Growing yourself enables you to grow others. You can’t give to others if you don’t have it. Benjamin Franklin saw the world as what he could give to it rather than what he could get from it – shared what became known as the Franklin Stove with society rather than patent. “What good can I do today?” and “What good have I done today?” were morning and evening questions Franklin asked himself.
Be a river rather than a reservoir. Have an abundance mindset and believe that you will keep on receiving. As long as you are dedicated to personal growth, you will never experience scarcity and always have much to give.
Questions Gordon McDonald asks:
- Who mentors you and offers a baseline of wisdom?
- Who mentors you to aspire to be a better person?
- Who challenges you to think?
- Who cheers on your dreams?
- Who cares enough to rebuke you?
- Who is merciful when you have failed?
- Who shares the load in pressurized moments without being asked?
- Who brings fun and laughter into your life?
- Who gives you perspective when you become dispirited?
- Who inspires you to seek faithfully after God?
- Who loves you unconditionally?
When we turn these questions around, we think about taking on a similar role with others. We have one life to make a difference.
Become a giver. When you focus on the needs and wants of others, more of your own wants and needs are met. You must be a growing and developing person and be intentional in your efforts to add value to others.
Here are 7 steps to help you cultivate an attitude of cultivation:
- Be grateful “There is no success without sacrifice. If we succeed without sacrifice, it is because someone before us made the sacrifice. If you sacrifice and don’t see success, then someone who follows will reap success.” I am the recipient of many benefits that I do not deserve and did not earn. Someone else paid for them and I am grateful. How do I show it? By passing on to others.
- Put people first. The measure of a leader is how many people they serve.
- Don’t let stuff own you. There are three groups of people: Haves, Have not’s and Those that haven’t paid for what they have. If you want to be in charge of your heart, don’t let stuff own you.
- Don’t let people own you.
- Define success as sewing, not reaping.
- Focus on self-development, not self-fulfillment.
- Keep growing to keep giving.
We have arrived. The Law of Contribution may be the final chapter of The 15 Laws of Growth but if you’ve kept up with my notes – or even better – got the book, it’s only the beginning of a successful you! Here’s a list of quick links to my notes on the 14 previous chapters:
- Intentionality – Growth doesn’t just happen (begins at 4th paragraph)
- Awareness – You must know yourself to grow yourself
- Mirror – You must see value in yourself to add value to yourself
- Reflection – Learning to pause allows growth to catch up to you
- Consistency – Motivation gets you going; Discipline keeps you growing
- Environment – Growth thrives in conducive surroundings
- Design – To maximize growth, develop strategies
- Pain – Good management of bad experiences leads to great growth
- Ladder – Character growth determines the height of your personal growth
- Rubber Band – Growth stops when you lose the tension between where you are and where you could be
- Trade-Offs – You have to give up to grow up
- Curiosity – Growth is stimulated by asking why
- Modeling – It’s hard to improve when you have no one but yourself to follow
- Expansion – Growth always increases your capacity
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