The fundamentals of personal growth

Last year my church ended its relationship with The Boy Scouts of America and replaced it with a simpler, more universal program for boys and girls. The program teaches children principles of personal growth and accountability, and it consists of these four steps:

  1. Discover what you will work on
  2. Plan how you will do it
  3. Do it
  4. Reflect on what you learned

The only revolutionary thing about this program is its simplicity. Imagine the institutional momentum that had to be overcome to replace something as entrenched and complex as the Boy Scouts program with this pattern of four simple steps. No more jargon, rank advancements, mandatory camping trips, merit badges, ceremonies, and council meetings. Just action and reflection.

I immediately recognized that this program teaches first principles of learning and development, and that I should apply this “children’s program” in my own life. My 2020 Annual Review contains some hastily thrown together goals for the first quarter of 2021. It represents my first attempt to follow the four fundamentals of personal growth. Instead of explaining these principles (something I’m hardly qualified to do), I will document my experiences living them, beginning with identifying which areas of my life I need to focus on.

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