How do you measure your growth?

“If your parents ever measured you as a child, they had you stand against a wall, and made a little pencil mark on the wall to show your growth. They did not measure you against your brother, or the neighbor’s kids, or kids on TV. When you measure your growth, make sure to only measure your today self by your past self. If you compare your relationships, your success, or your anything against anyone else, you are not being fair to you. Everyone has a different path, a different pace, and different challenges to face along the way.”

Doe Zantamata

I love the analogy used in this quote, the absolute truth conveyed by the pencil marks on the wall. Those were specific data points from a moment in time that can’t be changed or stretched to fit a different narrative or used to compare to someone else.  

What are the “marks on the wall” in your life today? How do you measure your growth in a specific and objective manner, not subject to interpretation by or comparison to others? What are you doing to ensure that you are capturing your advancement in life and ensuring that you are continually moving forward and making progress?

Perhaps you need to create a measurement mechanism and a timeline for regular review to capture where you are at specific moments in time, just like those pencil marks on the wall.

Ask yourself these three simple questions two to three times per year. Use the same journal or writing medium, so as time passes, you can look back at your answers and see how YOU have grown and evolved.  

  1. Who do I want to be?
  2. Why is this important to me?
  3. How do I need to change to become that person?

Notice that none of these questions are about “what do I want?” Or “what do others expect?” These questions are about drilling into yourself and creating a discipline of regular check-ins to establish a baseline and measure your progress.  

Give it a try. Go ahead and answer these questions today, and when you get done, put time on your calendar six months from now to do it again. Add another appointment for one year from today. You are making this appointment with and for yourself. Can you imagine how influential this journal would be ten, fifteen, or twenty years from today? I certainly wish I had started this practice twenty years ago, I can’t begin to imagine how powerful it would be to have a quantitative measuring stick of my evolution and progress.  

It’s never too late to start so begin today…

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Ready. Aim. Fire. Review.

“Aim to make a difference in someone’s life every single day, including your own.”

Doe Zantamata

I love the first word in this quote. To ‘aim’ means to “to intend or direct for a particular effect or purpose.” How many days do we start out so intentionally? How often is the purpose of making a difference in someone else’s life explicitly defined and measured? How about for your own life? Without aiming you are, by default, choosing to drift without direction.

Take 5 minutes in the morning and in as few words as possible write down the answers to these three questions:

Who’s life do I specifically want to impact?

What am I going to do today to impact the life of that person?

How will I enable my ability to make a difference in someone else’s life by taking care of my own mind, body or spirit?

At the end of the day simply read what you wrote down and give yourself a simple yes/no answer on whether you were successful. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t meet your goal. But I’ll bet when you start doing this regularly you’ll have far more ‘yes’s” than ‘no’s.’

You can’t worry about what you did or didn’t do yesterday; but you can learn from it. You can’t worry about what you will or won’t be able to do tomorrow; but you can prepare for it. The key here is to AIM, and then look and see if you hit your target. If not, then start over tomorrow. Making a difference happens one day at a time.

Ready. Aim. Fire. Review.

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