A Growth Journey (midstream)


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This is the start of an ongoing journal of my personal growth journey.  As I look back on my 30 years of working, I can trace the times when I was actively engaged in pushing my development and growth, then the period when the push for growth tapered off, the ensuing disillusionment and growing frustration, and the the re-ignition of curiosity and deliberate intentional growth.   

In the fall of 2014 my growth journey started again in earnest.  At the time I did not realize it, but the road I then started has been both profound and life changing.  It all began with a class taught by Brent French of WPI.  Brent presented the Adult Development Theory of Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey of Harvard on the different forms of mind (socialized, self-authoring and self-transforming) in a Leadership Development course.   What struck me then, and still does were two points. The first is the similarity in growth patterns we have as children (see: Montessori pedagogy) and second, it answered a question I have often had; that this cycle continues as we advance into and through adulthood, though on different time scales.  

Growth comes in many forms, my personal story is part of a much larger family growth picture, one where we uprooted ourselves from our life in rural Connecticut, USA and moved across the Atlantic to Vienna, Austria.  The change of life from rural to urban, from an English speaking to German speaking country, new area’s of work and new networks of people to interact and engage with.  This adventure has been everything that an adventure should be, times of great feelings of accomplishment, times of serious self-doubt and all stops in between.  I know I have grown sometimes in spite of myself, and while being deliberate in pursuit, many of the insights realized have come unexpectedly.

As with all living things we have no choice but to grow, however, what is unique to us as humans is our ability to directly influence how we grow.  We all have choices to make, if we choose intentional growth, we are deciding to expand our ability to see and understand other perspectives, to factor these into our own life views.  This is disruptive and life changing, but it is tremendously exciting. 

I pick up this journey now four years on the new road.  It has been transformative for me, requiring me to move my own thinking from one driven heavily by my ‘tribe’ to one that is now largely self defined.  As Bilbo says, the road travels ever on and on and my own growth continues with it. Please join me by signing up on my mailing list to come along for the journey.