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
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
|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
• Relaxation •