An opportunity for growth

How many times have you mumbled that you never have a moment to think?

Our lives are getting increasingly busier. As a generation we are easily distracted; our smart phones are permanently glued to our hands, we have high pressured and/or demanding jobs, are still answering emails or work requests hours past the time our work contracts dictate as our ‘home’ time… the list can seem endless.

When we are constantly bombarded with all of these distractions, it comes as no surprise that very few of us feel we actually have time to think. So what would you say to a whole day dedicated to thinking?

Well, 22 February celebrates World Thinking Day. Observed mainly by, but not exclusive to Girl Guide or Scout organisations, it is a day designed and dedicated to thinking about their ‘brothers and sisters’ and the meaning of ‘guiding’.

When I was younger, I never had the privilege to be part of the Brownies or Girl Guides. However, from what I observed from friends who did and currently with my nieces, these groups practice togetherness and support one another in a journey of discovery and learning.

The main principle of ‘guiding’ demonstrated by these organisations is that through fun, friendship, challenge and adventure – they empower boys and girls to find their voice, inspire them to discover the best in themselves and to make a positive difference in their communities.

This year’s World Thinking Day theme is growth and the challenge is to do something related to what the word means to you. And so I encourage us all to find the time, be it on a journey to yet another meeting or during a five minute tea break, in order to reflect on what growth really means to us?

When I set out writing this blog I happened across an article about the benefits of continuous learning. It stated:

“An important key to life is personal growth. Human beings, like plants, are meant to grow. Physically, yes, but just as importantly, in other ways too. Emotional, spiritual and intellectual growth are key to a fulfilling life.”

Personally, I see growth in many different forms; progression or recognition in the work environment, pushing past that 8km wall I seem to keep hitting on my runs at the moment, or understanding the power of my thoughts and exercising more control over them. And to take World Thinking Day literally this year, I have chosen to focus my energy on the latter.

The notion is that our thoughts pass from our ‘conscious mind’ to our ‘subconscious mind’, which in turn influences our actions in accordance with these thoughts. One of Winston Churchill’s more famous quotes is based on this very approach:

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”

In a nutshell, every effect we see in our outside world has its original cause within us – no exceptions. Our lives are the perfect mirror of our thoughts, beliefs and mental attitude. A great starting place for growth, no?

However you seek ‘growth’, whether it’s learning a new language, taking up yoga in a bid to master the insanely difficult Yoganidrasana (Yoga Sleep Pose), learning how to bake, practising mindfulness, attending hot topic seminars or reading the latest book by the top thought leaders, opportunities to grow literally surround us.

There is such a wealth of quality content available online on an endless number of topics, making it so easy to continue to develop ourselves and the best part is that the majority of this content is public and available to us all.

So the question is, what can you do today to empower your growth journey, with the principles of World Thinking Day in mind?

Amy Gentles-McKie is a learning and development advisor for Mitie Client Services

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