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Delayed Growth

Delayed Growth Realization

... might be the most important concept I’ve ever heard of in my life.

It can be the difference between despair and optimism.

Here are 3 major truths about growth:

  1. Growth often follows adversity.
  2. We often perceive growth only in hindsight.
  3. Our own definition of growth changes over time.

No. 1 is obvious to many.

No. 2 is already trickier.

No. 3 is interesting.

What does this mean?

We can go through phases of perceived stagnation. Triggered by the end of a relationship, the loss of a job or a lack of life orientation.

But we often only understand years later how the emotional chaos back then actually helped us grow:

  • Developing new interests,
  • Being forced to open new doors,
  • Letting go of emotional baggage,
  • Defining new, more effective values,
  • Understanding more about who we are,

And, sometimes, we only later come to appreciate changes in who we are as personal growth.

Because we have changed our own definition of it.

Simply put, the phase of growth can be decoupled from when we realize it happened:

Delayed Growth Realization

If we trust that our perception in the moment doesn’t map 1:1 to how we will look back at it in the future, we can maybe be slightly more optimistic about ourselves.

Internalizing this has made me 80% less anxious about things that aren't going well in business (and in life) - which, in turn, made me a 3x better leader.

"One does not discover new countries without consenting to losing sight, for a very long time, of the shore." - Andre Gide