po·ten·tial / pəˈten(t)SHəl/: having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.

Potential. I love this word. It’s filled with hope, optimism, faith and possibility. It’s also inclusive; everyone has it and no one is left behind. The challenge, though, is for each of us to believe in our potential and to reach it. So then the question becomes, how is one to reach one’s potential? The answer is growth. To reach your potential you must grow. And that takes intentionality.

Do you have a growth plan? Not a plan that says where you want to be, necessarily, but one that outlines how you will grow to get there. Because, growth is not a destination, it’s a journey. Growth doesn’t just happen; you have to go after it. You have to be intentional and find ways to grow daily.

As part of my growth plan every year, I choose a body of work (a book, for example), and challenge myself to learn and live it. This year I decided to read John C. Maxwell’s book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Maxwell is a New York Times bestselling author, coach and speaker. He is also considered America’s #1 voice of authority when it comes to leadership. Over the past years I’ve read many of his books and have heard him speak and have been inspired by his words. In his book on growth, he encourages readers to learn the laws and live to reach one’s potential. I wanted to share them with you here:

The 15 Laws of Invaluable Growth

  1. The Law of Intentionality: Life is now in session. Are you present?
  2. The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
  3. The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
  4. The Law of Reflection: Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up With You
  5. The Law of Consistency: Motivation Gets You Going–Discipline Keeps You Growing
  6. The Law of Environment: Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings
  7. The Law of Design: To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies
  8. The Law of Pain: Good Management of Bad Experiences leads to Great Growth
  9. The Law of the Ladder: Character Growth Determines the Height of Your Personal Growth
  10. The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be
  11. The Law of Trade-Offs: You Have to Give Up to Grow Up
  12. The Law of Curiosity: Growth is Stimulated by Asking Why?
  13. The Law of Modeling: It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One but Yourself to Follow
  14. The Law of Expansion: Growth Always Increases Your Capacity
  15. The Law of Contribution: Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others.

Growth compounds and accelerates when you remain intentional about it. Start now! After reading this, make a commitment to start growing today. Put in the time today—even even if it ends up being the hour before you go to sleep tonight—and for the next five days. Even if you don’t feel like it, do it anyway.

I’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts. Please let me know if you’d like more posts on personal growth and leadership. 

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