What are the 3 Pillars of Personal Growth?

This is the best practice I’ve lived out during my 5-6 year service building a nonprofit up from scratch in San Francisco.

At that stage in my life, I had several mentors investing in me, and I worked with several like-minded peers who shared in the mission, and I had a chance to invest in the next generation.

This snippet is basically the barebone foundation of the 3 pillars of personal growth framework.

If you are looking for a personal goal management framework, check out my last blog on “Why You Should Use OKRs Framework for Your 2019 Goals”.

Before we talk about the benefits of these concepts, we should examine if you experience these challenges in your life.

These ideas won’t hit home if you don’t experience these challenges or want these results.

Do You Have These Challenges?

Do you question your social circles (i.e. friends, family, etc) and whether they are good for you?

Do you value personal growth but don’t have a working framework to keep growing?

Do you feel that your life is stagnant and not progressing forward?

Do you desire things that other people have, but are dumbfounded on how to achieve similar results in your own life?

What is Personal Growth?

I would define personal growth as a goal you set for yourself that you’ve accomplished.

This framework has been inspired by similar concepts in this book called, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential.

How Should You Use This Content?

This piece of content is suppose to be quick and provide you with a different lenses to inspect your life with.

Ask yourself: Am I ready for personal growth or more personal growth?

Which pillar do I lack in your my life?

How can I build that pillar in my life to further increase my personal growth this year?

What Are The 3 Pillars of Personal Growth?

The 3 pillars of personal growth involves mentorship as the foundation.

Furthermore, it allows you to play multiple roles in this practice of receiving and giving mentorship.

Therefore, during the process of this framework of personal growth, you will receive 3 perspectives in each of the 3 stages of growth.

This sounds really confusing and a circular argument. But let me explain down bellow.

Pillar #1: Be Mentored By Someone Who Accomplished a Goal You Desire

You Are Your Desires of Your Heart

You have heard that you are the sum product of the five people you associate with on a regular basis. Here is a short medium article that disagrees with that fact.

There is some truth in this, but the bigger, looming argument is that you are the sum product of the desires these five people you associate with also desires.

*Dropped mic. Mind is blown away!

How does this relate to this argument and about mentorship? Well, I would argue a mentor typically has the thing that you desire.

Mentors Who Actualized Your Desires Won Your Hearts

Therefore, the 1st pillar in the cycle of personal growth is to secure a mentor that might not be in your immediate social circle who possess what you desire.

Perhaps, what you desire can be found in your immediate social circles, that is a great place to start also because that individual already has a relationship with you.

Therefore, prospecting them and closing them to be your mentor already started from a warmer foundation.

Regardless, you need to find someone outside of your social circle or within it who possess what you desire and pitch them to help you actualize that desire (goal) in your own life.

Mentors Typically Want To Help Someone Who Reminds Them Of Themselves

Why would this mentor, who accomplished a goal you desire want to help you out?

Well, these mentors already know the hardships, costs, and sacrifices associated with accomplishing that given goal.

They understand and personally experience those pains and challenges in their lives.

Granted, on the premise that they have a kind-heart, these mentors are normally willing to aid others who are along the path to avoid some of the hardships they went through.

But under the condition that these mentors see themselves in you. You see, when someone helps you or invest in you.

Typically, they are not directly trying to help you; instead, they see a past figment of themselves in you that they want to help.

And this my friend, is called your leverage.

There’s nothing wrong with this type of relationship if you as the mentee are provided with mentorship to accelerate your personal growth.

Additionally, your mentor has an opportunity to win in paying homage to their past self and to give back to the community.

Some Examples of Mentors In My Life

I was privileged to be mentored and trained by these b-boys during my breakdancing career from middle school to university.

I will list the core professional b-boys I got mentored by growing up: B-Boy Machine, B-Boy Milestones, B-Boy Rob Nasty.

#1 B-Boy Profowon

I remember meeting this guy when I was in 6th grade at Presidio Middle School in San Francisco.

I was just 10 years old and this person was the biggest role model in my breakdancing career because he was my first teacher.

He wasn’t just a breakdance teacher but he also mentored me in life and turned a little reserved asian kid into someone who thrived as the center of the spotlight on the dance floor.

I remembered he broke through my insecurities as a dancer and helped build my confidence in things that are child’s play to me now but for my 10 year old self, it was like facing a mountain.

One of them was performing live in front of a live audience of hundreds of peering eyes.

But the most humbling experience I remember was when I first started to dance, I didn’t even know what a beat was.

(Remember, I was a reserved, immigrant Asian kid who barely spoke decent English at that time)

I remembered getting called out in front of the entire class and getting humiliated (even when I didn’t even know what the word humiliation meant) and Ron Career challenged me to clap the beat to the song that was playing at that moment.

Needless to say, I was nervous and felt the pressure, but I was more fixated on overcoming this challenge and getting better as a b-boy.

Yes, I got laughed at and it was a humbling experience, but Ron helped me build a foundation that I was lacking and needed in order to succeed as a brilliant, audience attention grabbing b-boy.

The biggest takeaway I got from being a practicing b-boy for 10+ years was self-confidence and sharing that with the world through the art of breakdancing.

Ron Career is now 43 and still going strong as a professional b-boy.

