There are time honored practices for anyone looking to acquire a green thumb:
Provide the plant in question with the right amount of
- Clean air, and you’re good to go!
But what about a green life? Or a yellow one?
What’s the right amount of water for a life full of growth?
People, like plants, are unique.
You have to take time to understand each individual person, give them what they need, provide them with consistent care and be mindful of practices and environments that could stunt their growth — just like a cactus or that fern in your office.
I’ve been trying to get a handle on what I need to grow and I’m still working on showing consistency with myself and protecting my mind, body and spirit from environments that inhibit my ability to grow.
Because even growing takes growth, I’ve admittedly failed time and time again. I’ve failed to consistently get enough water, show gratitude for what I already have or follow through on what I know I need most.
Still, like a beloved plant, I refuse to give up on myself.
Instead, I marvel at every new leaf, and at my ability to evolve, transform and rise.
When I find something that helps me to grow, I try to share it with the other plant people around me, because growing is always better together.
So, whether you’re trying to encourage growth in yourself, in your loved ones or in strangers on the street, these 5 steps can help get you on your way.
Tip #1: Find Something(s) You’re Willing to Fail At
First and foremost, you need to have things that you want so badly you’re willing to fail.
Some things on my list are happy mornings, a fulfilling life where I’m in control of my day, a strong and fulfilling network of loved ones all over the globe, and a life chock full of equal parts art, laughter and adventure. I know there will be moments where I fail — art shows I “forget” to submit to, adventures I’m too tired to take, days where I don’t feel like laughing. Still, I’m passionate enough about this life that I’m willing to fail and find new ways to get exactly what I’m after.
Tip #2: Admit You’re Human and Give Examples of Your Own Growth
Whether you’re talking to someone you love or talking to someone you love in the mirror, it’s important to admit and acknowledge your own slip ups on the path to growth. This reduces the feeling of shame we often attach to simply being human and only once that shame is gone can we do the hard part of growing and changing what isn’t working for us any longer with compassion instead of loathing or regret.
Tip #3: Imagine a Growth Filled Future
You are the best project you will ever work on and sometimes the best motivation to grow is simply imagining what you and your life might look like as you evolve. There is no perfect future where you are perfectly consistent, avoiding all problems or ceasing to learn. Still, there is a version of you that is better than you were today — imagine what that ‘you’ looks like and show up as them as often as you can.
Tip #4: Don’t Forget to SEE: Support, Encourage and Empower
Every individual path to growth will look a little different. Growth, to me, is a bit like medicine. We don’t take the same prescriptions or use the same brand, but we all need certain things to continue growing fully into ourselves. Some of us will turn to music, some to religion, some to the great outdoors — the best thing we can do to encourage growth in others and in ourselves is to support them in finding what they need to grow, encouraging them to follow their path by showing our pride and belief in them and empowering them to use their own lessons, insights and gifts however we can.
Note: This approach comes in direct opposition to telling people what to do, or shoving our medicine down their throats. It’s not your job to prescribe anything to anyone. Instead, make sure your friends and family find and take their own medicine and set the example for them by finding and taking your own.
Tip #5: Normalize Failure Along the Way
Like I said in Tip #2, you’re human and failure is going to be as constant as the sunrise. That’s okay, in fact, that’s wonderful. Failure isn’t as bad as we paint it to be. All failure is really just redirection, a chance to try again with better information. After all, as a wise dude once told me, “What you get when you don’t get what you want is experience” and experience is priceless. Be proud of what you learn and recognize that learning, and hence failing, is absolutely essential if you want to get anywhere worth going.
Let’s keep growing, keep going and keep choosing yellow,