If you’re not growing, you’re dying, the old saying goes.

And there’s no doubt that there is something you want to improve in one specific area of your life. Today, I’ll show you how, and share a proven formula for personal growth.

This method has helped me become a much better person over the years. It helped me stop swearing, overcome introverted tendencies that held me back in life, and even, as embarrassing as it is for me to admit, helped me drop by jerk-like habits and become a much more loving, open, and authentic leader.

Fortunately, this formula holds the same promise of change and power of personal growth for you.

I’ll explain it in a moment, but first, an odd story…

Recently I took a trip to San Diego for the annual Fitness Business Summit (FBS). On the third day of the event, I spoke from the stage and coached 1,000 entrepreneurs through a 10X business building session (but that’s another story for another day).

There were other highlights, too.

Every year at the event I take on a crazy personal challenge.

At the 2017 FBS, I made a public declaration that my goal was to hug 100 people during the summit. That probably sounds easy to you.

For me, it was extremely uncomfortable. But I went after it with gusto—and a fair amount of awkwardness.

While I fell short of the century mark, clocking only 91 hugs, the challenge helped me grow.

I increased the level of difficulty this year. For 2018, I challenged myself to film 100 selfie videos with attendees and to post these on my social media pages.

At first, I resisted pulling out the camera. I feared asking people to film the video. I resisted putting in the effort to bring the energy to the video. I feared digging deeper in my questions because I wanted to rush through the video.

But I pushed through. Each video got easier. While I fell slightly short of my goal, I interviewed 83 attendees over the three-day summit.

The result was nothing short of magical. The challenge forced me to step outside of my comfort zone, and I discovered a few great things in the process:

  • The best interviews were the ones where I surprised my subjects with DEEP questions who gave me raw, unfiltered, instinctual answers. This is a conversational technique I’ll keep up after the event (even if I’m not filming our discussion). 
  • About 20% of my social media followers went through every video. I received dozens of messages thanking me for the great content, and several more messages from fans—who were also attending the event—asking for a chance to be interviewed.
  • Selfie videos are a great way to end awkward conversations with strangers at seminars. (Ha!)
  • With each video, I became a better interviewer and more natural on camera. It just goes to show that taking action is one of the most important steps for success.
  • My big takeaway from the challenge can be summed up in this quote: “What was once resisted soon becomes accepted and then becomes habitual.”

Think about it. This pattern of habit-building shows up everywhere in life.

Remember the time you drank your first coffee? You might not have been a fan of the taste, but soon it became normal, and now it might even be an addiction.

A shot of whiskey is nasty at first try. Then you build a tolerance, then a liking. Soon, for many, it becomes a crutch.

Getting up early sucks. But with some effort, it can become your salvation. Eventually, it is both desired and needed.

This habit-building pattern can be used for growth or destruction, however. That choice is on us.

Back to my FBS challenge. At first I resisted, then I accepted it, and eventually my mind embraced it and created a new level of performance.

What was once resisted is now engrained. I cannot wait to do this over and over again.

I wasn’t the only one, either. People loved it! My interviews made them feel special and helped them grow and develop their on-camera skills as well.

The challenge confirmed for myself that pushing through barriers is the only thing that levels up a life.

Want to grow? You must commit to this mindset.

The secret to success for personal growth and skill development is action and practice. 

Take action, action, and more action. 

Then review your “practice” and get expert advice on how to become better.

Now return to practice, practice, practice.

Take more action, action, action.

Continue this virtuous cycle over and over and over again—for your videos, podcasting, writing, leadership, meetings, conversations. Do it for every skill that needs improvement.

That’s the formula for personal growth. Take action. Correct course. Repeat.

It’s amazing what you can do and who you can become when you regularly step outside your comfort zone.

So take up a new challenge today and see what becomes of it. 

The lessons you learn might surprise you—just as the results of my 100 selfie video challenge did for me.

Most importantly, your personal growth and evolution will move forward by leaps and bounds.

Remember: Life is one continuous training cycle. 

Never let it end.


If you think this will level-up your life, then imagine what you can do with ALL of the wisdom, philosophy, and science of “The Perfect Day Formula.”

This is the foundation for Early to Rise and Editor Craig Ballantyne’s coaching, so if you’re ready to finally take your life to the next level, get a FREE copy of “The Perfect Day Formula” right now.

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Craig Ballantyne

Craig Ballantyne is the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life. Craig has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine for over 17 years. Today he teaches his gift high-performing entrepreneurs how to squeeze more out of their days, increase their income, and make more quality time for their families in his Perfect Life Workshop and Work-Life Mastery programs. Craig used his own advice to overcome crippling anxiety attacks in 2006, and he'll teach you his 5 Pillars of Success so you can increase your income, decrease your work time, and live the life of your dreams. Learn more about Craig at craigballantyne.com