Embracing Life’s Waves: The Path to True Personal Growth


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Life comes at us in waves.

We can’t predict or control those waves, but we can learn to surf.

Dan Millman

I was away for part of last week with a group of CEOs and business owners. We came together, as we do every couple of months, to explore the intricate dance of the inner and outer game of business and life.

During our discussions, the topic of last week’s email surfaced: “Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

This concept resonated deeply with the group, leading to a conversation about the role of pain in our journey towards growth and progress. To illustrate this point, I took to a flip-chart and drew the graphic below.

The main curve is going upwards. But on it are a series of curves that go up and down. It seems to me that life is an ever-flowing series of cycles. Some phases bring us joy and success, while others introduce us to the challenges and discomforts of life. But one thing became clear in our discussion: regardless of the phase we find ourselves in, whether it’s a moment of pure joy or a period of painful growth, there is always a gift hidden within it. This gift, if we have the courage to embrace it fully, allows us to ascend the curve of our personal growth.

Life isn’t concerned with notions of fairness or unfairness. It simply unfolds, following its own rhythm. The choice we have is whether we choose to surf the waves that emerge or resist them. Sometimes, these waves bring immense joy and fulfilment, and at other times, they deliver discomfort and pain.

In the face of life’s diverse experiences, our challenge is to embrace each moment wholeheartedly, recognising that even in the most challenging phases, there is a lesson, a strength, and a revelation waiting to be discovered. It’s a reminder that growth, progress, and transformation often come wrapped in packages we may initially perceive as painful or challenging.

As we navigate the continuous cycles of life, I encourage you to stay open to the wisdom they carry, whether it’s the exhilarating wave of joy or the testing wave of pain. It’s all part of the incredible journey that shapes us into who we are meant to be.

This week I invite you to remember that every moment holds an opportunity for growth, and every experience, regardless of its nature, can contribute to our personal evolution.

It’s not always easy, but if you’re reading this email, at some level that’s not what you signed up for anyway. 😉



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The Inner Edge Podcast: Short, bite-sized nuggets designed to give you motivation and plenty of inspirational food for thought. Listen on my website here or on all major podcasting platforms.

This week’s episode: 146: A Different Take On Anxiety