GROWTH is one of seven possible goals in life, chosen by a soul before taking birth. It drives the personality to take on challenging experiences in search of insight and wisdom.

Life is full of surprises…

Growth means development, maturation, evolvement. As the cardinal inspiration goal, Growth is all about being inspired to learn, develop, and realise more of one’s potential — and maybe discover the meaning of life along the way.

The goal of Growth is about learning, though not in any academic sense. It is about learning through raw experience — particularly intense and contrasting experiences which require difficult, soul-searching choices. The greater the intensity and contrast of one’s life experience, and the greater the difficulty of the choices, the better for one’s growth.

For example, one might begin a life in intense poverty, pain or misery, but then, as a result, have the drive to create a life of intense wealth, pleasure or happiness. Of course, the opposite direction is also possible and, from the soul’s perspective, just as interesting. Many lives of Growth are characterised by a quality of triumph over adversity.

Both the intensity and contrast of experience are important in terms of learning value, and having the goal of Growth means attracting, and being attracted to, such experiences.

From the soul’s perspective, choosing the goal of Growth in life is like opting for the fast track to evolution in consciousness. It helps the soul to move up a level, if it so desires.




Having the goal of Growth

Typical traits: open-minded, willing to learn, novelty-seeking, adventurous, driven, overwhelmed, exhausted

Growth is achieved in life through coping with challenging experiences — conflicts, traumas, struggles, opportunities, windfalls — and making difficult choices. A variety of key experiences and choice points are set up by the soul before taking birth (with the cooperation of any others souls who agree to be involved). The soul opting for Growth will design numerous key challenges or ‘hot spots’ into the life to come. The idea is to learn from experience by finding untapped strengths, insights and resources within yourself.

If you have the goal of Growth then you probably find yourself going through life assailed by swings of fate which just seem to come out of the blue. You may think you want to just get from start to finish like any normal person, but life keeps throwing you random curve balls and you have no idea where you’re going to end up. Your life seems to lurch from one damn thing to another. It’s as if the gods are playing with you, or trying to test you.

At one level you may feel like a hapless victim of fate. At another level, though, you love the thrill of it.  You want a full and interesting life, and a life in which nothing unusual ever happens would feel more like death.

From the personality level, the goal of Growth is experienced as a drive or longing to live a full and rich life in which you experience a lot of personal change — moving from one place to another, having different partners, trying different careers. You may also have a constant desire for self-improvement, and this attracts you to novel and challenging situations. The two go together. You have a strange attraction to situations which you have never experienced before, even though they may be risky.

I have the goal of growth myself so I can describe it from personal experience. I would say it manifests in me as a willingness to experience unusual things, things which will stretch me emotionally and take me (a little bit) out of my comfort zone — together with a longing to understand what it all means. The flip side is a restlessness when things become too routine. A long-term lack of variety and stimulation in life makes me depressed — and eager for the next big surprise.

A life of Growth — Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor

As an example of one who has clearly undertaken a recent life of Growth, consider Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011). A British-American actress, born in London but raised in Los Angeles, Taylor was one of Hollywood’s greatest international movie stars. She was renowned for her acting talent, striking violet-blue eyes, generous personality and glamorous off-screen life.

During her complex life, she –

  • had eight marriages plus numerous extra-marital affairs;
  • converted to Judaism, supported Israel and followed Kabbalah;
  • was one of the first movie stars to appear naked in Playboy;
  • was one of the first celebrities to support AIDS-related projects and charities;
  • broke her back 5 times;
  • was hospitalised 70+ times and had 20 major operations, almost dying on 4 occasions;
  • suffered dysentery, phlebitis, a punctured oesophagus, a brain tumour, skin cancer, pneumonia, congestive heat failure;
  • was addicted to alcohol, sleeping pills and pain-killers;
  • had a near-death experience.

Her rich and varied life vividly illustrates the multiple contrasting experiences (both successes and struggles) that are so typical of Growth.

Growth: positive and negative poles

Positive pole


Negative pole
Comprehension. Evolution. Advancement. Confusion. Overwhelm. Bewilderment.

Growth is an inspiration goal — it pulls us to something greater than who we currently are. It calls us to become the person we can be. The positive pole of Growth is described as comprehension or evolution. This means, we learn from our experiences. We gain insights and grow in self-understanding, even wisdom. If you have the goal of Growth and if you have a degree of self-awareness, you probably find yourself wanting to make sense of it all by turning to philosophy and spirituality.

The negative pole of Growth is confusion, a state of overwhelm, a sense of being out of our depth or in over our heads. Too much is happening faster than we can take it in and learn from it. Drugs, alcohol and other dependencies may develop as we look for ways to soften the intensity of it all.

