The Four Seasons of Personal Growth

Every year has four seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. These seasons bring different changes and weather patterns. In our life we also experience different seasons. King Solomon wrote, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Along with the different seasons of life and weather comes seasons of personal growth. Below are the four seasons of personal growth:

Beginning

This is the first season because a person has to first discover or have a revelation about the importance and value of personal growth. Growth can never be forced but requires the person to buy in and take ownership of their growth. Required work trainings only goes so far if the person resists what is being taught. The person must personally choose to participate in the growth process. Those who know the value of personal growth begin to be intentional and disciplined in growing themselves.

Enthusiastic learner

After beginning the process and knowing the value of personal growth comes the season of growing and learning. The season usually starts with the person enthusiastically and energetically growing and learning then later in the season levels off. It’s important to remember this should be a lifelong process, though at times a person might spend less time in personal growth.

When I worked as a Residential Care Worker within a house setting I had a lot of downtime. During those times instead of watching TV I would invest my time reading books. If you want to find a good leadership book I recommend reading Nathan Magnuson’s post Favorite Books on Leadership. I specifically focused reading and my personal growth in areas of personal strengths and passions. Reading books is one of the many ways a person can grow and learn.

Deliberately implementing    

This is an essential season to personal growth because it’s when you begin to apply and implement what you have learned into your life and leadership. When this happens what you learned becomes relevant and concrete. If a person fails to implement overtime you will lose what you have learned. The time and effort we put into personal growth only will be maximized if we apply what we are learning. Develop a contributing mindset which says, I will intentionally use and share what I’m learning to add value to others.

Return on investment

This is the reaping and rewards seasons for growing. If you consistently and deliberately grow then at some point you will see the return on your investment. The ROI potentially can include:

  • A job promotion
  • Living a more significant and thriving life
  • Increase of influence
  • Personal success and achievement
  • New opportunity’s
  • Having better relationships and friendships
  • Creating lasting impact long after your gone
  • Growing in knowledge and wisdom

It is important to remember the words of Nabi Saleh who said, “After sowing there is a period of time when it looks like nothing is happening. All the growth is below the surface.” The key is to always be growing and learning so you will continue to reap the benefits.

Question: What knowledge and insights can you add to the four seasons of personal growth?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Dan, thanks for sharing my books post. I keep finding myself updating both that list and my “still to read” list based on other similar ones I find. Great post (and pic). I remember not enjoying my first job out of college, which led me to read just about everything I could find about growth, strengths, and figuring out what I was passionate about. I think I made it through all the stages you mentioned here!

    • Your welcome Nathan. Reading books are a huge part of my personal growth and always enjoy finding new leadership books. Thanks for reading.

      Nathan, If you could pick just one leadership book(besides the Bible) which one would it be? I know it’s a hard question:)

      • Answering this 2 months later. The one book would be How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. A close second would be 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. You?

        • Ha, no problem:) Both are superb books. I’d probably pick How to Win Friends and Influence people as well or Developing the Leader within You by John Maxwell.

  • First off, awesome picture for this post :)
    I love that quote from Saleh. We’ve got to sow and sow and sow – and wait and wait and wait – even when it seems like nothing is happening.

    • Thanks man:) It’s a wonderful picture. So true about sowing and waiting. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  • I have to echo Loren’s comment: awesome picture for this post!
    I would add that sometimes the ROI isn’t at all what you expected, and can open doors you never thought would be open. We go into personal growth a lot with a set image in our heads of what it will look like when we’re done. I’ve seen personally, it usually ends up looking different than I could ever have imagined.

    • Jason, ditto about the picture. I agree, the points I mentioned where just to give a person an idea of the ROI but yes it can and often does look differently than we imaging.

      I’m curious what seasons are you in currently?

  • Floyd Samons

    I like the descriptions of the seasons. I think the time, and to be honest, I’m not sure when it happens completely, but that time in a life when the person begins to see themselves in the truth of God’s word. Valuable, but not the center of the world or their life. When we begin to see others with value and take responsibility for the well being to a degree of others is when the true leader is discovered. Hope that makes sense. I’ll be giving this more thought. It would be interesting to hear where every one who reads thinks they are in the season of their development.

