Growth is growth, right? Maybe not. All growth is not created equal, because it’s not all for the same purpose. So why do we grow? Why are we willing to face the potential challenge and discomfort? Sometimes it’s just the next logical step as we march through our careers. And sometimes we grow for something more–for a new future that we’re not yet equipped to deliver. You could say that we’re always either growing from something, or growing for something. And while both lead to improvement, the experiences are worlds apart.

Growing From the Past
We’ve all had the experience of taking the ‘next step': Finish one thing, and on to the next. You take the steps you take because “that’s what you do.” And you know you’ve grown because you look to the past and compare where you are now to where you were then. There’s a lot of progress and success to be had in this paradigm, but we may not always be sure where we’re headed since we’re always looking back.

Growing For the Future
You got a glimpse of the future and you liked what you saw. You’re doing everything you can to make it a reality. Forget where you were. Where are you headed? You’ll know you’ve grown when you get there. We’ve all had this experience, too.  Now we’re growing like crazy, but our eye isn’t even on the growth. It’s on the future we’re committed to. And when we get there, not only have we grown, but we’ve accomplished something amazing.

If you’re not already, try bringing the future into the equation by thinking about what your growth is for. What new opportunities will become available? What difference will you have made?