John Maxwell talks about the idea of a personal growth plan in his book 'The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth'. He says goals are not important, growth is. And you need a plan. A roadmap, a guide, an idea of where you want to go. So where do you want to go?
I think most of us are lost when we asking this question of ourselves. He challenges readers of the book to think harder on this topic than any other. It informs the rest of our goals, behaviours and activities. He describe the plan as what do you want to develop in your character? What kind of person do you want to be? It is indeed powerful.
I always focused in my 20'S and 30's on goals. I wanted to sing certain roles and eventually was in a nice position where I got to sing these roles. I remained focused and then to Vienna where a shift occurred. I started to look at my life outside of singing and what did I want to do? Where could I serve the community? I believe meeting my Mentor when I did has helped me to find, through John's book an answer to this question. I aim to grow as a person now, not a goal orientated achiever. To develop my character and then to inspire others to do the same. This shift has meant that when I sing I still enjoy it, but I am not out to conquer the world or achieve certain things. My whole life has been redefined.
I am still hazy on my growth plan, but have seen how I have grown in character in the past few years. Or at least been more conscious of it. Living in another country and starting somewhat at the bottom again has been a humbling experience. My circle of friends and influence has had to grow again and I have taken some time to explore my person and who I want and need to be. For myself. Not for the expectations of extended family but for me. I can grow and develop how I need to and this is the momentum I need to generate.
John Maxwell says this plan needs constant change and development and to reflect where we are in life. He has been working on his plan for over 40 years he says. So the plan is something that changes and develops as we go along. This is encouraging for me, as perhaps I will never complete my plan, but find continual ways to grow.
David Corcoran is a Personal Development Trainer who specialises in Voice and a professional Opera Singer. This Blog contains his regular musings, thoughts and ideas. He is based in Vienna, Austria.