In this case, we need to slide into the opposite goal (Retardation) and pursue its positive pole — the reversion to a simpler, quieter state — to slow life down and take the time to mull it over. Those who go on spiritual retreats are often people with a goal of Growth needing to step out of the whirlwind for a while and recover with a bit of silence and simplicity.

Growth: some famous examples

Shirley MacClaine
Shirley MacClaine
Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Jackie Kennedy Onassis
Robert Downey Jr
Robert Downey Jr
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Barack Obama
Barack Obama

Goal: the driving force of the personality





The Michael Teachings

15 thoughts on “Growth

  1. I’m not sure, but it feels like this is part of my goal. In my early 20’s I had a vision of being on a stretcher. I kept seeing signs about bipolar, and very strange things were happening to and around me. I now know I have the mental illness of bipolar 1, but I have much reason to believe in the spiritual world as well.
    After the bipolar every thing got crazy. I got into heavy drugs thinking my life would never be the same anyway. I don’t have many friends and I’m now at a cross roads… not sure what my choices are, but I feel i’m entering a new phase… I’m not sure if my goal is growth, retardation, or contentment. lol I’m confused a lot, and life has not been very easy finacially,socially, physically(mentally anyway), and I get very down. Yet life keeps going.

    • Thank you… Yeah it is horribly depressing looking back as I felt so pushed around and hated. I still struggle with the anger and sadness..
      I believe we might make our life blueprints, so maybe there was some reason I chose to be born in the west like the way I am. I’m extra emotional being pregnant at the moment, but there is so much I can’t stand about the greed and ignorance that goes on. I unfortunately am finding myself getting extremely bitter towards a lot of people from the opinions they have about others to the organized religions. I know that’s “stooping down to theyre level” but it angers me that it’s ok to believe that man is above animals and everything that was spewed to them from religion, but to actually have visions and research it to be true Im crazy!
      I know in the end it doesn’t matter, but it’s been very hard for me and I feel so angry inside. I know people say just let it go, I just don’t know how!

    • Congratulations!
      I don’t know if its your first, but can you imagine being a whole world to someone? It was a beautiful and, at the same time, terrifying experience to me. Wish you the best and healthiest time together 🙂

      I recognize a lot of my own struggles in what you wrote.

      This site shed a new light for me on what is going on. This world is filled with Young souls, who need attention. A lot of it. Make it a spot-light. “Look at me!” “My….” “I…(am the best)” “S/he sucks because…(they are not me)” etc.
      Hence the belief that human kind is above other animals. They NEED it to feel important. They NEED to be better. And believe it or not that’s okay. Doesn’t mean you just have to accept it and shut up, no. I ignore them, unless they are particularly excellent at something. Or particularly annoying 😀
      I just hope human kind survives puberty and turns out good (more altruistic toward its own members and rest of the world and less selfish and blindly destructive) in nature

      Then there is religion. Ugh. I don’t mind people having it, but I mind A LOT people trying to devalue anyone who is not part of it.
      Also, having faith (believing in Jesus, Allah, Zeus, Gaia..) is not the same as having religion (islam, christianity, budism…)
      I believe that religion is good for certain people, and bad for most of the world since its quite restraining.

      Now, you can’t just let go of the anger. That’s a stupid advice. You need to work through it. And that will help you make yourself a better and stronger person.
      I found that a lot of physical exercise burns a lot of extra rage. As I am not much into dedication and discipline, I need to play. So I went into martial arts and found it awesome (burn the frustrations and (re)focus). Also, I take long walks during which I burn any extra energy and think through anything that bothers me. Due to your state, you probably can’t do either right now. But any activity that gets you in a meditative state works fine. Origami and puzzles (like sudoku) did it for me.

      You know yourself best. It’s okay to make mistakes. Learn from them. You will be fine.

    • Ah, that’s brilliant, thanks. I’m going to post it on my Facebook page. I know some shamanic practitioners who will be fascinated by it.

  2. im a musician for twelve years, but feel there is more i can do wtih my music, i am also a photographer, as well have been dabbling in what is vibrational frequencies, fibbonacci sequence etc. i am not sure what my life purpose is, buti know its there i am not sure how to tap intoit.

  3. yes i have it ties into what i am trying to do with vibrational healing and using it with photography but i am not sure how.

    • Hi Erin,

      I understand. And I can suggest something that really worked for me:

      Set aside a period of time one day, say 30-60 minutes, find a nice quiet room or outdoor place, sit down with a pen and writing pad, close your eyes and start contemplating the question: “What is my life purpose?”

      Write down any thoughts as they emerge.