    • Floyd,

      What a great time, “to see ourselves in the truth of God’s word.” Things can really start to happen in a persons life when they see themselves throw God’s eyes and within His promises. I agree, it’s interesting to see the different perspectives/ seasons people are in when it comes to personal growth.

      I think I already know the answer but which season are you in right now?

  • I really enjoyed reading this post! The graphic was perfect!

  • This is so good, Dan. I agree with all your stages – the only thing I would add is that sometimes those middle stages are fraught with hardship, failure, and discouragement because growth is often so difficult. It helps to look ahead to that last stage, knowing that God will be victorious in the end. And I suppose it’s also important to remember in those middle stages that if it’s a spiritual battle we need to fight with spiritual weapons if we want victory. Anyway – I loved the post. It was helpful to me think of it in terms of stages and remember that it’s always worth it for the last stage! (I would really like to see that last stage come into my life in the area of time management!)

    • I agree, thank you for mentioning that aspect of the seasons. Those times are easier when we look ahead and know God is “victorious in the end.” The last stage is a great one, however I have found many people want to be in the last stage without wanting to put in the work of the other stages. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for adding to the discussion.

      • Haha, I would also like to be in that last stage without putting in the work of the other stages! But at least I know that that’s an unrealistic expectation. I’ll be putting in the work today – looking forward to the victory.

        • Same with me:) I have seen some benefits but am looking forward to the others that will come in the future. Let’s keep working on becoming better and growing then the rewards will come.

  • This is a nice comparison of seasons to personal change. I agree there are rhythms to life. There are times to be intentional and there are times when life teaches you a thing or two. But we should always do our best to follow life’s rhythms and do our best to live with purpose. I think the middle stages Barb speaks of are the times when life teaches you. Although I believe in being intentional, there are also times we need to wait on answers and let life/God lead. I’m trying to sort out these ideas myself on my newly-named blog “intentional rhythms,” http://www.danerickson.net

    • What a great statement, “we should always do our best to follow life’s rhythms and do our best to live with purpose.” Powerful and true Dan!! It sounds like your between the second and third stage, does that sounds right? I’m really liking your new name!

      • Between the second and third stages sounds about right, Dan.

        • That’s great man, I thought so:)

  • Just like the four seasons of life, these seasons are bound to happen to everyone. Everything that I have every learned has come from reading. Reading others blogs, books, and listening to CD’s or watching DVD’s. I love the Enthusiastic learner because I feel that once you start leading enthusiastically all things will come after that, its the season that begins the process I feel.

    • So true man! It’s so important to always be an enthusiastic learner. I relate with you about reading, I have learned so much from books and blogs. It’s a great way to grow our self’s. Thanks for reading and sharing.

  • This is a great post for summing up the learning process. I would just like to reinforce tge deliberate implementation point you made. At a certain point in our learning season, it is time to act. “Reading can be an excuse to be lazy.” Albert Einstein.

    • Great point Todd. It’s an essential seasons. I really like the quote! It’s powerful. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • Becky Hirst

    Wonderful post! I have found that one important step in my personal growth goal, is to take more time out for myself. Reading has become my latest passion and I try to especially find good books that will help enlighten my life- for example my latest favorite “Quest for the Lost Name” by George Makris. Entertaining, yet spiritual. I have found that by NOT stretching myself too thin, I am able to accomplish more and am able to complete more of my goals.

    http://questforthelostname.com/

    • Becky,

      Great point, taking time for self allows us to better the people around us. If we are not good or healthy then we can’t expect to help others. Reading is one of my favorite aspects of personal growth. Thank you for the book recommendation, I’ll have to check it out. Also thank you for stopping by and commenting.

      Ps. Do you have a site or blog?

      • Becky Hirst

        Hi Dan. I do not have a site or a blog, would love to get one going some day soon though. For now I enjoy reading other people’s blogs- another relaxing thing I am doing for myself each night. Thanks again for letting me stop by to comment.

        • Well thank you for reading and commenting on my blog. I hope you come back soon, I appreciate your comment.

          When you get to the place where you want to start a blog, I would be willing to help you (for free). Just let me know and I’ll share my best advice with you about setting up your blog, growing your traffic/community, and some other important beginners stuff:)

          • Becky Hirst

            Wow Thank you Dan. I may take you up on that!

            • No problem. Have a wonderful week.