How Do You Grow?

In an ideal world, we would keep improving, getting better nearly every day. For that to happen, though, you need to know how to grow.

Most of us start our growth as toddlers, under the care of our parents. We learn to talk, then to read, and we start to learn about the world around us.

That growth continues in a more formal academic environment: school. We have classes and textbooks, homework and essays. Elementary school is followed by high school, and maybe college, and possibly even more advanced schooling, like law school or medical school.

Some people manage to grow best in this sort of environment. Learning this way might include multiple advanced degrees, extension school, or even just adult education classes. A structured learning environment, with lectures, exams, and homework suit some people very well.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What book has had the biggest impact on you?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you show thanks?’


After graduating, we might also learn on the job. For example, our co-workers or a mentor might help us grow, and some employers offer classes on appropriate subjects.

Additionally, there is self-guided learning. An individual might read extensively on their own, attend lectures, or even just have in-depth conversations with friends from all walks of life.

Growth, of course, is not limited to learning. You might also grow by overcoming past trauma, or recognizing your own biases. Knowing your own shortcomings, and determining how to minimize them or even turn them into strengths, can be most beneficial.

All these, and others, are ways to learn and and expand your horizons. Do you have a preferred way? How do you grow? And what would you recommend to a friend or family member?

Related questions: What experience helped you grow? How do you learn? What are you doing to improve yourself? What do you wish you had learned as a child?

What Is Laziness?

Laziness is one of the seven deadly sins. At one time or another, we have all felt lazy. But what, exactly, does laziness even mean?

The classic conception of a lazy person is someone who sits around all day, doing nothing. But even a “lazy” person is doing something, right? They are not in a vegetative state.

For as example, let’s pretend that the lazy person in question sits around all day playing video games. They contribute nothing, just hours and hours of Xbox.

But isn’t that video game play, in itself, something they are working quite hard at? They are advancing in the game, learning playing techniques, maybe even reading about cheat codes or Easter eggs. A decent amount of time and effort might go in to learning how to play. Can that really be considered lazy?


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘What is the value of inefficiency?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How can we encourage debate?’


Admittedly, playing video games doesn’t really improve life in any way. Or does it? There are people who upload videos of themselves playing video games to YouTube, and make hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars in doing so. Are they lazy?

The difference there may be one person is earning a paycheck, and the other is not. Is laziness tied to money? One person doing something is lazy, someone else doing the exact same thing for pay is not lazy? Does that make any sense?

It may be that our classical definition of “lazy” merely means “disinterested”. Perhaps someone who is late for work, doesn’t try very hard, makes a lot of easily-fixed mistakes, is simply not interested in doing that job. That same person might be totally invested in playing video games, or managing their fantasy football team, or even working at a more engaging job.

In that case, a different definition of “laziness” may be in order. Can you think of one?

Related questions: Pride or humility? When do you need inspiration? What gives you purpose? What is the worst job you’ve ever had?

How Can You Change Your Attitude?

There are times when, to overcome an obstacle of some sort, all you need to do is change your attitude. But how can this be done?

Some common emotions, like frustration or anger, don’t actually accomplish much. Typically, they don’t help you to arrive at a solution any sooner. They can even make thinking other thoughts difficult.

A change of attitude is called for. If, instead of anger, you approach a situation with curiosity, better results may occur. Or empathy, or determination, or even no thoughts at all.


Related: Listen to an episode of the Intellectual Roundtable Podcast, where Lee and Michael discuss this question: ‘How can we maintain wonder?’ We discuss another question as well, ‘How do you think others see you?’


But this is easier said than done. Negative emotions can be overwhelming. drowning out everything else. They can also be counterproductive, going so far as to sabotage positive, or helpful thoughts.

So what tricks or coping mechanisms have you found to help you change your approach? How can you change your attitude?

Related questions: How can we turn sadness into constructive action? Why do we hate? What is the right amount of emotion? How can we turn ideas into actions?