Winning Words

The mystery of personal and professional growth

Column by Michael Norton

I really do enjoy a good mystery. It could be a great novel or movie or just watching the variety of news programs or shows where we get to explore along with the journalists and public intrigued by mystery and the possibilities of observing a Bigfoot, The Loch Ness Monster, a giant squid, ghosts, extra-terrestrials, or some other type of enigmatic predator or anomalous event.

Mysteries just seem to capture my attention. And one of the greatest mysteries I encounter on an all too frequent basis is this: why is it that when people who are looking to make a change for the better continue doing the same things over and over again and expect different results. As we all know, this is one definition of insanity.
Whether we are just embarking on the pursuit of a worthy goal or objective in our lives, or we have gotten to a place where we have plateaued and feel stuck, we need to recognize that we can still reach higher, see farther, and elevate our performance at almost everything we are striving for in our lives or wish to accomplish.

For some, it's just being in their comfort zone and becoming so settled that complacency has usurped desire. And this is where we get caught up in the trap of doing the very same things that we have always done. And maybe even worse, we have begun taking short cuts because we are just too settled and comfortable with where we are right now. Did you catch that line earlier in the paragraph, “… complacency has usurped desire?” Is that your situation?

Life is so full of mysteries and the world is full of unexplainable phenomena that pique our curiosity and leave us wanting to know more. And as we indulge in the exploration of the mysterious our imagination becomes accelerated and our creativity inspired. What if we put that same energy into uncovering or discovering what it is that drives us to want to succeed in every area of our lives?

If there is an area of our life where we have a deep desire to change, one new technique to attempt can be found in forcing ourselves to try something new. Change the routine, the diet, and maybe even make some changes relative to the types of people we surround ourselves with. I recently saw this quote floating around Facebook, “Surround yourself with people that make you a better person.”

You see, the mysterious isn't really all that mysterious when it comes to personal and professional growth. And yes I know, personal development isn't nearly as exciting or spectacular as finding Bigfoot, catching a glimpse of the Loch Ness Monster, or figuring out teenagers, but it could be. And it is in those moments of wanting to grow that we can and should try something new. Something new and mysterious that will add excitement, energy, and desire to the pursuit of our goals and dreams.

How about you, are you stuck, plateaued, or maybe haven't even started on your goal or dream? I would love to hear all about it at and when you begin to view your goals with a little bit of mystery and wonder, it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Highlands Ranch, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the CEO/founder of

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