Recently while visiting a company in Germany I noticed a large landscaped area outside the main entrance. Within the well-kept gardens was a pond with many beautifully colored Koi fish. They had been donated by a Japanese company that had business relations with the company I was visiting. The Japanese Koi fish, I was told, can grow to 12-15 inches long and some up to 24 inches long. The growth and ultimate size of the Koi depends mainly on the environment in which they are placed. Water quality, temperature, size of the pond, food supply and of course predators all have a bearing on the size of the Koi. In excellent conditions some Japanese Koi have been known to grow to 36 inches.
We are no different than the Koi and of course our ultimate growth is determined by a number of environmental factors. I am not considering physical growth because that is generally determined by your genetics however we will consider your personal growth and development.
Have you considered the environment where you work, rest and play? Is it conducive to growth? Does it support your learning or surpress it? It is important that you live and build an environment where you can grow and develop, an environment of learning and encouragement. In your home, you need to be in a place where you can sit quietly and read a book/eBook or listen to a podcast or music in peace and harmony. Learning will only take place when you are not over stressed or anxious. Do the people that share your home, encourage you and lift you higher or are they holding you back?
Let’s also consider your work place. Oftentimes you do not have a lot of choice regarding the job and career you have. Due to economic conditions, with loans and expenses you may be in a job just to pay the bills. If you have the opportunity to select your job and company then consider if it is an environment of growth. Are work colleagues supportive? Does everyone work as a team? Is there an environment of learning with both internal and external training programs? Are there other areas where you can develop professionally? Do you have a good manager who will develop you and does the company have a coaching and mentoring program to accelerate your learning? If all these factors are in place then both you and your company will maximize your growth and be successful.
Your social circle, peer group, church group, sports team and other recreational groups will all have an environmental effect on your growth and learning. Continuing with our marine object lesson, which areas of your life are you learning and growing and moving closer to your goals and which areas of your life are you just ‘treading water’, ‘keeping your head above water’ or ‘sinking’?
Ask yourself the following questions about each of the environments where you work, rest and play.
- Does this place or group of people add value to my life and help me to grow?
- Can I add value and growth potential to others?
- Is this environment lifting me higher or holding me back?
- Am I affecting my environment in a positive way?
- Can I create my own micro-environment of learning using books, audio book, seminars and other training materials?
- Can I accelerate my growth with a professional coach?
- Can I fast-track my growth and take some short-cuts by learning from a mentor or older person that I know and trust?
Remember the Koi fish and their environment, they may not have a direct influence on their surroundings however you can have an influence on yours. If you cannot change your home or where you work then create your own micro-environment to grow and reach your full potential.
Making Steps and Leaving Footprints…