You Have To Keep Growing! // Positively Speaking // Mark Wilson

The great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, at age 83, was asked to select his greatest masterpiece. Wright smiled as he replied, “My next one!”

Part of Wright’s greatness was in understanding this important lesson: you have to keep growing!

The moment you stop growing, you start dying. It might be inch by inch. It may be hardly noticeable at first — but you’ll just shrivel up like a prune and die. You have to keep growing if you want to keep living!

The great people in life are the ones who are committed to personal growth.

My good friend, Famous Dave, often says, “Good, better, best — never let it rest — ’til the good gets better and the better gets best!”

Loring Peterson, my mentor, lived by this principal. Even in his latter years, when his health and energy failed him, he continued to learn something new every day. Up to the time he died, he was on a continual quest for more knowledge and understanding. In our conversations, he would amaze me by the new books he devoured and the fresh insights he gleaned. I always walked away from one of those talks wanting to be more like him.

That’s a far cry from the majority of folks today. I read recently that most men do not even read ten non-fiction books after graduating from high school. Instead, they vegetate in front of the TV and wonder why they’re not successful.

Success demands growth. If you want to move forward in your career, your business, and your life in general, you must devote yourself to personal growth. There are not short cuts. Victory is never handed on a silver platter.

Personal growth requires personal sacrifice. You have to give up in order to go up. Progress always comes with a price tag.

Every year, I ring my cow bell at the finish line of America’s greatest cross country ski race, The Birkebeiner. As we cheer on the waves of skiers, I sometimes entertain notions of skiing the Birkie myself. But the notions quickly evaporate the next day, when I consider the price paid by every individual who crosses that finish line. Every finisher of the Birkie is a testimony of someone who was willing to pay the price. They had to get in shape! They trained for months! They pushed themselves beyond their limits! I ponder these things — and then go back to the cow bells. There’s a big difference between interest and commitment.

I can guarantee you that the committed ones who finish the race have a much greater sense of fulfillment and satisfaction at the end of the day than the rest of us who just stand around and ring cow bells!

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Hayward, WI 54843

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