March 19, 2021
Five years ago I underwent a surgery to repair a torn ligament in my right knee. When I woke up after the operation, my doctor visited me to check on my condition and to prescribe some leg exercises to help me recover.
After giving me some pointers on leg exercises, I asked him about how long it will take for me to walk properly again. His answer was both challenging and encouraging: “Depende naman sa ’yo yun kung gaano ka kadalas mag-exercise.”
His answer made me realize an important truth about personal growth: We are responsible for our own growth.
I realized that one of the greatest hindrances in my personal growth is not the lack of resources or my inability to manage my time properly (though resources and time management are both helpful), but my negligence of my own personal growth.
When I served as one of the student council officers in college, one of the lessons on leadership that we kept hearing is that a leader must keep on growing in order to serve more people. This lesson holds so much value and truth even until now.
As we go through the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we will find that growth is not just for those who take on leadership roles but for everyone who desires to improve their skills, gifts, talents, and, even better, their character. It is for everyone who wants to keep getting better and serve more people.
As I examine my own life, I realized that I, too, have my own inhibitions in pursuing and desiring growth—and I myself am still growing up to now. I found out that the promise of growth is only for those who are willing to pay the price of admitting one’s lack. It is only for those who humbly acknowledge their lack but boldly says, “I want to keep on growing.”
Growth momentum is the rate at which a person experiences growth, affected by external and internal factors. While every person may have unique skills and talents, every person’s growth is affected by similar factors. The more we discover what positively affects our growth, the more we will be better at fostering it.
Creating a momentum for growth takes a lot of time, effort, and energy. The initial stage is the most difficult because you’re just starting to build movement from a point of rest or non-activity. But as you keep maintaining your pace, your momentum will start to build up and will eventually boost your growth.
We will get principles from the epistle to the Hebrews as we answer three questions to increase our growth momentum:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Hebrews 12:1–2 (NLT)
1. What weighs you down?
When we were still small, our parents would often take us on vacation trips to expose us to the outdoors. Whenever we pack our things for the trip, my mom would always remind us to “travel light.” It means choosing to only bring what’s necessary.
As a kid, traveling light did not make sense. But growing up I realized that this principle is also applicable in real-life scenarios. Life is a journey that is often filled with difficult tests, unexpected turns, and heavy responsibilities. A lot of us go through life’s journey thinking that more is more, only to find out that more means having a cluttered life. Traveling light proves to be beneficial.
The things that weigh us down may be a bad habit, a behavior, a mindset, or a relationship that needs to have some boundaries. Whatever it may be, always remember that you do not have to live a life full of unnecessary burdens and weights. We may be hesitant to do it at first but the relief and the added value to your growth are worth it.
2. What can contribute to your endurance?
Endurance is our capacity to sustain effort under difficult and unfavorable circumstances. It is one of the most important traits of a marathon runner or any person who plays sports. In fact, endurance is one of the greatest contributors to an athlete’s victory.
I remember doing my first ever 21k-run back in 2018. I ran with some of my friends and each of us did our own preparations. After finishing the race, one of my friends became so weak and exhausted that we had to rush him to the nearest hospital. We found out that his blood pressure shot up because he lacked sleep. He may have finished the race, but it took its toll on his body because he was not in his best condition.
In the same way, there are subtle things in our lives that have negative effects on our ability to endure trials and hardships. These subtle things, if left unchecked, will compromise not only our growth but also our health.
Identifying and applying what contributes to our endurance is an effective way to counter its negative effects to our growth momentum. Just remember: RUN.
Read books, articles, and other write-ups with quality and sound content. Endurance is not just the capacity of the body, but also the strength of the mind. One of the most effective ways to build our endurance is to fill our minds with content that is helpful for our growth and well-being. If you’re not a reader, check out some podcasts that could add value and wisdom to you.
Unburden your life by opening up to people who can help you. One of the practices that can contribute to our endurance is opening up our lives to trusted and reliable people who can help us grow. These are friends who encourage us to endure and walk with us through hardships and trials.
Nurture your life through wise counsel and mentoring. No one grows alone. We need mentors who will push us to grow, especially when it feels difficult. Mentors are people who can give us wisdom and insights about what we’re going through because they themselves have gone ahead of us in this journey. If you want to understand this topic more, read here.
3. What can help boost your motivation?
The original word for “motivation” refers to something that “moves a person to behave a certain way.” This means that motivation is something that happens inside us that results in action. We all have different motivations. It just depends on whether your motivation is enough to keep you going. Also, it is possible to desire for the right things while having the wrong motivation.
The things that boost our motivation should not only bring our motivation to the next level but should also take our motivation to a deeper level. When this happens, we will develop a motivation that is not easily discouraged by negative emotions or difficult situations, but rather one that grows through hardships.
What obstacle or hardship are you presently facing? What inspires and motivates you to keep going?
How do we remain on course when things get difficult? We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith (Hebrews 12:2).
Faith gives us a stronger motivation to keep going when things get difficult. Success in life is defined by how much we have accomplished our God-given purpose. And because we know that it was God who called us to run this race, we can also be certain that God will be the one to sustain us until we reach the finish line.
May you develop a good momentum for growth that would lead you towards the fulfillment of God’s calling and purpose for your life.