Especially for those on a path of internal growth, I feel this is an important checkpoint to think about: How do I know if I’m growing? I’ve personally found myself asking this again and again in my own mind. How do I know if I’m growing? How do I know if I’m doing a good job? And how do I know if I’m doing it “right?”
We as humans live our lives to seek more value and meaning to our existence on Earth. We want to succeed and buy nice cars and big houses because those are material validations from society that we’re worth something. So naturally, people equate possessing bigger and nicer things with their place in society being recognized as more valuable by others, thereby making us superficially feel good about ourselves.
But, for any practitioner, we know that true value does not lie in material success. Everyday we each work diligently on ourselves in our own way to get to an ideal place we hold in our minds. Within your own search for the goal you want: how can you check if you’re growing well inside when inner growth is not a tangible or visible phenomena that others can acknowledge easily?
From my own experience, the answer that has stood many tests of trial and error is that growth can be concretely measured in how you treat and hold relationships with others. The real marker shows through when we have to deal with other humans who seem to be doing nothing else but adding to our problems. What do we do then? How do we treat this person who brings stress?
When such a person stands before you as your obstacle, do you greet them with a smile? Or does your heart race as you find yourself breathing faster prepared to fight? Are you the one to say sorry first when you two fight? Or do you quickly try to find reasons and ways to cut that person out of your life? These people are precious gems whom we can use to truly check our consciousness and how far we’ve come.
I’ve realized that ultimately, no matter how many books you read and how many gurus you study under or even how many years you’ve been working on yourself, the true measure of growth shines through your grace in relating with others in the world.