Move ForwardHave you ever played with a child?  I have eleven nieces and nephews and two children of my own and each of them is very different.  However, they all liked to play peek-a-boo when they were tiny tots.  I could have hidden behind those hands and then suddenly revealed myself for hours with a giggle each time.  If I were to go up to any of the post-preschoolers right now and do that, they would look at me like a complete idiot.  Why do they not like this fun game any longer?

They became more complicated and now require more intellectual effort to impress.  We get the same way.  We all know that person who always tells the same stories or jokes all the time. You may have laughed the first time and possibly the second but over time it loses its luster.  This is not only true with fun and games but in every aspect of our life.  We do something that works for us and then never change it until it is clearly obvious it is no longer producing.  In other words, we get a victory and then think the same solution is going to work all the time.

This is why we must continually improve ourselves.  If we become complacent we also become stagnant.  That can lead to others not coming to us because they know we are one dimensional and will only do things our way. When we rest on our laurels and stop improving, others will pass us by. I look at personal development as if my team can only grow as strong as I am.

It is like working out to build muscles.  I can do the exact same workout every single day for a year.  At first I am going to get results I am happy with and even increase my weights and reps.  Eventually, I am going to plateau and stop improving.  This is because I am not changing anything and my muscles basically become bored. Our minds work the same way.

The only way we will grow is to continually improve.  We do this by challenging ourselves in each avenue of our life.  While at work, try the task we have always shied away from. Talk to a respected leader to get a new perspective. If it is our spiritual journeys, we can add a new twist to our studies or listen to audio books as we drive.  Read a book you normally wouldn’t. Maybe you always wanted to write a book.  Instead of waiting till you have a month of free time to begin, just write a paragraph a day or even week.  Professional development is about taking steps forward.

Self-improvement is not a total overhaul.  If it comes to that point for you, you are long overdue.  Improving yourself will keep you fresh and allow you to move past peek-a-boo and into a much greater intellectual world where you are a better person for your family and a better leader for your team.  All it takes is a little effort and an open mind.  Peek-A-Boo, I see you still sitting there…move it!

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