I have lived from my work for 25 years, though I earned my first money before I learned to read. I wanted everything from a job: a title and knowledge and money. I accomplished one by one, and then all together year after year. I have been awarded for my work in my country, in Europe, and around the world. The knowledge I’ve gained covers various areas from chemistry (high school) and technology (master’s & doctorate), through philosophy and linguistics (undergraduate studies), business finances, sports, IT, automotive industry, public life, pharmaceutical industry, and further through work with clients (perennial work with the same clients). And just when everything was as I imagined, for I’ve always liked to imagine, I realized I knew very little. That was five years ago. Then I stopped. We need to know when to stop. I stopped.
Time was slowing down, the back pain finally began to subside finely and spread throughout the body. Headache eventually squeezed the skull. Everything around me was spinning rapidly, and I stood and watched. For months, everything hurt. I was pained by the accumulated burden of desires & expectations and the piled-up stress mixed with vanity and pure strong ego. That’s when the seed of my current career was actually planted. A growth guide.
First, I defined what success is for me. The path to success must be clear, and all access roads towards it clearly defined. I wrote: success is satisfaction. If you are satisfied, you are successful no matter what you do, wherever you live, no matter how much money you have and whatever (if any) school you finished. Many people well-known on our business scene and the world’s business scene, have dropped out of ‘the list‘ according to this new categorization of mine because those people had everything or they had a lot, but they did not have satisfaction. I realized that I was not successful, but also what success means to me, so I believe that I successfully mastered the first step on my new journey.
Definition of success: Success is satisfaction. If you are satisfied, you are successful no matter what you do, no matter how much you earn and no matter what title you have.
As it became clear what my goal was, I began to draw a map to the goal – a map to success. The drawing has shown that success is the same as development and that only progress leads to satisfaction. Does that imply more money, more titles, more clients? Of course not, you wise head. Don’t go down that path, it’s a vicious circle. It’s a fishtail biting. It is like injecting air into the hard suitcase of existence. The more you compress, the greater the emptiness and the pleasure lasts shorter each time. And so on to madness! You wonder how it is possible to have and create more and more, and you feel less and enjoy less and less, while the moments of satisfaction with huge individual success are getting shorter.
What is a 3D Growth Map
It is necessary to go more in-depth but also in width, they don’t tell us that because even those who tell us have no idea. Progress is multidimensional because we are complex beings, and the 3 dimensions that my mind now manages to perceive are quite sufficient to start.
Those 3 dimensions already make the map opaque to many eyes because it is a 3D development map. The path to success leads through a 3D map of development made up of depth, width & peace.
The first dimension of the 3D development map ☞ Depth
Some reach depth in their work and become experts, recognizable names, and big faces in a city, country, area or niche. They are so busy digging into the depth, which, turns out, leads them only to that expertise, digging their way to the hell of stress, illness, and breakdown (or unfulfillment) in private life. We dig ourselves into a pothole on the way to expertise in order to have more air to fill the suitcase of our own existence with it, which cannot be filled with air. Of course, then we start going crazy!
Here’s how life often looks from that point:
- We fill ourselves with bitterness (some also with alcohol, overeating), with anger (some also with aggression)
- We start judging others because they are lazy and irresponsible or they don’t understand our mission ☞ so we mistreat our colleagues/employees/partners or/and we become chronic adulterers
- We start to develop megalomaniacal ideas ☞ so we start [un]successful businesses one after the other, and we can’t settle down. Everyone is to blame… and then we solve it by ☞
- Cutting out, like tumors, people who remind us about losing contact with reality – friends, best men, relatives, neighbors, and all other “whipsters” because they have no idea how we are. “In our circle”, we are left with empty heads to fill our heads with how great we are, we are really cool, we are top, our ideas are greatest…
- In the end, we cut off both partners and children because “there will be time for them” or “let the partner do it, I do serious things, I make money / I create/change the world”.
