Four corners of growth

This morning, I review my life’s purpose and mission statement, as I do first thing most mornings, and ask myself: have I grown enough as a human being?

Shannon and Bob crossing the bridgeWalking my dog, Bob, in nature helps to keep me energized

I read a lot about the topic of success and have interviewed hundreds of (mostly) women about it. Success is something a lot of people seem to want, if the plethora of “how-to” material available in the marketplace is any indication. Lately, I find myself closely examining the word success and reflecting on it more than ever.

As we know, success is relative. For me, the meaning of success is to have the ability to follow my heart. I have come to the conclusion, though, that success is an over-used word and like so many over-used words (think inspire and hero) in our vocabulary, it is losing its power.

With 2016 fast-approaching, and as I soon enter a new chapter of my life, instead of focusing on success, my aim is “growth.” As such, I have identified my four corners of growth, and they are:

  1. Gratitude for balance: Be thankful every day for what you have and for what you don’t have, and be balanced in the perception that everything that happens to you in life serves a bigger purpose. When you are experiencing a negative emotion or situation, find out how it helps you get where you want to go – and be grateful for it. The key is to be balanced and not let our emotions take over, and gratitude helps us do that.

 “Gratitude is the heart’s memory.” ~ French proverb

  1. Love of the heart: Your heart knows its truth. Listen to its whispers. When you come from the place of your heart, you experience joy. When you make decisions based on love for yourself, in your highest values, you cannot go wrong. You will become more compassionate and have more love for yourself.

 “If you want to be loved, be loveable.” ~ Ovid

  1. Inspiration of the mind: Inspiration is the fuel that ignites our dreams and keeps the energy revving so we are able to manifest. When the mind is inspired, we can turn distraction to laser-like focus. Spend time learning and developing your mind. Ignorance is not bliss; it is detrimental to evolution.

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” Walt Whitman

  1. Enthusiasm of the body: Unless we are enthused and our bodies are energized, we will not have the energy long term to make anything happen. Vitality is key. When we are in a state of good health and vitality, we can put enthusiasm to work. Do whatever it takes to become enthusiastic about the work ahead of you to make your dreams come true, or they will not happen. End of story.

“All noble enthusiasms pass through a feverish stage, and grow wiser and more serene.” ~ William Ellery Channing

I would love to know what your corners of growth are. Please feel free to share.

Shannon Skinner is a television and radio show host, inspirational speaker and author of “The Whispering Heart: Your Inner Guide to Creativity.” To hire me as a speaker for your organization, contact me at shannon (at)


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