I love understanding the why behind things. The why behind something helps provide me context and a bigger picture. It’s also useful in determining if your goals are aligned with that bigger picture.
This week I was listening to a favorite podcast: “Finding Mastery” with Dr Micheal Gervais. He said something convincing about the very essence of my career.
It wasn’t the point of the podcast or a main topic of the interview this week. It was kind of a throw away thought.
He said that there’s no point to personal growth if the focus is only on becoming the best versions of you.
I respect him as an expert in the performance psychology field given his body of work on the biggest stages and with top athletes & corporations. He is an incredible thinker.
And so, when someone of his caliber says something that is potentially condemning of what I strive to do with people, I pause.
What he said is that the point of personal growth must be centered around becoming the best version of ourselves and the purpose of spreading it around to other people.
It’s not just enough to help ourselves if we’re not going to use that growth for the betterment of others.
This makes so much sense. If you’ve been around Xperience Growth for any length of time, you are likely aware of the Harvard Happiness Study. This decades-long research project is best summarized in saying that the quality of health, longevity and happiness is directly proportional to the quality of our relationships.
We are wired to be social creatures. We gravitate to the community. I was on a coaching call this week with someone in the midst of a career transition. As she discovered on our call, one of the most important aspects in a career for this person is community.
Let’s get back to the question I posed in the headline: “What’s the point?”
One of the most overused cliches is from the safety announcements on every airline flight “put on your mask before helping someone else.” We take that to mean we must take care of ourselves before we have the capacity to care for someone else. This is true.
To go deeper into this metaphor, what’s the point of putting on your mask in the first place? As I thought through this, I considered how much faster I would put my mask on if I were flying with my kids, than if I were flying by myself. Why? Because I would want to make sure I can be there for them.
I assume that readers of this blog are interested in their growth. And our own growth is important. Yet, we should focus on who we’re growing for – our family, our business colleagues, our friends, an audience.
You’ll find that you’re motivated to grow when you know who you will affect with your growth and how that growth will impact them.
It’s not about you… it’s about who. That’s the point.