All in all, we run into the depths of our profession, so we narrow our waists so much that we can not breathe because – in the tunnel of expertise, deep down there, it’s terribly suffocating. Some people can drown if they dig deep, and there is no one around to help them save their naked lives (because they have dispersed everyone)! The first dimension is depth – reaching existential peace. If we stop in this dimension, instead of peace – our, at first, existential struggle, becomes the cause of terrible unrest, a real storm that breaks everything both when silent & drumming.
The path to success leads through a 3D map of development made up of depth, width & peace.
Here’s how to check if you’re stuck in a hole of the first dimension
You have a job, but you know it’s not what you want – either it doesn’t fulfill you, or it doesn’t bring enough money, recognition, or results; or you have a job and it brings money, results, and recognition (at least some or all of it), but you feel trapped like in a maze, and those you work with (those who you work for or those who work for you) do not do their part of job optimally, or you don’t have a job, or you have several jobs and you like them all, but you are not as dedicated to each of them as you should be; or you have several jobs and you don’t like any of them, although you try hard to convince yourself otherwise. You have everything and you have nothing. You have nothing and everything is unclear. You got stuck, you wise head. There’s almost nothing that can help you. I understand you, I was there. Many are in the same place, they just lie to you. Don’t blame them, they believe their own lie.
Let’s check if everything is ok with your business (depth):
- Do you have clear goals ☞ in the long, medium, and short term?
- Do you have time, and how to find it and organize it differently in order to reach your goals?
- Do you have adequate knowledge & skills (and people around you) to achieve these goals in the time we “created” at the previous point of the journey?
- How do you see yourself and how do others see you, because both affect whether you will achieve your goals within the given deadline?
This is what the landscape of the first dimension looks like – (re) defining goals (Goal settings), managing your time (Time management), developing knowledge & skills (Social Skills Development & Human Resource Management), branding & finally creating innovations (Innovation management) – are some of the areas we deal with in the first dimension.
I tried these things on myself, so I became a harmonious clock of success & satisfaction. I have implemented things like this on many famous people you are reading about & who now serve as inspiration for you, like sports champions, public figures, directors & managers, entrepreneurs, and students. They have all progressed. Each of them could not believe that everything could be so much better and more efficient, shocked that they had not done it before, because it is simple and beneficial. But that’s not the end. With this, we only manage to stand still (to not regress), but we still do not go beyond the stuck point that we once reached (we are not progressing). After this, we accelerate along another dimension and the dimensions of the journey begin to merge, and the speed increases exponentially.
The width brings a breath of fresh air to life.
The second dimension of the 3D development map ☞ Width
Becoming broad-minded, the second dimension of my 3D Growth Map is curious research of everything interesting that surrounds us. When we raise our wise head towards the light, we realize that shadows are not reality. We will talk a lot about shadows and reality on these pages, for a start, read about it in my text “Parabola”.
For these introductory lines here is a brief illustration of what being broad-minded means in my 3D Growth Map…
What means to be broad-minded
What do Newton’s laws have to do with change management or crisis management? Why can we learn the most about social entrepreneurship and the Internet revolution from mythology? In which way the Systems Theory, knowledge of ecosystems, and origin of species give us answers to questions about team management, competition, and motivation? How to use fiction as a science and science as trend indicators? Is it possible that dark matter (physics), DNA (genetics), layers of human consciousness (psychology), atomic structure (chemistry), and big data (technology) all together give us the same answer about the source of human potential? What connects “Danga” by Radoje Domanovic (19th century, Serbia) and movie “Keeping up with Joneses” (2016, USA)? How can we understand East and West through “Brave New World” and “1984”, and how to learn from Fromm, Jung, Buddha, and Nietzsche to eliminate our ego and create a better society? How does the movie “Focus” prove Strawson’s theory of free will, and why Kant’s categorical imperative is in crisis? What is Kipling actually telling us, and what does Yiruma play in “River Flows In You”? What do fables teach us about tactics, fairy tales about the subconscious, novels about society, and art about history and how to make all this a powerful string of inspiration for generating new ideas in life and business – in one word to make you an innovator who is successful and who will become even more successful? Deep, but also a wide broad-minded human being.
