(3) Three steps to grow firmly

By Eddy Montilla.


People want to grow because, in general, humans have an insatiable thirst for progress. Sometimes you look at the person who lives just across the street and said: “How did he manage to reach such high levels of progress while I am still striving to get out of this hole? When we don’t find explanation for questions like this one, we ended up pointing at good luck as reason for other people’s achievements and blaming bad luck for our own failure. It sounds strange to me because when it comes to development, the luck factor, in my opinion, is almost irrelevant. So, let see other factors that can really help you to grow firmly.

Step 1: Create a system.

Many people tend to associate closely planning with growth and think that if you make plans, problems will be solved. Practice, however, shows a different reality to us: Planning is just a tool, a prelude to something bigger: A system. I am sure you have seen a spiderweb. Each thread has its own direction, but all of them are somehow connected. This is the way a spiderweb grows in size and a system too. When you connect everything, you can get the best of them. “Why do I have to study or do this if my life is only that?” Many people say, and then, they make the mistake of focusing their attention on the only thing that they love to end up later living an unbalanced life. The key seems to be different. You can get better result by creating a system with the thing you love best in the center, but connected with other things of your life. That will make you grow in areas where you never expected to move forward. Steve Jobs’s examples are always exceptional, but this one taught me a lesson and I want to share it with you. If Jobs had said: “Why should I take lessons of calligraphy if my world is about computers?”, perhaps neither his world nor ours had had computers with the beautiful typography they have at present. Solid growth comes from your ability to link things.

Step 2: Make your system work

     Nothing starts without the first movement and the first movement is to set your system in motion. It does not have to be perfect, but it must be closely monitored day by day. Detect the presence of mistakes and correct them, no matter how small they might look. Think about this example:

     I have a friend who started working with a system and she did not have to wait a long time to see the benefits of it. However, she was under stress because she was always rushing out to catch the bus to go to work. I asked her the first and last things she usually does before going to work. “First, I do the dishes, do the washing, etc., and later, I take a bath, change my clothes…” She said. “How about doing the last things first?” I recommended. “If you prepare yourself to leave home first, you can play with time instead of letting time playing with you. Housework can be done later, but you cannot go to work wearing your pajamas! Once she fixed that, her productivity at work increased more than 10 percent and she could say goodbye to great stress caused by a small problem. If you fix small problems, somehow the biggest ones will become smaller.

Step 3: Have confidence in yourself.

     You might be a talented person, but if you lack self-confidence, your growth, like a tree, will be pruned. Fear emerges when self-confidence is gone. And fear paralyzes us. When we are afraid, we don’t start anything, we don’t continue anything and we cannot finish anything. But you don’t build self-confidence listening to motivating words or reading inspiring stories. I usually compare this idea to a balloon: You blow it up and three days later it is flat. Your confidence comes from achievements. And when you start, small achievements are truly important. At the end of your day, review your situation, enjoy the things and goals you got, the small and big ones, they will become your best motivation to go for a bigger fish. And I, from here, will be very happy when you catch it.

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