Jordan Loftis

Find and fulfill your purpose

Author: JordanLoftis

How to Grow: the 3-Stage Growth Cycle You Can Use to Improve in Any Area

For Christians, growth is not optional. It’s mandatory.

In a recent prayer time, I felt this impression from God about some resources and opportunities he’s given me:

“I gave you five talents and you’ve buried them in the ground.”

This felt like a bucket of ice water getting dumped on my head. Like I’d fallen asleep in front of the barracks, neglecting my mission as a soldier.

This got me thinking, what is the role of growth in Christians?

We know we’re supposed to grow spiritually. But what about personally and professionally?

Are we allowed to stay stagnant in every area but our “spiritual lives”?

A better question: is that even possible?

I don’t think it is.

We are bodies and spirits.

As our spiritual person matures, the rest of us should mature with it.

How does growth happen?

Growth happens through strategic discomfort.

Growth comes from doing new things aligned with your vision for the future.

New things are uncomfortable.

They’re scary.

But they’re worth it — AND — are the only path to growth.

Muscles grow by being stressed, fed, and rested.

We grow in the same way.

The Growth Cycle

Stress: we stretch beyond our comfort zone, entering the discomfort of newness.

Feed: we feed our minds, bodies, and spirits with the fuel required to thrive in this discomfort zone.

Rest: we take strategic pauses to reflect and recharge so we can start the cycle over again.

Where is it time to grow?

So, where is it time for you to grow?

In your health?

In your mind?

In your spirit?

In your relationships?

Develop your growth plan through this visualization exercise

One of my favorite ways to figure this out is by a visual exercise called “mindmapping.”

To start mindmapping, find a notebook, piece of paper, whiteboard, or whatever else you can quickly sketch ideas on.

(I use a free piece of software called Xmind.)

Step 1: Define your life vision

The exercise centers on your Life Vision. Which is basically a fancy way of saying, “What do you want to accomplish with your life?”

If you’re married, setting this with your spouse is an incredible way to spend some quality time.

You might find out you both have the exact same vision for your future.

…you want to live in the same place.

…you want to work in the same place.

…you want to serve in the same place.

…you want the same level of income.

…you want to travel the same amount.

OR…

You might find that you’ve been operating on very different visions for what a fulfilling future looks like.

Good news. Now’s your chance to get aligned and start building a future you’re both excited about.

Spend some time defining your life vision, and write it in a circle on the center of the page or whiteboard.

Step 2: Choose life areas for growth

Next, write some life areas this vision will require you to grow in.

Branch them off with lines.

They can be anything from physical health to financial freedom. Wherever your vision requires you to be more so you can create a bigger impact — write it down.

Step 3: What does success look like?

Last, one of my favorite questions to ask in EVERYTHING (from business to personal life) is: What does success look like?

For this exercise, branch out some short descriptions from each life area.

To keep up momentum, I like to make these descriptions short and sweet.

Move as quickly as you can and branch, branch, branch until you can’t think of anymore areas!

How to get started?

It’s amazing how motivating clarity is.

Once you get a clear vision for where you’re headed and how you need to grow, you can implement the “P” word…

Prioritization.

We’ll save how to do this for a future post. But it boils down to this.

“I can’t do EVERYTHING right now, but I can do SOMETHING.”

So the question is, which life area can make the greatest impact on achieving your life’s vision?

Start there.

You can do all of this on your own.

You can get my guided system (Life Scoreboard) for just a couple of bucks.

Or, if you know it’s time to get healthier by achieving your ideal weight, building amazing habits, and transforming your mind, you can work with my wife and I.

We’re certified health coaches who help people get to their healthy weight quickly, safely, and for good!

You can schedule a free health assessment by clicking here. No strings attached. We’re just here to help.

(You can also email me: loftis.jordan [at] gmail.com)

It’s the same program I used to lose 37 pounds!

Don’t Waste Your Pain

5 years ago, I was a mess.

My first company had hit a dry spell…

…but the dry spell that plunges you thousands of dollars into credit card debt, as we hadn’t paid ourselves in months.

At the 11th hour, a company acquired us for a last-ditch tech product my business partners and I created.

In the startup world, that word — ACQUISITION — looks SO GOOD.

It makes people think you’re rolling in cash and successful.

I felt like anything but successful (and lemme tell you, there was no cash 😵).