#2 Pillar: Surround Yourself With Like-Minded Peers

You Are The Sum Average of  People Around You

Let’s assume you have a goal to make $100,000 per year. However, the people you normally congregate with on a regular basis all make less than that.

Under this argument, because you are in that environment with no person around you achieving that similar goal, then the probability of you achieving that feat is quite low.

Therefore, you need to surround yourself with like-minded peers who also desire the things you desire, hold the goals you hold, and possess the mindset that you possess.

The main reason why is because when you surround yourself with like-minded individuals, you can build upon each others habits, best practices, knowledge, experience, and more to collectively tackle the commonly shared goal.

On the other hand, when you are surrounded with individuals who don’t possess the same life goals, their actions, thoughts, words, behaviors, and habits will prevent you from achieving your what you desire.

They will be ready to defeat your dreams and goals before given the opportunity to let these goals stretch their wings and fly.

If you found yourself in this situation, you need to find a new set of individuals to interact with who share your goals.

Next, you have to protect yourself from groups in your social circle who don’t share your values and goals.

Have Friendly Competitions With These Peers

Once you find your tribe of like-minded individuals, engage in friendly competitions with them.

One example in my life where I have friendly competition is with my friend Ken who sings better than me.

Now, this wasn’t always the case. However, Ken out practiced me and did things that I normally wouldn’t do in my training and he got tons better than me.

Because he got better and shared his best practices in improving his singing voice, I also implemented similar strategies and try to best him in singing.

And as a result, I had breakthroughs in my lead singing abilities, which I normally don’t excel as because I’m good at being a back-up, harmony vocalist.

If you guys ever watched Dragonball Z, the type of friendly competition I am talking about is like the rivalry between Goku and Vegata.

Their competitive rivalry pushed both of them to breaking into godlike powers in Dragonball Super.

Build A Team Of Like-Minded Individuals

Better yet, after you found several like-minded individuals, leverage the power of synergy and try to form a team to help each other accomplish a common goal and provide each other motivation and accountability.

My Experience Finding Like-Minded People

For me, I’ll use breakdancing as an example to make this entire blog have a common theme. So I had good mentors and teachers like B-Boy Profowon helping me grow as an individual.

Then later on in my dancing career, after battling into crews and moving on to other crews, I happened upon Boogie City Resident (now called Jive City) and joined in as a full-time member.

There I found like-minded individuals who wanted to become internationally known b-boys.

I joined this team of individuals who were dedicated to training hard (I lead the training sessions) several days a week to prepare for competitions in the SF Bay Area.

#3 Pillar: Invest In The Next Generation As A Mentor

You Learn As You Teach

My breakdance mentor, B-Boy Profowon ingrained in me when I was in middle school that, “you learn a lot when you teach others”.

It’s proud to say I was a top student, but I was just that when it came to breakdancing, and I would get frustrated because the class pace was moving slow.

And often, I would basically urge Profowon to teach me the next cool move, however, he wouldn’t progress the class and move on to the next move unless everyone in the class was on the same level.

Therefore, he threw the challenge back at me and told me to teach what I knew to other students who were struggling. This was a priceless lesson I’ve learned as a kid.

You Learn More About Your Challenges From Your Mentee’s Challenges

Life is all connected. The benefit if you providing mentorship to someone younger than you or is at a different life stage than you is that you gain a 3rd perspective insight on common challenges that plagues all people.

You can take this valuable insight and apply to your own life to reduce the effect of that common challenge.

In reality, when you are providing mentorship to someone else, you learn about a particular problem you thought you’ve conquered in a more diverse perspective.

And in the nuances in the differences of the same problem you face versus the your mentee, you’ve gained some new knowledge to help yourself and your mentee overcome that particular challenge faster, better, and with less pain.

My Experience As A Mentor

During my university year, I was a youth leader leading activities, discussions, and events for middle school to college students.

One of the mediums I used was breakdancing to outreach to at-risk urban youth at my old high school, Galileo High School.

There I had an opportunity to share my 7 years worth of breakdancing experience to high school students and teach them the ways of the mentors and teachers I’ve learned from.

I introduced them to the b-boy scene in the SF Bay Area by helping them train to compete in nearby b-boy competitions.

It was an enriching experience for both myself and the student’s I taught because I knew how to unstuck student’s from their current challenges because I’ve gone through it before.

At the same time, through their struggles and victories, I also improved myself as a b-boy.

The Cycle Repeats Itself

This framework is a rinse and repeat type of method.

Throughout your life, you will go through different mentors who will help you get to the next stage of your life.

Next, along that journey you will meet like-minded people and engage in friendly competition.

And lastly, you will find other individuals who are younger than you that you can mentor and give back.

We call this living. Like the Lion King, this is the circle of life outside of the animal kingdom: the 3 pillars of personal growth.

Key Takeaways & Action Items

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants. -Isaac Newton”

Take this challenge seriously and implement the 3 pillars of personal growth in your life.

Practicing this framework of growth hacking will help you see further and deeper into aspects in your life as you get mentored, challenge your peers, and teach the next generation.

Find one pillar that might missing in your life and work on that today.

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Influencer Inspirations

This blog has been inspired by these creators: Dan Lok.

This blog was made to serve you. Enjoy.


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