Commit To Growth

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Commit To Growth

If you have ever owned a plant, especially a fickle one, you know how hard it can be to keep it alive. It requires regular check-ins, watering, grooming, re-potting. It requires daily work and patience.

When you put in that work, you see the immediate results: green leaves, new growth, maybe even a blossom. And when you don’t—when it’s so tempting just to go on vacation for a week and leave the plant be, or when you just get swept up in the busyness of life—you see the immediate consequences: wilting, browning, crumbling apart.

This, of course, is true of everything we do. If we want to improve our tennis game, we have to practice regularly. If we want to learn another language, we have to do our homework. We will never run a faster marathon by just setting a goal; we have to put in the daily miles.

Similarly, if we want to experience personal growth—if we want to feel more connected, more present, and more fulfilled in our lives—we have to commit to showing up, every day.

There’s no shortcut, no cheat code, no secret that will take away the repetition and the time that it takes to live the life we want to live. And if we keep thinking that there is, that we’ll be better off if we just give up and try something new, we’ll end up never learning anything. If we’re always looking for something better, we’re doomed to be perpetually dissatisfied, to spend our days looking, rather than living and loving. But if we truly commit to something, we will see results.

If we wake up early every morning to practice yoga, even when it’s hard, it’s not the practice that’s the reward. The reward is who we are becoming—more disciplined, committed and life-embracing human beings. And the more we grow, the more faith we have in the power of showing up and staying, and in our own potential to keep growing.

The key is that we have to believe it’s worth it. If we only go to yoga because it’s something we think we “should” do, or to please other people, then the daily practice will be a chore. We will build up resentment until we inevitably walk away from the whole endeavor and never look back. But if we truly desire growth, then we can approach our practice with conviction, knowing that we are committing to ourselves.

Of course, commitment doesn’t mean achieving immediate perfection. If you try, and fail, to kick up to handstand, over and over again for months, before finally doing it, that doesn’t mean you are plagued by repeated failure. It means you succeeded: you worked hard and you grew.

That’s why commitment requires constant self-compassion and non-judgment, the ability to approach each “failure” not as a shortcoming, but as a step toward improvement. Remember that we always have the power to shape our own experiences: if instead of seeing our mistakes as roadblocks, we see them as lessons that helped us learn something about ourselves, we will keep moving forward. Day by day, we will find ourselves becoming who we want and know we can be. So remind yourself, as Carl Jung did: “I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”