We know that a river is always moving, changing. Sometimes it flows with great force and sometimes the flow is hardly noticeable. It is always moving forward, never stagnant or flowing backwards to where it came from. If we are to take this personal journey and growth seriously then we need to constantly keep some things in mind and do them regularly.

The key elements of Personal growth are aspects of life that need regular, almost daily commitment. They are Physical, Intellectual, Shadow work, Spiritual/Meditation and a sense of Service. If we are able to be faithful to these on a daily basis then our lives will continue to grow deeply and in a wholesome manner.

1. PHYSICAL: Do I make time every day to get some physical exercise? Is it part of my daily routine? It could be just a 30 min brisk walk, something that revitalizes my cardiovascular and respiratory system. Along with Nutrition (more plant, less animal) regular exercise is a key component.

2. INTELLECTUAL: Do I take time to stretch my mind intellectually to understand and learn something new each day? Is intellectual stimulation part of my day? Do I take time to read and listen to new information and ideas? Am I constantly updating my knowledge and perspective? 

3. SHADOW: Am I in touch with my shadow self? Am I aware of how my shadow plays a part in what I say and do, in my relationships and my thinking? My daily interactions and happenings are a rich resource for this. Journalling, talking to a friend/mentor/guide are ways of growing in this regard. It is taking a “loving, long, hard look at oneself”.

4. MEDITATION: How much quality time do I spend each day in silence and meditation? Do I take time to nourish the soul and spirit? Is there some time during the day when I suspend thought and practice awareness? It is time spent being alone (away from gadgets), in the here and now.

5. SERVICE: Service is another essential component of a life that is generative and whole. Is my life only about myself? Can I, in small and big ways, participate in acts of service each day? Actions that have its entire focus on something outside of my own self? This will enrich my life in more ways than I can imagine.

CONCLUSION: If we pursue this holistic framework in our lives, it could become an occasion for opening ourselves to the transcendent and spiritual experience. Personal growth and wholeness makes us aware of the source of Life itself.

Photo by Kostiantyn Li on Unsplash


Year end is a time we commit ourselves to stop and reflect on the year that has gone by…to remember our triumphs and missteps, our promises made and broken. Where we open ourselves to great adventures or close ourselves down from fear of getting hurt. New year is about getting another chance, a chance to forgive, to do better, to do more, to give more, to love more and stop worrying about what ‘if’ and start embracing what ‘will be’. As we gaze into New Year let’s remember to be nice to each other, kind to each other. Not just today but the whole year long.

Sometimes it feels like there are so many things in this world we can’t control like earthquakes, floods, reality shows, etc. but it is important to remember the things that we can like forgiveness, second chances, fresh starts because one thing that turns the world into a lovely place to a beautiful place is love – love in any of its forms. Love gives us hope and hope for the New Year. That is what New Year is to me: HOPE and a great party.

Contributed by,

Samuel Kullai
B.Ed Final Semester
St. Aloysius Institute of Education


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