I came to a sad conclusion while I was holding a workshop these past few weeks: we all grow old, but not all of us grow up. It must be one of the saddest things, I think, to just see people grow old and not become wiser and more mature through time. It might sound a little bit simplistic, but our entire life is a learning process, after all. I don’t believe we ever get to a point when we can say: “There’s nothing left for me to learn. I know everything.”
We are not aware of how much power and control we have over ourselves. We get to decide where we want to go with our lives, how much effort we put into it, we get to feel a wide range of emotions and have plenty of thoughts every single day. They’re all meant to teach us things about ourselves, what we like, what we don’t like, what’s OK with us, what’s not OK and so on. The key is to pay attention, be open and curious throughout this journey of learning. As I said, it is a process, not just something that happens overnight. Growing up takes time, tears, a lot of energy and an open mind. An open mind shows that a person is willing to learn from others and doesn’t think he is better than the rest. When you get to position yourself above others you lose sight of the things you could learn, you actually hinder yourself from growing up and maturing. I believe it’s quite disappointing when you hear people say: “This is just the way I am. I cannot change. I can’t control my feelings, nor my thoughts.” My instant thought to that statement is: “Really?”
When we see ourselves powerless, we act according to that. Our actions reflect what we think, what we believe about ourselves and the world. If I see myself as being weak, I will act like a victim most of the time and as a helpless person. If I trust myself that I can do certain things, I actually empower my entire being and channel all my energy into succeeding. Now the big question comes: who do you want to be? Do you want people to look at you and see you as a victim of poor choices, or do you want people to see that no matter how hard things and situations were, you still managed to rise up, keep your head high and continued to walk?
The choice is yours. Grow up, don’t just grow old. Give yourself the opportunity to learn things about life, about yourself. Change your thinking if you feel it’s stopping you from getting to where you want to go. Don’t settle for anything less than what you think you can get. Start your engine and keep it running. Don’t stop growing (up) — ever!