Is Personal Growth a Luxury or a Necessity?

What comes to your mind when you hear the phrase ‘personal growth’ or ‘personal development’? Does it make you cringe because you heard it too often? Or does it make you feel proud and hopeful because that’s what you’re working on constantly?

One morning I was running near the lake listening to a great audiobook recommended to me by my friend. It was ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ by Paul Kalanithi. The book is autobiographical depicting Paul’s struggles to fight cancer.  He was a talented neurosurgeon and an aspiring writer. Most of his life he was studying to be a neurosurgeon or working as one but always dreaming to one day become a writer. And only by the end of his life when he knew he didn’t have much left he decided to write his first and last book.

I vividly remember the very place I was running by when I heard this quote. It was right by the benches near the lake when the narrator said:  “Darwin and Nietzsche agreed on one thing: the defining characteristic of the living organism is striving.”

As a matter of fact, I am not a big fan of both Darwin and Nietzsche. I do respect their intelligence but absolutely disagree with their beliefs. However, this quote became an inspiring metaphor for me. It showed that each living being is characterised by striving. Striving to survive. Striving to grow. Striving to succeed.

Tony Robbins once said: “When we stop growing, we stop living.” Somebody else might have said it before him, but that’s not the point. The main idea is to continually develop, grow and learn.

Gregory Caremans, the founder of the Brain Academy, in his Udemy Neuroplasticity course explains very clearly why our brain must have new experiences on a regular basis and must constantly learn something new.

So, to sum up, let me give you 5 reasons why I think personal growth is an absolute necessity for each human being.

  1. It helps our brain grow constantly and keeps it from shrinking.
  2. It prevents such diseases as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
  3. It gives us more confidence and more opportunities.
  4. It helps us stay alive and at the top of the game.
  5. Life is just more fun with it.

So, continue growing, developing, learning, acquiring new skills and habits. Life will present you more opportunities to grow as soon as you show interest in it. There’s always a chance to read another book.

What are your favorite ways of growing personally?

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7 thoughts on “Is Personal Growth a Luxury or a Necessity?

  1. I couldn’t help smiling when I read the quote about striving – I pictured our cats. Cats tend to ruin any neatly fitting hypothesis, because they seem to kill for fun. Love your blog btw.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. An interesting post! :)Ive enjoyed reading it because Ive been thinking about this topic a lot… is personal growth luxury or necessity?? I dont think so that striving to survive is strictly the same thing as personal growth though. I think many people who dont have some basic needs met (lowest levels in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs) would think of personal growth/bettering oneself as necessity, but rather more as a luxury. Someone really poor doesn’t think at all or much about e. g. learning a new foreign language but how to meet ends, how to earn a bit more, where they cld do e. g. second part time job. Once someone has basic needs met, a bit of time, then they pay more attention to aspects such as personal development.. I’m wondering what do you think about it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree with you that it’s not the first thing people think about if they are in need for food and shelter. However, education and personal growth is what really is a necessity for such people. If they continue only getting food and not an opportunity to study and grow, it’s like giving them fish instead of a net. I’m a big advocate for providing education opportunities for everyone in the world – kids in Africa, girls and women in muslim countries (some of them can’t even read), the poor in India and other countries so that they could change the situation they live in.

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      1. That’s true. Thank you for this great comment. Looking at a bigger picture and long term goals in this situations would be ideal. It’s not always possible or as you say some people don’t think about much if their circumstances are really difficult but opportunities for personal growth are always needed as they can make things better.

        Liked by 1 person

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