Mental prison

Hamlet asked the question we’re all familiar with today, “To be or not to be?” He was contemplating the choice between life and death–a far more serious question than to grow or not to grow. Or is it?

Your first response may be, “What’s the big deal about growing since we all grow?” It’s true we grow older, taller, and perhaps wider? But do we always grow into our full potential? Do we always grow into becoming the most conscious and self-aware person we can be? I say, we don’t. We stop short. Most of us don’t take the time to look at how we are stopping ourselves from growing into our full potential.

So the question “to grow or not to grow,” although not as serious as Hamlet’s question is still a very important one.

I first realized I wasn’t growing when I went to prison. I hadn’t really thought about it before then. I was a teenager and enjoying the freedom of being a teenager without a lot of parental intervention. But after I got in trouble with the law and was incarcerated, I found myself playing cards all day. At first I decided to get good at cards. But I didn’t aspire to be a professional card player. Actually, after two hundred hands, I decided I really didn’t like playing cards at all.

Fortunately, I got the opportunity to get my high school GED and meet with a counselor on a weekly basis while I was locked up. And then I started to reflect on how I had gotten to the place I was at and started to look at what I really wanted from life.

I had to hit rock bottom to start to reflect, but I also had to believe that more was possible for me. Or I wouldn’t have bothered. And I did believe more was possible. For example, I believed I could be a New York Times bestselling author even though I was just seventeen and had hardly gone to high school. But I still had that dream. And it  propelled me to stop playing cards–at least not play them as much–and start studying. I started reading like crazy. If I was going to be a New York Times bestselling author, I needed to know what other bestselling authors wrote about. So I read their books.

Since that time behind bars–over 50 years ago–I have gone to therapy, taken personal growth courses, and gotten a few degrees. Today I have two Master degrees and a good job at a college that I enjoy. I share this with you, because it’s about choosing to grow. I didn’t have to make that choice. Well, I could have grown into an excellent pinochle player. But I don’t think that would have been using my full potential. It certainly wouldn’t have been doing what I love.

So I ask you to ask yourself, “are you okay where you are?” Do you have dreams for the future? If so, are you willing to look at what’s in your way and get it out of your way, so you can grow into your full potential? That’s a question only you can answer.


GoldfishA lot of us stay inside our fish bowl. And nothing is wrong with that except that we don’t get to experience what we’re actually capable of. We don’t get to make the kind of difference that we know  we’re capable of making. So we stay in jobs just to pay the bills and in relationships that don’t provide us the kind of love we deserve.

What Is It Going to Take for You Grow?

First, you have to decide that you want more out of life, You have to decide that you really want a fuller, more meaningful, and joyful life. And you have to be willing to step outside of your comfort zone.

If you are ready, then, of course, there’s work to do. It starts with you becoming more self-aware. That means that no matter how self-aware you are now, you need to become more self-aware. It also means you need to find out the things you’re telling yourself that are limiting what’s possible for you. And you need to take responsibility for those internal conversations, like no kidding.

To uncover your full potential, you are going to have to confront how you’ve been stopping yourself and learn to stop stopping yourself. You’re going to have to be willing to believe that you deserve more out of life than you’ve been allowing in and that you’re capable of a lot more than you’ve let yourself settle for.

Blaming Our Circumstances

Another thing you will have to start doing to grow from the inside out is to stop blaming your circumstances and other people for why things are the way they are. As long as you continue to blame others, you’re not going to be able to be fully responsible for the life you have. And if you’re not responsible for the life you have, what makes you think you’re going to be able to be responsible for the life you want to create.

So stop blaming your circumstances, other people, and yourself. You did whatever you did. And others did what they did. Take responsibility for the choices you’ve made, but don’t let them stop you from having a full and joyful life.

To Grow or Not to Grow: Back to the Question

So are you ready to grow? Are you ready to take your life to another level? To a level where you stop complaining and start moving forward, creating the life of your dreams? Are you ready to take a hard look at the things you tell yourself that hold you back, so you can take responsibility for those internal conversations and quiet them while you start creating new, empowering internal conversations to take your life to the next level?


You Can Choose Your Life

That is you can be responsible for all of your choices and all of your internal conversations without making yourself or others wrong. And when you begin doing this, you’ll start appreciating the person you are at a whole other level. You’ll start growing again because you’re choosing who you are instead of pretending you’re somewhere you’re not.

If you want some help with what it means to fully choose your life and grow like you may have never grown before,  please read my book titled You Can Choose Your Life: A Guide to Experiencing More Peace, Freedom, and Happiness Right Now.  In this book, I lay out in detail how we get stuck in the mental prisons we’re in and what we can do to get out of them. I also have a free workbook for you that has exercises from the larger book. There are links to both below.

Both my book and the free workbook will help you on the journey to grow to another level. Why not begin now?  There is no better time, and you deserve to live the fullest life you can.

To get the free workbook, please click here  

And to purchase my book,click here

So what will it be: “to grow or not to grow?” If you choose to grow, share in the comments one thing you are going to do differently that will start you on you way.