Growth and Gain

“From Grieving to Greatness” is what I am calling it. I look in the mirror, and I am not the same man I was two and a half years ago. I have evolved. Please do not get me wrong; I am most definitely still grieving Suzanne and always will.

Over these last two and a half years, I have grown. It was not a conscious choice in the beginning. No, I was dragged kicking and screaming, swearing, and shouting (literally and figuratively), into this stage. But here I am. And my only advice for those around me is this: Make growth your main priority.

While daunting challenges, getting outside of our comfort zone will change how we think about the situations we find ourselves in, focusing on success instead of growth can become both distraction and obsession. But success should not be your only priority. Instead, when we focus on how a challenge might make us grow, that is when we start to evolve and awaken.

By focusing first on our internal growth, success starts to come naturally. Grief begins to ebb and becomes a dull ache instead of a raging torrent of pain. If we allow ourselves the opportunity to grow a little every time, we “fail” at a challenge, every time we feel like the weight of the world will crush us and still get out of bed. Inevitably we will succeed, and we will see forward motion and momentum.

Most of the time, we are always looking ahead and only see the vast mountain to climb in front of us. If we pause and reflect, turn around and look at how far we have come, the challenge doesn’t feel or seem so daunting. And growing is the only way we succeed; bettering ourselves is the first and most crucial step to create our success.

Although it is difficult, the changing mindset around failure and how we are when we grieve will make you more resilient. When you start to focus on how you can grow from any given situation, then pervasive negative thoughts will soon be replaced by opportunistic ones, by positive thoughts and memories that help guide and drive us forward. I know that I found my resilience in growth, and my growth has led to my success.

I hope for the same for you.


Jeff Ziegler’s column is featured here on WSN-MO every other Wednesday. You can write Jeff at [email protected]

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