If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning.
— Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, Carol Dweck
The desire for growth is so ingrained in our species that it has become the overarching purpose of all of our lives. Perfection is unattainable, but our journey from our current status to our visions of perfection is one of the most satisfying things we can ever do.
Once I realized that my whole life is a piece of art that I must meticulously craft with compassion, I began to see life as a process of beauty — a process towards strength and wisdom. When I look back on my life, I won’t care about the person I will be as much as the process that got me there.
Growth doesn’t have to be linear. It doesn’t have to always be in the perceived direction of “forward”; sometimes growth only comes from taking a few steps back or slowing down. But it does require us to be conscientious. It requires an admirable motive. It requires strength of will, resilience, and the ability to get up from setbacks.
Those qualities create the cornerstone of true wisdom and success. They are why — even with our ignorance, our indifference, and our false sense of superiority — I still have faith in the human race.