One of my biggest drivers in life is the constant strive to be better. I love learning, academia, and challenging what makes me uncomfortable. One of my lifelong goals is to build a library—a goal that Google informs me is achieved by owning a minimum of 1,000 books. And despite all this, it took me more time than I care to admit that the mental model of how I thought growth worked was wrong.

I had always thought growth looked like a constant slope. The more I read, the more slope I climbed, slowly inching closer toward an infinite tip. But if this was true, what did I sometimes feel stagnant? Why did my effort only seem to make an impact… sometimes?

Turns out, growth is more like a staircase. Sometimes you read a book and you don’t gain anything from it. Other times, you make an incite, gain a new skill, or change an outlook. And as long as you keep growing, it’s ok to sometimes feel stagnant. You’re just getting closer to another step.