Life is purposeless without growth. As we get older we need to become ever wiser and stronger, or else we’re just slowly dying.
Growth is especially difficult when everything around you is in decay. A bad environment and negative influences are hard to break away from. It can be done, though.
A gardener follows some specific steps to see their garden bloom. You should follow similar advice to enable yourself to grow, even while everything in your vicinity is withering away.
1. Have Strong Roots
When everything around you is crumbling, your roots matter more than ever.
The best case scenario is that you already have strong roots to hold on to so that you barely waver in the first place. If your roots need some work, however, there are measures you can take to deepen them. Start by recommitting yourself to your core values and principals.
If you’re feeling defeated, remind yourself of all that you have going for you. If you’re struggling to be a good Christian, study the Bible. If you’re an addict in danger of relapsing, read the Big Book and walk the twelve-step program one more time.
Return to the resources, whatever they are, that gave you your power, so that they can empower you once again.
2. Pull Out The Weeds
Weeds are defined as plants with virtually no redeeming value. They grow fast and leave seeds to keep expanding and infiltrating. They’re often poisonous if eaten, leave a bad taste in your mouth and are tough to remove from your garden.
Weeds are very similar to the negative influences in your life. Like weeds compete for nutrients, bad influences stand in your way when you’re trying to thrive. Make sure your relationships aren’t holding you back.
Excise the weeds from your life as quickly as possible, but with the least amount of damage to the surrounding foliage. If you cut out the things holding you back too haphazardly, you risk severing some of the ties that can prove useful later. So be careful when doing something like ending a romantic relationship or breaking up with a friend.
Carefully, precisely remove what you don’t need in your life while keeping everything else intact. If you do, you open yourself up to new possibilities.
3. Live With The Thorns
Every rose has its thorns; you just need to avoid getting pricked.
There are always obstacles and inconveniences in our lives, especially when everything surrounding us is in decay, but we don’t have to be defeated by them. Instead of giving up when things aren’t perfectly smooth, make your way up the stem until you reach something beautiful.
4. Give Your Life Careful Attention
A good gardener doesn’t leave their garden unattended for long. Likewise, someone who wants to grow carefully monitors their progress.
Every so often you need to analyze where you’re at and where you can go next. Goals are a cornerstone to success, so set, meet and surpass them as often as you can.
Make sure you’re not becoming complacent and growing too slowly. Be positive that you’re not slipping out of your roots. Know how to set the right goals so that you can keep those kinds of things in mind.
Also regularly give yourself the nutrition you need such as self-affirmation, healthy habits and plenty of rest. With that kind of care and a constant eye on the headway you’re making, you’ll be that much closer to blooming.
5. Let Yourself Grow At A Natural Pace
While you want to grow fairly quickly, if you start forcing it artificially then you risk undoing all that you’ve already accomplished.
You might see some temporary progress if you, for example, push yourself too far and try to get to that next milestone too fast. But doing that will deplete you of your energy, and you will suffer a long period of stagnation or even start to wither away yourself.
Grow at a reasonable and steady rate. That way, you’ll know that the progress you’ve made is going to stick.
6. Watch Yourself Bloom
Once you’ve made significant progress you should look in a mirror and take pride in the reflection. You’ve earned this, so enjoy it before moving on to the final stage of growth.
7. Lay Down New Soil
Don’t settle for being successful once. Move on to another patch of soil where you can grow again. Follow the same steps until you bloom, and then move on to yet another goal.
Or better yet, help the people you love bloom as well. Helping others is a reward unto itself, and you shouldn’t deprive yourself of it if you’re at a place in life where you can afford to turn your attention on the less fortunate.
Life is what we make of it, and it means more if we keep giving ourselves fresh challenges. Expand your garden, and you’ll find yourself simultaneously ever-active and increasingly at peace.