2 Steps to Shift Your Life Into The Growth Gear

How to Find the Growth Gear

For some of us, the growth gear is an elusive gear that we can’t seem to find in our gear selection. When some of us think of shifting into gear, we think of gearshifts in cars with a manual transmission.

A Story About More Than Car Trouble

If you know me well, you know that I haven’t had the best luck with cars lately. It seems like every few months, something would go wrong with my car. Last September one of my car’s tires exploded on the drive back from my work. It wasn’t worth the investment as the inspection was coming up, so I decided to salvage the car.

As I was searching for a new car, I decided that I would try something different. I had driven automatic transmission cars all of my life, and I decided to buy a car with manual transmission. I found a 2001 Honda Civic with a manual transmission for sale and bought it within the next couple weeks. After negotiating down the price, I had a friend drive the car back and he tried to teach me how to drive manual. I ended up getting so fed up with trying to learn how to drive this car that I parked it outside my apartment building and went back to my apartment to sit on my couch.

I was so frustrated! It was hard work and I felt like it was impossible to learn in such a short time. However, as I was sitting on my couch, I realized that I had to drive up to work the next morning, so whether I was comfortable driving it or not, I had to find a way to get to work. So I got up off my butt and taught myself how to drive a car with manual transmission. Trust me, it was not pretty, and I’m sure I put a good bit of wear on my clutch – but I got the result I wanted. I learned how to shift gears, how to accelerate and decelerate, and drive in traffic with this car.

I was so proud of myself and grateful to my friend and dad for showing me how to drive a car with manual transmission. However, I learned that, even though I had people instructing me on how to do something, growth didn’t just happen. I had to be intentional to put into practice what I learned. I other words, I needed to shift into the growth gear. In DEVELUP, we are often challenged to shift into the growth gear, in order to be intentional about growth.

In DEVELUP – we focus on experiencing growth in 3 ways:

1. Spiritually

We learn how to resolve and become fully-devoted followers of Christ and relate what the Bible teaches to the challenges of life and ministry.

2. Professionally

We learn to lead with courage and confidence at a director level and display a thorough understanding of LCBC’s ministry areas and DNA.

3. Relationally

We apply our leadership skills to serving as an exemplary team player and demonstrate compassion towards others and humility in leadership.

Some of you may ask, we understand that there are different areas of growth, but why is it important?

Why should you grow?

The Bible gives us 3 reasons that growth is important:

  1. Growth is biblical.
  2. Jesus modeled growth.
  3. Jesus celebrated growth.

Now that we know the WHY behind growth, HOW do we best grow?

How do you grow?

Growth doesn’t just happen, it starts with us being intentional.

What do you mean that growth doesn’t just happen? Don’t read the statement above too literally. There are times that we will grow from learning from mistakes or in the process of our decisions. What I do mean is that none of us drifted into our station in life by accident.

How does one know the difference between accidental and intentional growth? This table below shows the differences between accidental and intentional growth:

Accidental Growth Intentional Growth
Plans to start tomorrow Insists on starting today
Waits for growth to come Takes complete charge to grow
Learns afterward from mistakes Often learns before mistakes
Depends on good luck Relies on hard work
Quits early and often Perseveres long and hard
Falls into bad habits Fights for great habits
Talks big Follows through
Plays it safe Takes risks
Thinks like a victim Thinks like a learner
Relies on talent Relies on character
Stops learning after graduation Never stops growing

Accidental vs. Intentional Growth Table

So, if the above statements are what accidental and intentional growth looks like, then what’s your next step in pursuing growth?

What’s your next step in pursuing growth?

Step 1: Get into a growth environment.

You need to get yourself into a growth environment. You may ask, what does a great growth environment look like?

Characteristics of a great growth environment:

  1. Others are ahead of me
  2. I am continually challenged
  3. My focus is forward
  4. The atmosphere is affirming
  5. I am often out of my comfort zone
  6. I wake up excited
  7. Failure is not my enemy
  8. Others are growing
  9. People desire change
  10. Growth is modeled and expected

Don’t wait for a growth environment to come to you. You either need to create a growth environment for yourself or get into a great growth environment. Don’t settle for accidental growth but lead yourself to intentional growth.

Step 2: Be willing to make tradeoffs.

“You have to give up to grow up.” – John Maxwell

John Maxwell tells us in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth that you have to give up to grow up. In the Law of Trade-offs, he says that there are certain things we will need to give up in order to achieve the life that we want to live. I love how Dave Ramsey puts it in Financial Peace University:

“If you will live like no one else, later you can live like no one else.” – Dave Ramsey

In the Law of Trade-offs, Maxwell says, “Don’t make bad tradeoffs!” If making trade-offs were easy, then everyone would be doing it. However, we all know that making the right choice takes discipline, so Maxwell gives us 3 trade-off principles.

3 Trade-off Principles:
  1. I am willing to give up financial security today for potential tomorrow.
  2. I am willing to give up immediate gratification for personal growth.
  3. I am willing to give up security for significance.

Keep these 2 steps in mind when you’re pursuing growth and you’ll be well on your way to shifting your life into the growth gear!

I want to hear from you!

What tradeoffs do you need to make in order to pursue growth?