The Two Types of Growth

Dr. John Townsend

February 23, 2016

Life is all about self improvement and growth. The happiest and most successful people are those who have some structured commitment to a growth process. There are two kinds of growth, and it’s important to understand them. Then you can decide what kind of context, time and energy to engage with them in.

Optimizing Growth. I am referring here to the fact that all of us have potential to do something, or be someone at a higher level than we are currently. We were designed to reach our potential, and maximize our impact on the world. Some examples of optimizing growth would be: identifying and developing your gifts and talents, finding your innate passions in work or service, landing on your mission in life and expressing that, having great family and friend relationships, and being as in-shape and healthy as possible. I spend a lot of time reading research, and the areas of positive psychology, as well as neurobiology, have much to offer in this arena. Some context for optimizing growth might be joining a career development group, hiring a coach, learning a sport or musical instrument, or starting a life team for personal growth.

Healing Growth. We also all need to heal from something, as we all have our own baggage and brokenness to deal with. Some of us have minor issues, and some have disabling ones. But nobody doesn’t have something to heal from (pardon the double negative). This might refer to depression, anxiety, substance issues, addictions and relational struggles. When we pay attention to these in a structured context, great healing is possible and probable. The clinical as well as neurobiological research areas are very helpful here. Some growth structures here could be: finding a therapist, engaging in a Celebrate Recovery ministry or starting a life team for personal growth. I mention life teams because they are excellent for both.

Also, if you are a leader, the Townsend Leadership Program has been designed for both types of growth. Leaders work on their leadership and organizational potential, and also on being the healthiest people possible. We have teams all across the nation. If you’re interested in this, contact our National Director Elaine Morris: [email protected].
Best to your growth!
-John

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