If You're Not Growing, You're Dying: 10 Ways to Grow and Change

One thing I love to do is write positive quotes on my windows. Especially if I read or see something that I like and don't want to forget. Well, a while a go, I read the quote "if you're not growing, you're dying." There are so many people who said it that I'm not actually sure who to credit. But I shortened it to “growth or death" since I had a lot of other quotes on my window and not much space left. When my friends came over to visit, they were horrified at what they saw. They understood the meaning of the words when I read them the full quote, but admitted having the word 'death' written boldly on my window was morbid and bizarre.

They laughed, but I assured them their reactions were only because there was truth in the mantra, and the realisation that maybe we hadn't been fully living by it until now. Maybe the starkness of the word "death" juxtaposed with "growth” was a little jarring, but it captured their attention and provoked thought nonetheless. In a way, the humour of their reactions reinforced the quote’s impact. It’s a conversation starter, prompting people to ask about its meaning and, in turn, reflect on their own attitudes towards growth and change.

Needless to say, the shortened version of the quote remains on my window for all to see. To me, "growth or death" is a powerful reminder that stagnation is not an option. It pushes me to continually seek new experiences, learn and evolve. Whether it's learning a new skill, stepping out of my comfort zone or trying something challenging, this quote motivates me to keep moving forward.

In the past year alone, this mantra has driven me to volunteer abroad, spend a month learning Muay Thai in Thailand, study a pilates qualification and even volunteer weekly on a local hospital ward. Each of these experiences has contributed to my personal growth in ways I couldn't have imagined. And the sense of accomplishment and the lessons learnt have been invaluable.

In the end, "growth or death" serves its purpose perfectly—it’s memorable, thought-provoking, and a bit quirky. My friends may find it hilarious and odd, but it captures a truth I hold dear: continuous growth as a person is important for happiness, fulfilment, adaptability and resilience.

Below are 10 activities and practices that promote continuous development and self-improvement.

 1. Lifelong Learning:

  • Read regularly: Books, articles, and journals can broaden your knowledge and perspective.
  • Take courses: Platforms like Coursera and Udemy offer a wide range of courses to learn new skills.
  • Attend workshops and seminars: These provide hands-on learning experiences and networking opportunities.

 2. Set Goals:

  • Personal goals: Set both short-term and long-term goals for personal achievements. Think about what you'd like your life to look life in 6 months, 1 year and 5 years. 
  • Professional goals: Seek career growth, learn a new skill, or take on new and challenging projects.

3. Self-Reflection:

  • Journaling: Write down your thoughts and experiences, express emotions as well as lessons learnt.
  • Mindfulness and meditation: Mindfulness practices can enhance self-awareness, as well as help regulate emotions and reactions to events. 

4. Seek Feedback:

  • Constructive criticism: Ask for feedback from colleagues, mentors, or friends to see where you can improve.
  • Self-assessment: Regularly reflect on your progress and adjust your goals as you go along.

5. Embrace Challenges:

  • Step out of your comfort zone: Try new experiences, put yourself out there, take risks and face your fears.
  • Learn from your failures: View setbacks as learning opportunities and use them to build resilience.

6. Build Relationships:

  • Networking: Meet and connect with people from diverse backgrounds to learn new things and find new opportunities.
  • MentorshipLook for mentors who can guide you and give valuable advice, whether in person, online, or through their books.

7. Develop New Skills:

  • Enjoy hobbies and interests: Do things that spark your creativity and help sharpen your mind and problem-solving skills.
  • Build your professional skills: Keep learning and improving your field of skills by taking courses, reading books, or listening to podcasts on various topics.

8. Stay Healthy:

  • Physical health: Maintain a balanced diet, exercise regularly and get plenty of good sleep.
  • Take care of your mental health: Try different ways to manage stress and don't hesitate to get professional help if you need it.

9. Help Others:

  • Volunteer your time: Helping others can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment, whilst also giving you perspective, empathy and community connection. 
  • Become a mentor: Sharing your knowledge and experiences with others on a similar journey can remind you of the resilience needed to overcome challenges, and reinforce your own learning and growth.

10. Cultivate a Positive Mindset:

  • Practise gratitude: Regularly acknowledge and appreciate the good things in your life. Be grateful for all the wonderful things you have right this minute.
  • Positive thinking: Focus on solutions rather than problems and maintain an optimistic outlook to whatever challenge you face in life.


What’s your mantra? What words push you to be better every day? Share in the comments below!

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