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November 18, 2017

People Don’t Change; We Grow

by Michael Hughes

One of my favorite things to do is observe my daughter’s growth. It’s incredibly inspiring to me how quickly she’s piecing together knowledge and skills, and then applying them in risky situations. This week was particularly rewarding to me as I watched her crawl up to the long staircase in my parents’ living room and charge up the entire staircase without fear, hesitation or a misplaced movement! She truly surprised me with what she could do. It was a proud Dad moment. 

It is such a privilege to witness her progress, see her take risks, see her slowly build on small abilities and turn them into skills. Not every learning moment results in a marked success, and that is okay. For example, her discovery of gravity can come with bumps and bruises, even tears. But each time, she builds a greater respect for distances, while increasing her desire to control her bodyweight and balance, so as to avoid falling the next time.

People often ask me, “Is she walking yet?” I think to myself, “No, she’s not. But what she is doing is progressing towards this daily.”

It occurs to me this concept of viewing “life as a journey” is one worth fostering. Do we, as athletes, spouses, friends, businesses celebrate the many small individual learning moments that build together over time into something great? 

Recently, I watched a TEDx talk about the concept of change versus growth and it really struck me. We cannot change ourselves or others, or our world …. people don’t change. But people grow. There’s hope in that.

As someone with a strong inner critic, am I focused on growth, or am I trapped by my obsession with making a specific, measurable change within a set timeframe? 

I suspect that our culture tends to gravitate towards seeking change rather than growth. We want to reverse what we don’t like about ourselves, our world, and those around us, and just see a noticeable difference. Change seems to be connected to instant gratification and is only recognized when the full goal is achieved. It seems to me that when we focus on realizing a change in our lives, we skip over the smaller wins and progressions that we are constantly making as we journey towards our end goal. For example, if I want my weight to change, I may quantify it as losing 20 pounds in two months. If two months pass by and I have only lost 6 pounds, am I satisfied? No. Was it the change I wanted? No. But it’s growth and progress without question. Is that grounds for celebrating and appreciating everything that went into losing those 6 pounds? I think so. 

It is my goal as a coach to grow in my ability to inspire, problem solve, fix pain and encourage each of you in all the ways I see you progressing. It is my goal as the leader of our coaching team to attract top talent and grow the skills of my current team to be the best coaches they can be. It is my goal as a business owner to set the gold standard for the most innovative, transformational fitness facility in San Luis Obispo. Where am I in my journey of achieving these goals? I’m in my growth journey, working to maintain the perspective I need to see the progressions and evolutions that are occurring daily. 

This month, you have an opportunity to provide me with your insight as to where you see us in our growth journey. If you are an active member of Gymnazo, you were emailed a survey from Survey Monkey, inviting you to share your insights with us in how we are serving you. This is an exciting time for our team because we get to hear from the perspectives of the people we strive to serve daily. We built this business for you and to serve your needs. This survey gives us a window into whether we are focusing on the right areas of our business and if we are growing a service suite that is valuable. 

I’m less concerned with how Gymnazo changes, but I promise you that I pay great attention to how we grow. Thank you for helping us as we journey onward and upward.

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