On our birthday as a child, our mom would stand me and my brothers up against the frame of our basement door and place a new mark above our head to show how much we had grown the past year. Each year, I would be so excited to see how much I had grown and would turn as quickly as possible after she made the mark and be met with a rush of disappointment. My two older brothers were still bigger than me. For some reason, I just couldn’t catch them. I couldn’t get big enough, fast enough. It was always a chase and I never seemed to get close enough.
One day, I woke up, showered, put on my dress slacks and dress shirt, pulled on my tie, and looked in the mirror as I placed my graduation cap on my head. I was now a man. As I walked into the kitchen, I passed that basement door and smiled, I caught my brothers. I gradually got big, and in that moment, it seemed like it happened in an instant.
As a father, I carry on this tradition with my children and mark the progress of their growth. As I marked the head of my youngest, he quickly turned and saw his mark above his brother’s name. Am I bigger than Jaxson? I remembered my days as a child and said yes. I didn’t have the heart to tell him he was comparing against an older mark. The only measure that mattered to him was catching up with his brother. As he walked away, I looked down and smiled. I measured against his last mark, and he had grown a bunch.
When it comes to our professional growth journey, it’s sometimes easy to measure against where we want to be and find disappointment along the way. The gap is often a big one. However, the proper measurement is not against where we want to be, rather it should be based on how far we have come.
Growth is happening. If you can stay consistent with the personal growth journey, you will wake one day and recognize that you gradually got big also. Feel free to smile and appreciate your growth now.