The Growth Rings Explained

In which Growth Ring do you find yourself? Most people find themselves in the first two rings. The first ring, Stagnation, represents a low performing environment. There are too many steps, constraints, or permissions that stifle your creativity and individuality. Stagnation is frustration.

The second ring, Order, represents what most people desire – comfort. Order leads to predictable outcomes, and predictability is comfortable. But comfort is dangerous. Order can be wonderful, but too much of it leads to Stagnation. Order is not pursuing that promotion, not asking for a raise, not taking that once-in-a-lifetime trip, or not starting your own business. People gravitate towards Order because it is the opposite of the fourth ring, Chaos.

Chaos is a lack of control. Almost no growth happens in a state of Chaos because you are lurching from one day to the next with no predictable outcomes, no realistic goals, and no sense of the brutal facts.

Growth is minimal in the first, second, and fourth ring. The most growth happens in the third ring, a state of Complexity. Complexity is nothing more than changed Order, but when Order is changed outcomes are now unpredictable, and it is unpredictability that makes you uncomfortable. Discomfort is not hardship. Rather, discomfort signals that you are pushing yourself to face a new challenge. This discomfort can lead to sustained or exponential growth.