Excerpt from my book, Growth-Centered Family:
What achieves more of the most meaningful ROI's (return on investments ) of deeper, heart-felt bonds, developing world-changing character and legacy level success?
Not just making a living or having a life, but being alive!
What qualifies something as alive?
Movement: ‘Living organisms are distinguished from non living entities by the fact that they move; they are animated.’ Bruce Lipton, Biology of Belief
What does this mean for us on a practical, meaningful, everyday level?
Moving through stages of development - physically, emotionally, vocationally, relationally, professionally, spiritually, etc.
In other words, growth. If we’re not moving in this manner, it's likely we're stagnant and we're just ‘going through the motions’. Can anyone say, "Zombie"?
Looking at the figure, the bookends of trusting and being trustful are filled with movement; moving from trust to autonomy, initiative, industry, identity, intimacy, generativity, and integrity
Nature has plenty of ‘life movement’ examples; look at a tree. It starts off as a nut, which doesn't look like much (zero resemblance to a tree) but it has the entire plan inside. If it lands in a life-conducive environment, it will become animated and grow roots to establish pre-conditions to support the eventual, above ground growth.
When the tree starts looking like a tree, it will be implementing an incredible scaling up process of becoming something that gives us oxygen, possibly delicious fruit, shelter to other organisms and even multiply itself many times over.
All of this starts with its underground development. Nothing visible to the world; yet although unseen, the pre-conditions are absolutely essential and critical for the scaling up that will occur above the surface. If we want a healthy, long living tree, we don’t want to confine or contaminate the soil in which the roots are immersed. A vibrant, healthy root system is what makes it possible for the tree to continually grow season after season by keeping it firmly planted in life sustaining relationship with the earth.
Bringing this back to our dynamic, complex families, we need to cultivate healthy preconditions to develop the unseen 'root system' of every member. Just like the interaction between roots and soil, the environment and relationships we cultivate at home establish the pre-conditions for scaling up; without which, healthy, sustainable growth will not occur.
Being truly alive is growth and movement through the stages of life. It is achieved when we center on growth, functioning and behaving in ways that effectively meet the needs of our loved ones so they can grow too. This occurs mostly out of sight to the world. But when our homes are healthy with empowering preconditions, we’ll be blessed with experiencing the manifestations and expressions of each person's maturation.