Can You Force Growth & Development?

I spend a lot of time discussing a particular rule of physiology, the SAID principle (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand).

In a nutshell: if you create certain situations, certain outcomes are more likely to occur.

But it extends beyond muscles and connective tissues. 

We see the same idea apply throughout our lives.

I've been imposing the demand of sending a valuable email each day to my list of subscribers (you can get on the list here).  Turns out when you set the expectation for good thoughts every day, you have more good thoughts every day. 

Can you create similar conditions for yourself to spur your own growth and development?

Let me share an example...

Imagine that you’ve put a glass of water in the freezer. 

It contains countless molecules of water, and based on the molecular interactions, we’d call it water or ice or steam.

Here’s the thing: before it freezes, we can’t know where the freezing will begin (at the level of the individual molecules), or the exact moment when. We only know that it will freeze.

The conditions (temperature/pressure/volume) dictate the change.

We operate in much the same way.

See, humans are naturally inquisitive and acquisitive.

We have a drive to explore and engage with the world, to play and to grow. But those tendencies only come to fruition when the proper conditions are in place (namely safety, security, and satiety for play at least...as Kerrie Lewis puts it, animals play when they’re “warm, fat, and happy”).

Conditions of support allow our innate, actualizing tendency to unfold.  They create context for fulfillment of our intrinsic striving for growth.

The world shapes you, and you shape the world. Are you doing it deliberately?

Are you consciously creating an environment that supports growth toward what you wish to become?

Or are you settling for the path of least resistance? Just “going with the flow, man.”

Are the spaces and places around you nourishing you?

Or stressing you out?

Are the relationships you're in supporting your growth?

Or inhibiting it?

Remember: the glass of water doesn’t freeze because it wants to. It freezes because the circumstances demand it.

A quick question to get the wheels turning for you: 

What do you need in order to thrive?

Not to be happy. Not to get by. Not to be successful.

To thrive.

And what are you doing to bring that to life?

Take a few minutes to write it out. Send me your ideas...you’ll have plenty.