You Like a Cement Truck or Concrete?
Value of Personal Growth
Kelley, PhD, CH, CSL • May 2001
must always change, renew, rejuvenate ourselves; otherwise we
Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832)
it comes to personal growth, some people are like a cement
truck; others are like concrete. What's the difference? Take a
cement truck for example. Its barrel keeps turning so the
"gray matter" (cement) doesn't set up and harden.
But more is necessary. Every now and then, some fresh and new
material (water) is added to keep the cement soft and usable.
who are like a cement truck view personal growth as
imperative. They continually take in new material and add it
to the "gray matter" (their mind) to keep it
rejuvenated. Similar to a cement mixer, by cogitating on new
and fresh ideas, the mind is kept fresh, rejuvenated, and
other people are like concrete. Zig Ziglar aptly described the
concrete-type person as somebody "who is all mixed up and
permanently set." They rarely take in and meditate on new
and fresh concepts that would allow them to grow as human
you ever noticed how the very people who need to read
self-growth books, are the very ones who never do? I have
especially noticed this since I wrote The
Game Rules for Life,
in the spring of 2000. Often, I see someone who could really benefit from
some advice it contains, but many times when I ask if they
ever read personal growth books, they say no. So I take them
at their word, and usually leave it at that because I know
they are not ready to look inside themselves for answers and
solutions to a better life.
regularly pondering new ideas, our gray matter—or
minds—can harden. But this is not the only danger. A person
who does not view life and its difficulties in the light of
new ideas and concepts might also find that who they are
within—their spirit and their heart—can set up and harden.
Over time, cracks form, and just as a weed grows up through a
crack in concrete, so too the weeds of bitterness and
hard-heartedness can grow. The result can be one taking more
out of life than one gives.
all is not lost. By regularly taking in fresh ideas through
personal growth, a person's gray matter will start to soften
and become more usable. With use, the mind is a powerful tool;
without use, a great hindrance.
advantage to reading personal growth material is that it opens
the mind to yet other new ideas and concepts. This in turn
allows the mind to be receptive to new ways of doing things
that can potentially make life easier and better. An open mind
allows higher values to take root and grow, such as empathy
and tolerance for the human condition. Zig Ziglar also has a
comment regarding an open mind. He said, "A mind is like
a parachute—it is only useful when it is open."
times, I have also observed people who seem to be interested
in personal growth, but are very narrow in the subject matter
that they allow in. Strict belief systems—including strict
religious beliefs—can actually stymie a person's growth
because the world is viewed through a very narrow lens. Those
with an attitude of, "Everybody is entitled to my
opinion," cheat themselves, as well as humanity, because
they don't become all that they can, and in turn, give back to
the other hand, those who are serious and open-minded about
personal growth are like a beautiful and budding flower. Not
only do they see and know of their own inner beauty, but they
are also a beautiful sight for the world to behold!
realize that by writing this commentary, I am "preaching
to the choir," as it were. I realize that you, who are
reading this, don't need it the most (but you
still do need it). Those that need it the most are the ones
who, unfortunately, will never read it. But we can only hope
that, one-by-one, more people will begin to see the value of
those of you who do see the value of self-discovery and
personal growth, I warmly commend you! I urge you to keep up
the good work of growing within—even if, at times, you think
it doesn't make much difference. Keep working on and refining
yourself, and then little by little, you will become better
and better until one day, you will blossom into a beautiful
flower with Greatness to Deliver.
Doug Kelley, PhD, CH, CSL is the founder of the International Church of Metaphysical Humanism and the Institute of Metaphysical Humanistic Science. He focuses on helping others to overcome self-limiting mindsets by way of practical metaphysical life-skills. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Copyright © 2001 By Doug Kelley. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted to reprint this article provided it is done so in its entirety (including this copyright box).