Everything in life takes time and require some processes to get the desired results. For example, if you are looking for a job, you have to first be qualified for the job, you need to apply for the job, go through and pass an interview for the job, before you can get hired for the job. A seed must be planted, go through the process of germination before it will grow to become fruit. An infant need to go through several stages of growth and development before he can become a full fledge adult. You need to start and work hard on your business before it can become profitable. The same analogy is applicable to most food that we eat, for example, if you want to eat rice, the rice will need to go through the process of cooking before it can become edible. As it is not ideal for us to eat an uncooked rice, so also it is not realistic to expect a 2-year-old to run in a marathon. Everything must go through some developmental processes before results can be attained. That is the foundation of a good growth strategy.
The saying “Rome was not built in a day” comes to mind here. Most of the time we are more interested in the end result of what we want and we pay little to no attention to the process that we have to go through to achieve the end result. We always seek for outcome, but we are less interested in the learning and experience that the growth process will bring to us. The truth is that most good things in life take time to achieve. We need to understand the critical role that time plays in achieving any long-lasting results. The problem of course is that we live in a world of instant gratification where many people want quick results. Most people want overnight success. In fact, many thinks that most of the highly successful people achieve their success in a sudden manner. It took Apple over forty years of gradual progress before it become the most valuable company in the world. It took John Flannery over 30 years of hard work, dedication, and growing before he rose to become the CEO of General Electric. The same is true for Ursula Burns who started her career at Xerox as an intern in 1980 before she became the CEO in 2009. I can say that the many years of continuous learning helped prepare both John and Ursula for the top position in their respective organizations. They both went through the process of growth and learning to earn the ultimate result of becoming the chief executives.
Most people want results without necessarily wanting to go through the sometimes grilling and gruesome process of learning. To achieve results, you must be prepared to go through the required process. Here are some few suggestions that can help you to stay rooted and focused as you go through your own developmental process.
- Time is a critical component: Putting time into perspective is always helpful when considering the time, it takes to achieve results. For example, as it is not realistic for a 2-year-old boy to run in a marathon or for Ursula Burns to be promoted to the position of the CEO of Xerox immediately after her internship, it is also not practicable to expect to achieve results without going through the fundamental growth process. Are you becoming frustrated that you are not seeing the results of your efforts in an endeavor yet? The concept that it takes 10,000 hour of practice to become an expert in any field is somewhat valid here. Although, I will postulate that it takes even more than that to see a lasting result of great and outstanding achievements. The right thing to consider is to ask if you have put the appropriate time to learn and gather enough experience that may help you to excel in that effort.
- Knowledge is Power: Without having the right knowledge and experience, you are bound to struggle in any area of your life that you want results. Your ability to learn and acquire the right knowledge in any field will position you for growth and subsequently equip you to achieve results. I found out that reading and training is one of many ways that one can acquire knowledge and develop the confidence and competence necessary for growth in a particular field. If you want growth and results in any area of your life, you need to seek to acquire knowledge that will help you to achieve your goal. I use mentoring opportunity to learn from those that are ahead of me and also gain new perspectives from other young professionals in my career field. It is always a breath of fresh air learning new things. Learning does not end after graduation from college. It is a lifelong journey that everyone that wants to grow must commit to, taking up some new hobby sometimes can add a fresh twist of energy to developing and expanding your knowledge base.
- Learn to appreciate feedback: One of the best measurements of personal growth is ability to receive and implement feedbacks. Feedback is a great tool, if properly executed, can be used for developing the right growth strategy in any field of endeavor. In my career, I have received several feedbacks both positives and negatives. One of my past manager once told me that I need to be more assertive in order to get more visibility in the company and enhance my career growth. I used this particular feedback to develop an improvement plan which include being more vocal and making sure that my voice is heard. Likewise, in business, feedback especially negative ones from customers can be used to strengthen a company and gain more customers if properly used.
- Avoid questionable shortcuts. If we become obsessed on fulfilling our desires and goals, emotions can cause us to sometimes make unwise decisions. If we can exercise patience and understand that best thing in life takes time, it can make a lot of difference in whether we live our lives worrying about what we want to achieve or not. Good planning and hard work will ultimately help you to achieve results, but hasty shortcuts will eventually lead to destruction. Avoid shortcut as you go through your learning process.
- Maintain a forward-looking attitude: When working on our goals, we have the option of focusing on the ultimate goal or get distracted with what we are yet to achieve. To be effective during the growth process, we must steadfastly be forward looking. Just as a marathon runner ignores pain and weariness by concentrating on the finish line, we must put our attention and mind on the final goal and not allow any temporary setback or challenges prevent us from moving forward with our plans. One great idea for staying focused and forward looking is to ensure that you take control of those things that are inside your circle of influence, ensure you are learning along the line, and always have a purpose for whatever you plan to achieve.