Growth: You’re Not a Magic Beanstalk
This is a guest post by Stephanie LeBlanc. Stephanie is the practice administrator at TotalCare Hulen in Fort Worth, Texas. She also holds other leadership positions including president of her accounting firm, as well as Project Connect Texas, a non-profit organization she founded to serve the Dallas/Fort Worth community.
- Wes Saade, M.D.
Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution, only to give up just a few days or a few weeks in? Did you commit from ‘never going to the gym’ to ‘going to the gym seven days a week’? Or did you solemnly resolve to immediately eliminate some habit you’ve had for years?
The intent is there, and knowingly or unknowingly, you are creating part of your growth plan for the new year. Maybe you are envisioning a healthier you, or a wiser, more patient you. You are on the right track, but you give up because you weren’t realistic about the process involved to grow successfully.
As this year comes to a close, many of us are contemplating how we want to grow over the next year. We know that we have to be intentional in how we grow. For instance, if your resolution is to go for a run every day, you know that you need a good pair of running shoes. We are all pretty realistic about the fact that we have to be intentional in our follow through. Where I struggle is being realistic on how long the growth process is going to take. I have to continually remind myself of this life principle…
Growth is a process; you are not a magic beanstalk.
This rule is really for anyone like me who is delighted by instant gratification. I want to master everything I do, and I want to master it immediately. Is that so much to ask? I want to plant the seed, and wake up tomorrow with all of the knowledge in the world.
And then reality kicks in, that unlike Jack in the fable of the beanstalk, I have no magic beans. I have to grow a little each day, and will need to continue to do so until my life on earth has ended. When I take on a new task, I have to convince myself I cannot master it the first day. I had this problem as a child, and it is still one of my greatest challenges.
My sister played the flute growing up, and she was extremely talented. I wanted to play the flute, because I wanted to be good at it too. If she could do it, I wanted to do it too. We were pretty close, and she had two flutes, so she agreed to teach me how to play. I already knew how to read music, and I thought it should be a piece of cake.
After only one day, I could not play her All-State music. I decided that it was not for me. I did not want to play Mary Had a Little Lamb, or Hot Cross Buns, I wanted to play what the best played. I was not looking for a growth journey; I was looking for instant success.
I would like to say that my ignorance and impatience stopped there as a child, but if it had, this wouldn’t still be on my mind. Actually, this year I decided I wanted to learn to play piano, and still thought it should be easy enough. Again, I did not want to start with the easy songs, and I definitely didn’t want to only play one hand at a time. The reality is that almost everyone who plays the piano had to start with the easy songs, they had to put in a lot of intentional practice to grow into the musician they are now. There was a growth process, they had no magic beans.
When you make your resolution to go for a run every day, because you know there are people that do it…remember they had to start one day at a time. Probably slower than they wanted to, but what made them successful is the fact that they committed to the process of growth, not the instant gratification of waking up one day and being an amazing runner.
As you plan for 2015, dream big and definitely plan to grow. Just remember, you are not a magic beanstalk, and your growth will not happen overnight. Be intentional about how to grow, and just as intentional about setting realistic expectations for your growth journey.
Practice Administrator, TotalCare
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