These Two Principles Changed My Life
If someone were to ask you for two principles that have drastically changed your life, what would they be?
While I can point to several that have impacted mine, I have been reflecting recently on two that have significantly altered how I think and how I handle life. I hope you find them beneficial, and will even consider applying them in your own life.
Life-Changing Principle #1: To grow your organization, grow your people. To grow your people, grow yourself.
When I heard this statement several years ago, it immediately made a profound impression on me. It just made sense. We all want to impact and grow the groups and organizations that we are a part of and the ones we lead. This applies to your peer group, family, team, business, organization, or church. This simple two-step process always works, if you are focused, diligent, and consistent.
- Grow yourself. That’s where it all starts. Before you grow your team, family, or organization, you must be committed to constantly improving yourself. You must live a lifestyle of growth. So, why start here before you focus on your people? Because if you are not mature with your emotions, thinking, skills, communication, and leadership, you can forget trying to grow anyone else. Furthermore, you will not attract the best people. Nor will you know what to do or where to go. The better you are, the better the people you will attract. And the more capable you will be to lead them.
- Grow your people. It is easy to ignore your people. Growing people demands your time, your energies, and your finances. When we get busy, we tend to invest these precious resources into achieving results, toward fulfilling our mission and vision. And people often become neglected. On top of that, working with people is hard. It can be hurtful. People can be resistant to growth and change. That is why, as leaders, we must be growing consistently so we have the emotional fortitude, the depth of character, and the patience to pour ourselves into our people and not give up. Even with all the distractions that come our way, we must stay focused on growing our people. What plan do you have for each of them to grow?
- Grow your organization. This is the result when we excel at the first two steps. It always is. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Every great institution is the lengthened shadow of a single man. His character determines the character of the organization.” While, I believe many people shape the character of an organization, it is the leader’s abilities, where they have traveled, and who they have become, that will mold the organizations or teams they lead.
Life-Changing Principle #2: Work harder on yourself than anything else you do.
Wow. Talk about a priority adjustment. That’s what I had to do when I adopted this principle. The concept is related to the first principle, but is a little different. While Principle #1 says, we must grow ourselves before our people and organizations can grow, this principle says, of everything you do in your life, working on yourself should be the top priority.
What does this mean? Grow myself in what areas? Well, that’s up to you to decide. I will list below the areas I focus on at this stage in my life. Regardless of what area I am working on however, I always give my growth top priority. Not for a selfish reason, but for a selfless one. If I could be better and bigger, if I could have a deeper spirit and more humble character, then I would be able to give that much more to others. So I sacrificially spend my resources of time and money to consistently grow. I am fanatical about personal growth. It is truly the thing I devote myself most to. And it all started when I read this principle.
Here are the areas I aim to grow in consistently: faith, direction, relationships, personal development, priorities and time management, character, values, emotions, thinking, disciplines, health, business, leadership, success, writing, and communication.
Did you know… I just learned to play the ukulele. My goal is to get good enough to play a street performance with my brother while traveling overseas. When I do, I will make sure to share the video with you.
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