Continuous progress is the result of creativity.
The first dimension cannot provide continuous progress, because continuous progress is the result of creativity. Depth kills width, so expertise narrows the field of view and, over time, our indispensable creativity dries up because, in order to get deep, we had to give up the width.
And what now?!
Not regressing and progressing are two completely different things. One is survival, the other is growth.
Working on the second dimension means opening our eyes and coming out of a tunnel, or a cave. Now let’s start to see, notice & ask (ourselves). To explore, debate, sketch the world out of our deep hole. But how?
Steps on the path through the second dimension
- Self-awareness – who we are, what is important to us, and why; why we do what we do, why we don’t do things that would be beneficial to us. Unless we are aware of ourselves, we cannot understand other people – our clients, voters, partners, colleagues, and associates. When we reach the optimal level of self-awareness, it is easy to understand others, to manage our own time and activities, as well as the time and activities of other people. The activities in this group are pure-play and fun! My clients rate this initial piece of work on width as their favorite :)
- Working on finding analogies – research of different disciplines, rules, theories, principles & laws in different areas, societies, and situations.
- Consuming & debating about a given movie, or scientific, artistic, philosophical content…
- HIIT for the brain or the high-intensity brain training that I’ve created – puzzles, riddles, conflicts of opinion, lateral thinking, and problem-solving exercises
- Tasks of creating innovations, creative problem solving, and solving specific personal and professional challenges.
Which contents, when & in what way will be processed – are defined by growth guide. You can have more guides for each area. That was my case since I didn’t know a person who was a good businessman/woman, who had an extraordinary width and who was great with people, to share with me their business experiences & inspire me in expanding my intellect beyond the boundaries of areas I had already been dealing with.
Today, I combine it all quite successfully. The 3D Growth Map and the methodology behind it, implies harmonious guidance through depth & width, on the path to contentment. The path to peace, a topic of the third dimension, is so sensitive that I will not write about it for a while. Contentment requires us to be wide & deep to the point of losing our sense of any limitation. You might be in chains now, looking at the cave wall. No one can present you freedom & beauty until you get rid of the chains and go out in the sun. We’ll get there, it’s our ultimate destination.
And so we came to the end, to the beginning of a new journey. Reflect on all this, ask me, write, snort, laugh – but please think about what I wrote to you. Such a small number of people, so few, succeed. A number of those who succeed, who remain successful & achieve satisfaction with who they are and what they do, is at the level of a statistical error. Let it be you. You deserve it. We all deserve to be what we can be. Anything less than that is too little to dedicate our entire unique life to.
I am the guide. I lead through the growth map with everything I know, with everything I am & everything I can think of. Like any good guide, I have been through the territory many times. Like any good guide, I have taken many through that journey – spoiled ones and those forced to travel, also some confused, overconfident, and those scared. As a wise guide, I drew a detailed map with all the wonderful places known only to the eye of a good guide, and I drew in the map all the hidden traps & obstacles that are an integral part of every interesting journey. I am a guide for growth – Growth Guide, GRWTH Guide, Gaga. Now that we got to know each other, we’re ready to go.
p.s. one funny story for the end. When I finally finished the 3D Growth Map, I had to choose my “title”. Of course, all this sounds like coaching. To see myself as a coach hurts me in the depths of my soul for a completely banal reason: coach sounds like a couch. Get out of here! Dragana Djermanovic – a couch. Not funny! It was not an option. I’m not a coach. The next one would be a mentor because that makes sense. However, mentor sounds too bookish, kind of dusty, librarian…. kind of boring & numb. I am alive, my profession vibrates in all directions! I’m on fire & I mix, I blend and I change, I do what I say & I talk about what I do. I am interested in theory only in terms of practical applicability. I am neither a coach nor a mentor. I am a growth guide. Welcome to my world.