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"No stream or gas drives anything until it is confined. No Niagara is ever turned into light and power until it is tunnelled. No life ever grows great until it is focused, dedicated and disciplined."

Harry E Fosdick

"Out of difficulties grow miracles."

Jean De La Bruyere


There I grow again… or do I?

Recently, I was reminded of a lovely lesson about growth from a story told about the Great Barrier Reef that stretches 1,800 miles from New Guinea to Australia.Tour guides regularly take visitors to view the reef. And on one tour, the guide was asked an interesting question… “I notice that the lagoon side of the reef looks pale and lifeless, while the ocean side is vibrant and colourful. Why is this?…

The guide gave an interesting answer, “The coral around the lagoon side dies early because the water is still and stagnant, with no challenge for its survival. However, the coral on the ocean side is constantly being tested by wind, waves and storms with surges of power. It has to fight for survival every day of its life. As it is challenged and tested, it changes and adapts. It grows healthy. It grows strong. And it reproduces.” Then he added, “That’s the way it is with every living organism.” That is how it is with each of us! So let’s take Key Steps this week to embrace our challenges and…

 

Grow! Grow! Grow!

  1. How can you challenge yourself? Because we are removed from nature working in air-conditioned offices, living in concrete buildings, technology driven and seeking safety from the cycles of nature, we suffer from a false sense of control. When we are challenged and tested, we come alive. Just like the coral pounded by the sea, we grow. Physical demands can cause us to grow stronger. Mental and emotional stress can produce tough-mindedness and resilience. Testing can produce strength of character, faith, gratitude and a peace that surpasses all understanding. What challenges do you face? What challenges do you need? Maybe you need to go after the promotion you’ve been procrastinating, start studying again, join a gym class, take up cooking lessons… anything that will take you out of your comfort-zone and bring you ‘to life’!

    On the other hand, you might be thinking that you don’t need any more challenges than you already have. And, if that is the case, good on you for recognising when enough stretching is enough! I definitely don’t want you pushing yourself to unhealthy limits or taking on too much either.

 

  • Change your mind-set. Now, all we need to do is make sure that we adopt the ‘right’ mind-set and see every trial and tribulation and every challenge we face as an opportunity to learn. Did you know that it’s been scientifically proven that people who have a deeply ingrained belief system that obstacles are challenges sent to shape them and stretch them to new heights are inclined to learn from their mistakes. They are also more successful and generally happier than those who see obstacles as personal failures or an excuse to say, “I can’t or I’m not good enough”. It’s up to you, you can embrace the stretching, see it as a golden opportunity to shift out of your comfort zone and choose to…

 

 “be the difference that makes the difference

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