Growth Is Optional

For humans growth is not automatic like it is for plants and trees; however even plants and trees have requirements for growth. Good nutrient soil with adequate hydration, sunlight and CO2 provide the tools for growth but they don’t have to think about it.  For humans, we require a purpose to grow and without it we might just wither away.

I recently came across this graphic from Kenny Kane at The Body of Knowledge who utilizes this concept when on-boarding clients at Oak Park training facility in Santa Monica, CA.


Kenny says, “As we point out when on-boarding new people, the growth one seeks is most likely to occur if:

  1. You have a purpose for your training (ideally tethered to something meaningful)

  2. Your behaviors match your intentions and goals (train, fuel, rest/recovery, reflect) consistently

  3. Those you surround yourself with, particularly your coaches, can offer the value of knowledge and experience to support your purpose and keep you behaviorally accountable, and…

  4. The environment as a whole (the people in it, the systems that govern it, and the location/ space) naturally support your deeper purpose, behavioral consistency, and quality human relationships.

When all of these things are in line, sustainable growth is likely the outcome.”

What captivated me about this image is that it’s not limited to exercise outcomes. This growth quadrant can be utilized for any and every area of your life. I will guarantee you that if you look back at any effort that’s failed in your life (and we’ve all had them) you will be able to find one or more areas where you were being pulled away from your original purpose.

Take nutrition for example. You want to eat well and feel well, but your behavior doesn’t line up. Your friends and family are constantly derailing your attempts or there are temptations in your environment. Creating meaningful change and growth is pretty darn difficult on its own so everything needs to be on point for this to work. You can develop strategies to mitigate the negative effects of all three of these obstacles if you’re willing to shift your mindset.

To illustrate a beneficial behavioral mindset shift here’s a personal example of a simple nutritional change that you can deploy that will pay huge benefits. Are you ready for this? It’s simply called “veggies first and veggies most”. Admit it, we can all do better on getting in our veggies. So, before every meal while you’re preparing your food, munch on some veggies.  Going out to eat, take a Ziploc bag with some baby carrots and sugar snap peas and munch on the way. Don’t like them raw? Roast or steam them in advance. Then when you get to your meal, make veggies the biggest part of your plate. It’s not that hard if you believe your health is important.

Try this approach for a week and see what you think. I’ve been doing this for 5 years and I’m not going back. Throw in some good protein and your meals will become so satisfying that it will be hard to overeat not to mention getting those nutrients will help everything.

This is just one example of many behavioral shifts I’ve made and it only impacts one quadrant. You may be a hundred decisions away from where you want to be but don’t let the gap overwhelm you. Just look at your most important purpose through the growth quadrant lenses and identify the easiest decision you can implement and start there.

If you have an obstacle on your path to the best version of you and would like some advice just email and our talented team will help connect you to a possible solution. 

Ron Bogart