Growing slowly 21/9/12

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be only afraid of standing still – Chinese proverb

This proverb talks about fear which is an unusual way to approach something. Current thinking and the law of attraction state that you should be thinking only in positive terms so they would reframe this something like Love growing and learning no matter how slowly as it is better than staying stuck and where you are. Either way, what I understand from this is that we are all in such a hurry these days to get that quick fix and think that if attempt something it is only worth it if we get quick results. I might have believed that if I couldn’t be a successful writer over night and prove how brilliant I was, then I wouldn’t get started today – maybe tomorrow instead. And I would procrastinate and write absolutely nothing. I would then be standing still and my life would continue on the same. In a few years or so I might feel confident again that I could be a writer and have dreams and ambitions but I let fear overtake me again and guess what, nothing gets started and I am still stuck and feeling dissatisfied again somehow. This has indeed happened to me. This does cause me to be afraid. I can see why it is a fearful thing; this being stuck.

SO this proverb offers you a way to grow – slowly, which is so against my nature. When I am motivated, I am a person of action. But there is a way this method can suit me. The saying is basically telling you to Just do it, in the words of Nike. For if you start and are prepared to give it whatever time you have, no matter how little, you will still be growing. So if I give my writing and my myriad of other interests just a little time each day, I will be growing at those pursuits. My piano, juggling, painting, writing will all improve. I may even design that fabric, write that children’s book, submit an article to a magazine, write that hit song one day. For it will never happen if I don’t do anything at all and I am standing still. But it may happen if I do it slowly. So what if I am 80 by the time one of these come to fruition? The journey is more important than the destination. Standing still involves no journey or destination.

This proverb uses contradictory terms. I could be standing still and still growing slowly. The two do not necessarily relate. Maybe something is lost in the translation. But what I understand is that standing still involves no growth at all – either of body, of mind or imagination. Growing slowly means expanding yourself through learning, doing and action. Once we grow we have expanded our world and we may not shrink again. Actually depression causes you to shrink – to collapse your world and activities etc. But I guess if you learn something and achieve something, no one can take those away from you.

If we stand still our lives would repeat year after year or as other things change, which they surely will, we will be left behind – be boring tho those around us as we have nothing new to add.

It is impossible for anything living not to grow in some way, even if it is to grow older. Our cells change by the micro second. But this refers to growing our mind, our activities, our outlook and achieving things.

At my kids’ school one of the first things they tell you about helping them to study is to ‘chunk down’ assignments so that they do not seem overwhelming. This is a common way to get our procrastination, which causes you to stand still. Obviously this way might seem slow and tedious but really the message is the same. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a step. Same thing, chucking it down and doing things more slowly so that you may get moving and grow. It doesn’t matter if you don’t reach your destination as it’s not the point. The point is to make the most of the minutes along the way and the growing is always enjoyable. It’s not what we have that makes us happy, it’s what we do. And that is ruled by what we BE or are. This proverb is teaching you to be something different – one who grows, no matter how slowly. You would change who you are (your beliefs) in order to change what you do and be a happier person. Really when we hope to win the lottery it is in order to have and do more things. Growing slowly is another way to do this. It’s not fast but it is within your comfort zone like the frog in the hot spa. If a frog jumps into a really hot spa, it feels discomfort and jumps straight out again. However if it jumps into a tepid spa and it is slowly heated up, he does not notice and gets killed eventually by the heat. This proverb is telling you to be brought to life in a similar way to this. Little by little you change yourself and your world and become happier with the goal. Tie your happiness to a goal rather than objects, or better still to realising you have everything you need to be happy.  Growing slowly simply opens your eyes.

Back to the standing still. If a business owner stands still, for example, or a singer, People will soon be bored by the offering and no longer patronise them. The customer will be on to the new thing. They need to grow, to offer more to keep people interested. A shop can’t sell 1950s underwear and a singer can’t sing the same song forever and expect people to buy it.

We all need to grow and if growing slowly is the only way, then at least you are on a journey. Who’s to say if your growing will accelerate to you grow faster if you really want. This proverb is enticing you into action if even a small one. It says it’s OK to be rubbish when you first start learning something. You are growing and you have learned from what you attempted the day before. Even this, my little essay feels disjointed and uninteresting but I have learned that maybe sometimes it’s best to gather my main points before I start. Or that just typing hell for leather free flow like this is a way to make me show up at the computer and do it. I am growing – slowly or otherwise. It’s great. Better than being here in a year talking about writing having not written a word.

Sometimes you see friends take on a new challenge and you may judge them and think they will never be successful at what it is they want to do. Yet you may see them a few months later and they have really improved while you are still at the starting gate with your drams, paralysed by fear. Another year later you may see them making good money at whatever it is and feel resentful, because you have more talent or had that idea yourself years ago. But you stood still while they grew slowly. For all your brilliance you stood still, perfectionist stopping you from starting because you weren’t prepared to be bad and allow yourself to grow slowly. So get moving!!