The GRO Philosophy

One of the most fascinating processes that can be observed in nature is that of seed germination.

Unfortunately, neither of my thumbs are green, though my mom could grow thriving plants in concrete! I didn’t inherit her talent… but that doesn’t keep me from trying.

Early to mid-spring every year I plant a few of our favorite items in a 10’x10′ square soil bed in our backyard. My ventures typically include yellow squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, and a handful of different herbs.

I think one of the primary reasons I keep trying is simply because I get such a kick out of putting these tiny, unassuming seeds in the dirt, giving them a drink, and then checking back in a few days to see a tender shoot proudly displaying its new life above ground. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of being amazed at that miracle.

Now, admittedly, I’m not a farmer. But I do know this much. If I took my packet of seeds and put them in a drawer or on a shelf, or even poured them out on my desk and sung to them every morning, I would never see germination. In time, I suppose, even the potential for becoming what the seed was intended to become would disappear.

Why? Because in order to grow into the plant and produce the fruit it has the potential for, a seed must be the beneficiary of a number of resources..

That is, a seed must be planted in at least somewhat fertile soil where it can take root. It must be watered. It must get sunlight. And the process requires time. Because the process of germination is just that – a process.

But the wonder of the process is that if you provide the seed with each one of these crucial assistants (dirt, water, light), you are just about guaranteed to get results! It’s not rocket science… it’s nature! Deprive the seed of any one of them, and you’re more likely to get nothing.

This natural process of how plants grow is one you’re very familiar with of course, but we believe this same concept applies to one’s personal growth process as well.

Which is why at GRO we do things the way we do them. We realize what’s required to get results. And we’ve been working with people long enough to know you can’t shortchange the process if you want to experience personal and relational growth that takes root.

Let me elaborate on that statement a bit using the image that represents GRO’s philosophy:

GRO is at the center – the hub – of everything we do, which can be summed up as helping people reach their goals, find solutions to life’s problems, and guiding them to rise above and persevere through situations that can’t be changed.

Connecting to the center, and to each other, are the five elements making up the GRO philosophy. The components – represented by 5 S’s – are required in order to accomplish any lasting change.

The first S is green and represents the seed – or information.

Information is awesome. Just like a single seed, information offers incredible potential for magical things to happen.

But that’s all it is – potentiality in seed form.

If you don’t believe me, explain why everyone on the planet isn’t already a frickin’ rock star when it comes to Life Skills?!?! 

We’re drowning in information… on any topic you choose… and it’s as accessible as picking up your smartphone or firing up your laptop and doing a search. You could practically be proficient on the subject of anything you want by the end of the day, and you don’t even have to leave your chair.

Books, videos, blogs, articles, white papers, pdf’s – you name it, you can get it. And I think I can safely assume that if you’re here reading this right now you probably have a collection of self-help information on your shelves and saved on your laptop already.

So, let me ask you… is the information alone working? And historically in your life… has it?

Sure, you get energized, motivated, and maybe even enlightened a bit when you read a certain kind of book or watch an inspirational movie or video. We all do.

But do these one-off experiences really change you? Do they result in permanent changes that consistently produce the results you want in your life?

If not, why not?

The answer is simple enough. It’s because information is nothing more than seeds on the shelf, or on your desk. Or wherever you have them. Information is great for what it is. But it’s only potential. It must be planted and nurtured in a fertile context if it’s expected to take root and grow.

Don’t get me wrong – Mike and I are fanatics about information. We love reading, studying, and learning. But it works no different for us either – if we don’t plant that information in the right context inside of us and nurture it until it takes root, it never amounts to anything long term; beyond the immediate context, it never shows up anywhere other than as something else we’ve learned.

At the same time, information is essential to the process. You can’t leave out the seeds if you expect to grow a plant!

And we certainly have you covered when it comes to information. Not only that, all the resources you get at GRO are certified organic (yes, it’s a bit of a pun)

That is, they are our original material, developed in our own in-house lab… researched, modified, and beta tested over a period of 28 years. Anything that doesn’t pass muster doesn’t make the cut. Stated more technically, our proprietary information is field-tested and proven to work – as long as it is planted in fertile soil and given what it needs to grow.

And this brings us to the other three S’s. These essentials are dirt (soil), water (showers), and light (sunshine), which incorporate how we take care of you in the process.

Once the information is planted, everything else we do at GRO is for the sole purpose of nurturing to maturity what has been planted through understanding and application of the information, and tending to your individual needs.

And, of course, the process itself incorporates the element of time. Any gardener knows you don’t plant a seed one day and come back the next to find a fully mature, productive plant. Germination and maturation is a process, but a sure one if you provide all the essentials.

At GRO, we see to it that you have all those essentials. But we must give the process time to produce the results if we expect to see the full potential of the seed.

This is why you can’t simply buy our information. In order to get it you must see the benefit of, and agree to, participating in the process.

Because without the process of tending, watering, and nurturing the seed to a mature plant, it is more likely to die than grow. And without a similar process applied to personal growth, mere information alone is little more than seeds on the shelf.

You’ll notice there is one more S in our image – and it stands for “sangh.” Sangh is a Hindi term meaning an organized group of people with a shared aim or interest.

While our use of the term certainly has no Hindu overtones, it allows us to round out the S’s in our membership image relative to the concept of community.

So, what are the benefits of sangh, or community?

First of all, without community we are alone in the world. And we humans aren’t made to be alone because God made us relational. As much as we like to believe we are self-sufficient, if we are to become our best self, we need the help of others who can aid us on our journey.

The GRO community is a solid support system made up of people with a shared aim and interest and is a critical element in our personal and relational growth model.

With any journey, things happen along the way – you stump your toe, you trip on a root, you may just get tired and need a respite. The proper support system understands, helps you restore, and gets you going again.

Further, our community provides checkpoints along the way that keep you motivated, focused, and on track. We have built in some gentle checkpoints in our GRO system to help keep you going.

Access to each course’s community is available to all members who have taken or are taking that specific course.

In addition, you are never left to figure things out on your own. Members can email us directly for support, encouragement and additional direction if they get tripped up. And at GRO, members can come together to help and support each other.

These are just some of the ways we round out the community of GRO.

All 5 S’sseed, soil, shower, sun, and sangh – incorporate how we help, facilitate, and care for our members because we know, as evidenced by nature, this is how real growth happens. And GRO is not only our name; it is our commitment to you. It is who we are and what we do for you, if you are one of us.

So, if you’re serious about making your personal life, family life, and work life awesome – and then graduating to become an influencer of good in your world – then it’s time we get GROing together!

We’re excited to meet you! Here’s where you go to get started

Personal Growth, Growth Resources Online, Dr Michael Ruth
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