Making a Positive Impact: Why Personal Growth Matters
LEARNING IS A GIFT
Imagine an infinite black wall that separates you from the rest of the world. There is only one pin-sized hole through which you can observe what is on the other side. You can’t see much at the beginning, but every time you look, you learn something new and the hole gets a tad bigger.
It expands slowly, but the more you see, the more motivated you are to learn.
Every day you discover things to marvel at, and you can’t get enough.
When you talk to people whose peepholes remain small, you struggle to understand each other. Sometimes they hate you. Often they listen to you because you come up with original ideas and solutions to their problems.
That’s why you never stop learning. You want to keep broadening the horizons of your mind. If you stopped, the hole would start shrinking. And that would be the end.
The world is changing every second. But true entrepreneurs like to always stay a few steps ahead. They are the ones who envisage what the future could look like. They keep their skills and knowledge up to date. They come up with new solutions to old problems. They approach difficult situations in innovative ways. And to avoid stagnation, they constantly foster their creative thinking.
You can master a new language or sport, you can learn to communicate better, you can improve your time management skills. There are no limits, whatsoever. Every new skill adds a new facet to your identity .
The satisfaction you may reach with material pleasures, on the other hand, is indeed limited. Even if you wake up tomorrow with a thousand times more money, it’s unlikely that you will feel a thousand times happier. So we should not think about learning merely as an instrument to achieve a specific goal—to receive better grades or to attain a promotion.
Learning is a nurturing process that helps you grow from a teeny wrinkled seed to a stout and graceful tree.
The greatest gift of life is that we can become whoever we want to be, at any age. And the best thing is that we don’t need anyone’s sanction.
I WANT VS. I NEED
To build a great business, we need to give value.
Why? What does it even mean?
When you give value, you make someone’s life better. You solve their problem. You provide what they want. You offer what they need.
Our needs range from the basic, physical ones (food, water, air, sleep, sex, warmth, safety...), to emotional (affection, attention, empathy, security, pleasure, esteem...), social (communication, sharing, belonging, recognition...), intellectual (learning, creativity, problem-solving...), and spiritual (faith, hope, love, harmony, purpose...).
Sometimes people know precisely what they want. Sometimes they have no clue. But they always have needs. Although they often struggle with formulating exactly what these needs are.
Take a man who desires the latest model of a sports car and is willing to pay a hefty price. On the surface, it may seem that he doesn’t really need it. There are two others in his garage, and we conclude that he is simply a vain show-off. Yet, there is always a need lurking at the rear. What he needs may be acceptance by his peers (social need). It may be pure pleasure from driving faster than ever (emotional need). It may be attention from attractive women (emotional and social need). It can be sense of accomplishment (emotional need).
Or take a woman who donates all her savings to a charity in Uganda that delivers free lunches to primary schools. Some may admire her for being a noble altruist. Some may sneer at her for being crazy. If we ask her, she will respond, “I just wanted to help!” Then, we may dig deeper and discover that she has always lacked a sense of purpose in her life (spiritual need). Her self-esteem is also not the most solid. Deep inside, she is thirsty for approval and acknowledgment of her good deeds (emotional and social need). All in all, her act of philanthropy will make a few children less hungry (physical need).
People have needs. And we all possess certain knowledge, skills, and abilities to fulfill those needs. By doing so, we not only improve the world around us, we become more efficient and successful in our work and business activities too.
So work with this. Identify a specific need that is shared by a sizable proportion of the population. Deliver a product or service that directly satisfies this particular need. And finally, make such product or service better, less expensive, or more accessible than any of its substitutes.
Sustainable businesses focus on creating value, which in turn means improving people’s lives and having a positive social impact. That’s why good entrepreneurs listen and observe. They don’t always give people what they want. They do their best to meet their needs.
When you accept the fact that the world you have created in your head is not real and that any obstacles that prevent you from being successful in life are those you have fabricated yourself, many doors will begin opening in front of you. New solutions, new opportunities. Newly found inner harmony.
You wake up every day determined to work on yourself so that you can lead a fulfilling life and help others improve their own. You keep your eyes and ears open to make your thoughts and emotions work for you, not against you. You slowly get rid of the garbage you have accumulated over the years—the false presumptions, beliefs, and grievances that hinder your reasoning, spur harmful emotions, and all in all hurt your soul as such.
All three major parts that constitute your being (body, soul, spirit) are inseparably linked. If the soul suffers, the body is ill, and the spirit muted.
When you manage to control your thoughts and emotions, your body becomes naturally healthier and stronger, often much more so than by using some miracle pills or various medical treatments. When you start ignoring limitations you’ve imposed on yourself, your spirit will awaken to help you live up to your potential. And having these three working in unison, you will not only reveal but also feel what your purpose as a human is.
Purpose is the most important thing to encounter within your lifetime, besides love. Love makes you feel worthy and connected. Purpose gives transcendent meaning to your actions.
Both purpose and love are manifestations of one thing: “I belong.”
When we experience these two, our life makes sense. Our decisions, choices, even our mistakes. And whatever we build doesn’t hinge on success or failure. It has its definitive purpose in itself. It brings value, to both ourselves and society.
The concordance of our individuality and our reality stands on four pillars:
We learn, we develop, we grow. The better we are, the better we help others grow. And the more we give, the more we receive.
When we tap into our purpose, our knowledge, skills, and energy help us achieve exactly what we need and what we want.