Becoming a wiser mature person — how do you do it? For spiritual development, it’s more than just aging and having more experiences, which come automatically. It’s what you do with your time and opportunities that makes the difference.
Shakespeare’s King Lear offers a cautionary tale for us here. The king made some bad decisions on ruling his kingdom with his adult daughters. His most virtuous daughter wouldn’t flatter him, so he gave his kingdom to his fawning daughters, who manipulatively praised him.
As a result, he lost his kingdom — and in the end, he lost his health and sanity. At one point, his companion/counselor — “the fool” — told him: “Thou should not have been old till thou had been wise.”
Important Items to Consider
Part of self-improvement is determined by two factors: having free will and how timing plays into our journey. Free will gives us the ability to choose, to create our destiny by our choices. Whether we make growth or fear choices matters.
Also, there is a timing to life. Sometimes we need patience, other times it’s good to strike while the iron is hot. Plus there are life stages. Often by midlife, for example, a transition or crisis causes us to pause and possibly change direction.
Keeping in mind these considerations (free will and timing), here are five ways to grow spiritually.