In the acquisition, they offered me a salary that met 50% of my family’s basic needs.

Oh. And my wife had just been dangerously sick in the hospital after giving birth to our first daughter, who nearly passed away.

I felt like a failure. It humiliated me to walk into that office every day. Frankly, I felt worthless.

Have you ever been here?

This was one of the hardest seasons of my life.

To make ends meet, I started a side hustle, working from 5:30 am – 8 am … Then went to my day job… And then home to work until about 8 pm.

Then go to sleep. Rinse and repeat.

However, I learned two major lessons during this time that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

LESSON ONE: Don’t waste your pain. Learn and grow.

Pain is part of growth.

It’s uncomfortable to change… To fail… To grind just to put food on the table…

Without this time, however, I wouldn’t have forged a work ethic that’s enabled us to start two profitable businesses this year, lead an online ministry, and make an impact in students’ lives as a Bible teacher (and a few other things).

So, what places hurt right now? Where is your pain? And how can this pain become your teacher?

As I reflect on 2019, one of my favorite questions is: “What mistakes or failures repeated themselves this year?”

This helps me pinpoint areas where I haven’t learned or applied the lessons failure can teach me.

As Christians, there is also pain in following Jesus. As James wrote: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

Tests transform us into steadfast, full-capacity disciples.

Steadfastness has its “full effect” when we meet trials with joy. Knowing that we are being formed and molded here.

More, God has a plan for your pain.

Joseph getting sold into slavery by his own brothers resulted in saving millions of lives.

Press into pain, draw out every lesson, and make it your teacher.

This is crazy Christianity. Keep your chin up and press on. It’s what Jesus’ people do.

LESSON TWO: Don’t compare yourself to others. (Trite, I know.)

Second, I compared the heck out of my situation with other people I deemed successful.

My feelings of inadequacy directly correlated with comparison.

What a silly thing to do! I still fight this urge.

Author and pastor Craig Groeschel wrote, “The fastest way to kill something is to compare it with something else.”

I think he’s dead on.

When we compare, we rob ourselves of joy in our journey. We steal our own capacity for contentment.

And contentment doesn’t mean settling—it means gratitude. We can be grateful and growing at the same time.

Unhealthy comparison won’t coexist with gratitude. They’re pretty crappy roomates.

The truth is, we’re often comparing our WORST with someone else’s BEST.

Newsflash: Instagram doesn’t reflect reality!

Other people’s lives — no matter how successful — aren’t a constant vacation filled with smiles and unlimited lobster.

Behind every perfect smile lives an imperfect person.

Comparison is a trickster, and it reeled me in after failing in business (and what felt like life).

I looked at all of my “successful” friends and peers, then judged myself against their accomplishments.

This was demoralizing, demotivating, and induced destructive behaviors like self-medicating with food, entertainment, and a host of other unhealthy behaviors.

Unhealthy comparison actually invites unecessary pain into our lives. Not the kind that grows us, but the kind that stunts us. That wounds without a path to healing.

The only person we should compare ourselves against is Jesus.

And that puts us all on even footing

How to move forward…

In my new book I discuss this season at length, breaking it down further, drawing out a few more lessons.

Most helpful, we get to work together to craft an actionable, step-by-step plan to bust out of seasons like this… Or, catalyze already positive seasons of growth.

> > > You can grab your copy of the book here for just $3.99. < < <

Is “Self-Help” Christian

Have you ever felt uncomfortable with “personal growth” ideas as a Christian?

(I go deep on this in my new book.)

Sometimes the positive, self-helpy phrases seem fluffy, hollow, and even selfish.

I’ve struggled to balance a drive to grow with a focus on spiritual things…

Read More

How To Find God’s Purpose For Your Life

Listen to the podcast episode and subscribe… And read on for more.

For years my heart has burned. I’ve wanted so badly to know what God wants me to do with my life.

Am I called to full-time ministry? Should I start another business? Do I work for someone else and minister in the workplace? Am I supposed to write? Speak? Be a missionary? Be a musician? Get my M. Div.?

But here’s the thing, I never found my purpose by asking any of those questions — no matter how fervently. What I’ve been looking for simply can’t be found where I’ve been looking.

You see, where I went wrong — and where most of us do — is that I started with the particular over the universal. With the details instead of the big picture.

Read More

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