams, through remote and on-site delivery of keynotes, group training events and individual coaching sessions.
He is the author of several books including "PRIZE Winning Leadership" and “Personal Productivity Planner”, a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institute of Leadership and Management and a Director of the Global Leadership Network UK with extensive experience in Project Management and Sales.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Roger also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.