7 min read

Pursue Growth: An Ongoing Journey

Feb 8, 2024 6:30:00 AM

Jon Slusser Blog Collage w quote

On May 2, 2022, my mother, Kelly Slusser, was killed in an auto accident. She was involved in a head-on collision. The other driver was texting and driving. 

As a devoted stay-at-home mom, my mother raised five children, and was at every game, concert, and birthday, as well as the occasional meeting with the school principal. She was relatively quiet and reserved. At her funeral, I expected to see a few family members and close friends. To my surprise, hundreds of people showed up, with a line extending out of the building.

As I spoke with those who knew my mother—many of whom I didn’t know myself—person after person shared stories of how my mom had influenced their lives. 

“I’m a better mother because of your mom.” “I’m a better Christian because of your mom.” “Your mom was full of joy and positivity, which she passed on to me.”  

After the funeral, as those words replayed in my head, I started to feel a sense of peace knowing that my mom fully used her time on earth to not only better herself and her family, but to support and improve her entire community.  

Through this tragic experience, I learned a valuable lesson: time is a commodity we cannot afford to squander. For hindsight thinkers, time can’t be returned. For future thinkers, time can’t be saved. Time is present, equal, emotionless, and powerful.  

As I have grown older, and especially now as a new parent, I am constantly reminded that time is a finite resource, and how we spend it significantly impacts our personal and professional growth and development. Every moment is an opportunity to invest in ourselves and others, strive for improvement, and pursue growth. Personal and professional growth is an ongoing process—a journey to becoming the best version of ourselves, which never truly concludes because each milestone reached opens new possibilities for learning and improvement.  

So, how do we make the most of our time and spark continuous growth? Here are some insights to help us be intentional with our time. 

seek discomfort

True growth lies just beyond the edge of our comfort zones. Embracing discomfort challenges us to grow—whether it’s by taking on a new project, learning a skill outside of our expertise, or engaging in difficult conversations. Stepping outside of our comfort zone becomes the catalyst for growth. 

“We have no limits to our world. We’re only limited by our imagination.” - Bob Ross

find passion and purpose

Passion and purpose fuel the engine of growth. Identifying what drives us gives meaning to our efforts. When passion meets purpose, each step and stage in life becomes meaningful, creating a roadmap for both personal fulfillment and professional success. 

commit to the journey

Growth demands commitment. It’s a lifelong journey, requiring clear goals, a well-defined plan, and persistent effort. By staying committed, we build the momentum needed to overcome obstacles and achieve sustained growth.  

“Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality… Commitment is the stuff character is made of; the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism.” - Abraham Lincoln

intentional actions and behaviors

Intentionality is the foundation of progress. Each action behavior is a building block for our growth. Being intentional means developing positive habits, aligning our actions with our goals, and making conscious choices that propel us forward.  

leaning into resilience

Challenges are inevitable, but resilience is our armor against failure. Building resilience involves adapting to adversity, learning from mistakes, and bouncing back stronger. Maintaining a positive mindset and viewing challenges as opportunities for growth transforms obstacles into stepping stones, ensuring that setbacks become a part of the journey, not the end of it. 

celebrating success

Amidst the pursuit of growth, it’s vital to acknowledge and celebrate achievements. Celebrating success provides an opportunity for reflection, gratitude, and the recognition that growth is a series of small victories that accumulate over time. Celebrating the wins also reinforces positive behaviors and outcomes, motivating us to strive for more—individually and as a team. 

“Joy grows when it’s shared.” - Yes Theory 

The pursuit of growth is a perpetual expedition, with no defined endpoint. Embrace the journey and continuously learn and evolve, for the path itself is the destination. One of my favorite quotes is this Chinese Proverb: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”  

Our allotted time is a precious resource, and how we invest it shapes our journey. By setting goals, managing time effectively, and embracing a mindset of continuous improvement, we can navigate the path toward becoming the best versions of ourselves, while generating significant impact for those around us. The time is now! 

Clap it out, baby! We are blessed! 

Jon Slusser

Written by Jon Slusser

Jon is the managing advisor of commercial lines. He is responsible for assisting commercial lines with strategic scale, business production, and operational support. Jon assists small business functions and mentors fellow advisors. Read Jon's Full Bio