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What experiences in life helped you grow the most?

Every experience, whether big or small, helps us grow. But the experiences that help people grow the most have a profound impact on our lives. These experiences are like a chapter in a book or a phase change like transforming from a caterpillar to a butterfly. Looking at myself and my friends, I would say three life experiences help us grow the most.

Daily writing prompt

What experiences in life helped you grow the most?


Career

A job is a role you take on. In comparison, a career is a long-term commitment based on your experiences and education. You develop skills that define your life goals and lifestyle.

A career takes commitment, such as courses for a certification or a degree; or long-term, on-the-job training. You learn skills that will shape and impact your life for years and even decades. A defines you: you tell people, “I’m a (occupation).”

You hang out with people with backgrounds, training, and education similar to yours. If you’re a teacher, you’ll meet others in education. If you’re a business owner, you’ll meet others who run businesses, or people selling products or services in the same industry.

A career impacts your income and your lifestyle. As a lawyer, you may work long hours and own an expensive house. As an accounts manager for a small company, you may make a modest income, enough to get an apartment and take the vacations you like.

For some who want to get into management with years of work experience and promotion, you’ll learn leadership skills and how to communicate and inspire others.

Marriage

Another experience that helps people grow is marriage. You’re working through everyday situations with your life partner. This person sees you every day and knows personal aspects of your life–what you eat, how you sleep, your income, your spending habits, your grooming habits, your routines. Unlike your family, who has observed many of the same things, you didn’t make the rules. Your parents did and you had to obey the rules to live with them.

With marriage, you and your spouse jointly decide where to live–which city, which home, how to spend your money, and where to go for vacation. You share and divide responsibilities. If one person in the relationship is not content, there is an imbalance, and you need to communicate to work things out for the relationship to be healthy again.

This person impacts your mental and emotional health. You need to learn to communicate your needs and work out your struggles. You also need to work together. When you choose your spouse, you also choose their friends and family. You need to learn to compromise. Your communication skills are crucial.

Parenthood

Another experience that helps people grow is parenthood. You’re the role model, setting an example for your child. Your priorities shift and you become your child’s protector because the child comes first. For example, you take sick days from work when your child is sick but you continue to work when you yourself are sick, instead of taking a day off.

You save and spend money on vacations with your child. You spend money on the child’s interests, such as hobbies, sports, and toys. It’s a shift in identity and priority.

You better appreciate what your parents went through when they became parents. You have a new awareness of what’s good and what’s bad–you’re suddenly aware that shows and movies you used to enjoy have bad language and inappropriate violence.

As a role model, you watch your language and your words. If you’re tired, you want to ensure that you don’t say something to your child that could cause long-term damage. Your child takes cues from you on how to speak and how to behave.

Key Takeaways

Working on your career, getting married, and having children are three experiences in life that help a person to grow. Not everyone gets married or has children, and they will still experience growth. But I think these three types of experiences definitely have a significant impact on a person’s life.

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