We often confuse growth and learning which are mostly, but not always, distinctly different. Here is what to consider when speaking of the two, which can be applied to individuals of all ages.
Growth Is Personal
We can achieve growth in all areas of our lives, both personal and professional. However, how, where, and why we need to grow is individual. For example, I might read a book or take a class that is transformative and helps me to let go of my past or improve the interpersonal skills required to engage my clients. While the book, class or seminar may be deeply meaningful to me—it may be all but irrelevant to the next person.
Learning Is Forced
The classes you take in school, the software you need to learn for work, the required annual training and seminars—these are all examples of forced learning. While you may learn something that leads to growth, not all learning constitutes growth. For example, taking chemistry may be required to graduate from high school. If you are not passionate about science you may learn but not retain information, but you will not grow. If you are passionate about chemistry it may contribute to the knowledge you require for your career in science, which is growth.
We often value education over growth which is a bit backward. Yes, education is important—but growth is what leads us to our full potential.