Ever wonder whether and how much you have changed as a person over the years or how certain happenings in your life have shaped the person you are today? Ever binge watch seasons and witness the personal growth arc of a character take place and wonder what your own personal growth arc looks like and whether it is as impressive as the ones characters in shows have? Well, let me tell you for one that the “everything happens for a reason” philosophy is true, in fact, and the reason is almost always to shape your personal growth arc. Just like watching a character’s traits change on screen, you can witness yourself changing as well. You can notice your subconscious reactions to certain situations and state of mind after specific type of occurrences to catch signs of personal growth. Another sign of personal growth is acceptance. To know whether or not you’re a better evolved person than your past self, observe whether you shun the same things that you always have Everyone has trigger points. And no one knows anyone’s trigger points better than him or her themselves. So, for example, someone telling you to talk in a lower voice causes you rage because you have a naturally loud voice and find it difficult to control it. Then one day, your loud voice causes a baby to wake from sleep and then the baby cries throughout the night. You then make a conscious effort to always try to talk in a lower voice even if you find it to be a tough job and now if someone tells you to lower your voice you take it as constructive criticism and don’t get triggered. This is a sign of personal growth, the lessening of trigger points. However, this is just a simple example. Situations involving mental health, death, marriage, birth and many more things that affect a human most deeply and involve triggers cause much steeper personal growth arcs. Same goes for any other form of personal growth. Another sign of personal growth is acceptance. To know whether or not you’re a better evolved person than your past self, observe whether you shun upon the same things as you always have. A simple example of this is people with dissimilar thoughts as yours. Did you used to reject possible friendship with people just because they disagreed with you on some matter, deeming them to be incorrect? But now due to someone of that sort, coming to your aid when you needed them most, you have started accepting more and more people for their point of views even if they don’t match yours? This is personal growth. Personal growth also approaches you the other way around. When you find people who are accepting of you like no one has ever been before. When you feel wanted and needed unlike in the past. Everyone deserves to be wanted but not everyone feels so. And this causes them to be stuck in a field filled with self-doubt. Sometimes, the only way to overcome this feeling is to find supportive friends, and when you do, you grow and blossom into a ferocious being, ready to take up any challenge that comes your way. Basically, the key to being in touch with your personal growth is to notice how previously bad or uncomfortable situations don’t bother you as much anymore. Published in Daily Times, September 12th 2018.