Growth: A Gift Worth More

November 22, 2017
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Terri Maxwell

Growth: A Gift Worth More

As we move into the “season of giving” I’d like to introduce a concept my grandfather shared when I was about 10 years old. It was a monumental insight that changed the way I viewed gifts.
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Since our family was poor, the holiday season was challenging. While my friends were boasting about their “Santa list,” I was left to longingly stare at the Sear’s Wish Book knowing full well that Santa was make-believe, and most of the toys I circled were a fantasy.

One December weekend I spent the afternoon with Grandpa and he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. I told him that what I really wanted was a 10-speed bike. Back then, 10-speed bikes were hugely popular. My friends had received 10-speed bikes the previous year, and I felt totally behind the times. I begged for a 10-speed bike for my birthday, and again for Christmas, but I knew it was a long shot.

Gramps sensed my disappointment and asked, “Why do you want a 10-speed?"

Right on cue I said, “Because my friends have one, and I want to ride with them.”

He smiled and said, “What’s more important, getting what you want, or getting where you want to go?” 

At first, I thought he was talking about me wanting to ride with my friends, and I looked at him puzzled.

He continued, “Terri, because your parents don’t have the same resources as your friends, you have to focus on where you want to GROW, rather than what you want to get.”

He then went on to explain the reason why he gave me books as gifts (rather than cool toys) was to help me grow into the type of person who would never have to worry about money in the future. At a mere 10 years old, I couldn’t fully comprehend this wisdom at the time, but I instinctively trusted the resolve in his voice.

Terri, if you want your future life to be different than your present, you have to focus on growth. By focusing on growth, you get where you want to go and reach your potential IF you make a commitment to growth, rather than gifts.”

In retrospect, wow, he was right. Over time, I became an avid reader and leveraged books to both escape my childhood challenges, but also to accelerate achievement of my goals. I developed perseverance, which led to a state of fearlessness related to obstacles. 

Focus on Growth 

I now face every fear and challenge not from a place of fear, but from a place of growth:

  • How can I use this challenge to grow and become better?
  • How can I overcome this fear and achieve more?

So, as you approach this holiday season, how can you shift your focus to how you can “grow” versus what you can “get”

If you’re a parent, teach your kids the value of growth. Set goals as a family as part of your holiday tradition. Focus your attention on overcoming challenges by growing through them, rather than resisting or relinquishing.

For yourself, why not embrace what Carol Dweck calls “The Power of Yet.”

The Power of Yet is about embracing a growth mindset, knowing that you can learn what you need to learn, to overcome what you want to overcome, and to achieve what you want to achieve.

If you want MORE in 2018, identify what you want to accomplish, as well as what you will need to overcome, or to achieve your goals. Is it a more meaningful and rewarding job, work/life balance, or more fun and adventure? If fear of failure, sense of self-worth, or feeling not-good-enough is holding you back, tackle that barrier fearlessly

The Gift of Growth 

At Succeed On Purpose, we know that to live a fulfilling life, you have to Get Real, Be You, and then you can Have More. If you’re ready to find your purpose and ready to start doing meaningful work in 2018, then check out our On-Demand Discovery Program.

With the soulfulness of Wayne Dyer and the entrepreneurial spirit of Richard Branson, Terri is a world-class business growth expert, social impact investor, and serial entrepreneur whose purpose is to inspire potential. With her own money, Terri built a portfolio of purposeful companies, Share On Purpose, Inc., and now invests in and creates mission-driven start-ups.

In a career that spans more than 25 years, Terri has launched, owned, sold, rebranded or turned around more than 40 companies. She is known for her game-changing business models and personal transformation frameworks.

Everything she built came directly from a wellspring of perseverance and soulful resiliency, which she openly shares through her first purposeful brand, Succeed On Purpose.


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