      Also, each time you take note of what’s emerged, check within yourself if it really feels right or rings true — not as the final answer to the question, but just in and of itself, is this true of me? If so, fine. If not, cross a line through it. Then, simply repeat the cycle. Keep going and you will naturally gravitate towards the deepest and truest sense of your life’s purpose.

      For example,

      CONTEMPLATE: “What is my life’s purpose?…hmmmm … I don’t know … but I do somehow love the Fibonacci sequence.”
      WRITE DOWN: “I love the Fibonacci sequence”
      REFLECT: “Is that really true? …. yes, I do believe it is.”

      CONTEMPLATE: “What is my life’s purpose?…”
      and so on.

      Your intention for this session is to get to the deepest and truest sense of the answer to the question. And by “truest” I mean true for you, not “true” by any external standards.

      Your emerging thoughts may wander around and around a bit, and that’s absolutely fine. You are like a bird circling over the ground, gradually focusing on the target – your inner sense of purpose. You will have many associations and feelings related to that. But as you make each thing explicit with the writing, you will gradually spiral in towards the single still-point of truth.

      Rest assured, the answer lies within you; but it is implicit until you make it explicit. Simple as that.

      If you get to the final answer works in one session, great. If not, just repeat the process in another session until you get there.

      Good luck!


      PS: My answer arrived in about 45 minutes. I spent the last 5-10 minutes juggling the words that were coming into focus until it felt absolutely right. My life purpose is:

      “To find something I deem to be truly worth saying, and then say it with exquisite clarity for the benefit of others.”

      The thing that I deem most worth saying is that we can truly understand ourselves and others through psycho-spiritual knowledge such as the Michael teachings. And then I started saying that by creating this website right after I did the exercise.

  4. Hello,

    I find your articles very interesting. My life’s goal would be Growth as well. I thought it may be rejection or perhaps contentment, but having read this I am sure of it.
    When life becomes hard I flourish, I do everything I can and more to succeed. To prove to myself that I CAN. To show to others that handicaps are just in your head…And I enjoy fighting for it, I feel good. I feel alive.
    But when the dust settles, life becomes easy, also becomes boring, and I fall asleep.

    This is what I have learned about myself in the past year when I reflected my life.

    In this life I am to become a teacher, a guide. To do that I have to overcome the greatest challenge of my life. I have to learn to verbally express my thoughts, to get others to really listen (not obey) and think. Wish I had a personal teacher, but I don’t, so I try to perceive the little details that make these few people in my life good speakers.
    I know that most of charisma comes from (true) self-confidence, but that’s not all. Any advices are appreciated.

    Enjoy! 🙂

    P.S. I love the tiny smiley on the bottom of the page. It brightened my day 😀

  5. I wrote to you before and said the ways I identify with “Rejection”, but I think I’m Growth. I still think that.

    I can identify with the entire axis–Growth and Retardation. I want all the experiences, I want to see everything and know everything. Yet I distinctly swing between the two; there are times when I just want to curl up and sleep for a year. NO MORE STUFF.

    Oh man.

    In the last decade, I’ve moved out of my parents home (traumatically), taken care of my dying grandmother, studied abroad, met an Arab ruler, finished my last year of college while working 3 jobs, sat unemployed for a year (Recession), been a climate activist, and worked with the diplomatic corps. Then I moved to China, clashed with my employer, moved to Cambodia, contracted a severe infection in my thyroid (ill for 3 years!), contracted a mosquito borne illness, got robbed, and entered some sort of online message forum war…

    Finally I moved to Japan and basically rolled into a ball … for a year. I had a depressive episode and just started doing spiritual/inner work (how I found your blog). Just recovered, and I get word now my father may be dying. It’s just unending!

    I feel like I’ve seen the extremes of life–over-exertion and under-exertion, wealth and poverty, health and illness, peaceful societies and fractured ones. Lots of abandonment and betrayal, and a few lucky acts of kindness. There were, and still are, some very difficult choices to make, and I’m learning I’m not necessarily the great decision-maker I thought I was.

    I tell you what…I’m 32, and I feel like I’m twice that age. It’s like, Just stop already, Universe!! Growth is not for wimps; I’m on the edge of my seat here.

    But still, it’s my story, I wouldn’t trade it. I think I secretly want these things to happen. I actually get very upset when life is too boring (which unfortunately is like the other 90%, I still thought I was bored all the time throughout that).

    Anyway, thought I’d share.

    • Sounds like growth “to a tee”! I suspect you have mode of Perseverance as well to help you stay with it.
      Thanks Estelle.

    • You’re welcome! I think you’re on the right Mode axis, too–it’s Perseverance or Aggression. I’ll post my thoughts on that page, though, in case any other seeker comes by.

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