The Quest for Growth
The Inner Force
Jay shares thoughts on the magical inner force that impels us all towards growth.
Growth is exciting. As humans, we are impelled by a force that is hard to describe, but undoubtedly compels us to move forward – to experience, to learn, to develop and grow. It’s something that we all feel at our very core and when acted on successfully, gives us great satisfaction. As individuals there is an irresistible urge to fulfill our full potential. In other words, we are all enticed by the quest for growth. The question is, however: Do we have the confidence and the will to pursue it?
As a starting point, let me ask - how does this work in your own life. Has there ever been a moment in your life when you’ve felt self-doubt? Perhaps it was more recent than you would like to think. It may have sounded something like to “I am not very organized,” “Math is not my strong point,” or “I get overwhelmed very easily.” The challenge is that the words we repeat to ourselves eventually dominate the story we use to describe ourselves. Inevitably, they begin to affect our behavior and can have huge implications in our professional and personal lives.
The encouraging news is, by adopting a growth mindset, we can alter the narrative. A growth mindset allows us to shift our thoughts. By instilling practice, proper habits, effort, and self-development, we can become better at almost anything. So, when it comes to navigating adversity, we can develop the tools needed to succeed and grow.
What’s important is that we remain open minded, reminding ourselves that nothing is absolute. When we operate with a fixed mindset, it leads us to believe that our qualities, talents, and intelligence are unchangeable. This can result in a lack of effort or motivation to attempt difficult tasks, as the conscious decision has been made that change is not applicable. If you feel that you have adopted a fixed mindset, know that it is never too late to cultivate new habits to shift your mindset. By simply believing in ourselves, being mindful of our internal dialogue, welcoming feedback from others, embracing failure, and persevering, we begin an important process that develops the habits that allow us to grow. To change takes effort and consistency. The most important thing is to show up for yourself and remain consistent. If you fall off the growth track, pick yourself back up. It’s essential to just keep moving forward. And, when you do – you will be well on your way to succeeding in your own personal ‘quest for growth!’
Famous NH Authors
For many people, reading a good book is one of their favorite ways to relax. And what many people probably may not realize is that there is a good chance the book they are reading was written by a New Hampshire author – perhaps even someone quite famous!
For example, J.D Salinger is remembered for his iconic works such as ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ as well as ‘Nine Stories, among other works. Beyond being well known for his writing, however, Salinger was also known for a reclusive attitude towards his fans. Writing in Cornish, New Hampshire, until his death in 2010, many of his fans have tried to locate his reclusive home, most often in vain.
There are a number of New Hampshire authors who are not novelists but rather known as poets. Robert Frost lived in Derry and Franconia, New Hampshire and is remembered especially for his New England themes. His poem ‘The Road not Taken’ includes one of the most famous lines in poetry “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Newport’s Sarah Josepha Hale is known both for her ‘Poems for Our Children’ and nursery rhymes, especially the ever favorite “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” And, famed authors - Donald Hall and his wife Jane Kenyon of Wilmot, NH.
Another famous children’s author and illustrator is New London’s beloved Tomie dePaola who only recently passed away in 2020. Having written or illustrated over 200 books, many have grown up with the Children's Literature Legacy Award winner’s work on their childhood bookshelves.
A few authors are famous because their works have been turned into feature-length films e.g., Exeter’s Dan Brown’s bestselling novel ‘The Da Vinci Code,’ Hanover’s Jodi Picoult’s ‘My Sister’s Keeper,’ and Exeter’s John Irving’s ‘Cider House Rules.’
Such great books, poems and films all by New Hampshire authors - ranging from classic novels, to iconic poems, to children’s books, thrillers and even feature films. So, with what’s left of the summer why not find a quiet moment and enjoy a good NH read!
Transfer Stations – A New Hampshire Political Tradition
In New Hampshire, there may not be a place that more people frequent in town (even more than the favorite coffee shop) than the local Transfer Station. And certainly, do not ever make the mistake of calling it the town ‘dump.’ If you make this blunder, you will almost certainly be rebuked and instantly branded by our local citizens as an outsider.
Interestingly, in many towns and smaller communities across New Hampshire there are no government or municipal run trash pickup services so that leaves us with a chore that many of the residents of bigger communities do not have to deal with - taking your own trash to the Transfer Station. Since everyone has trash, the Transfer Station thus becomes a focal point of the community as there is the weekly (usually on a Saturday) ritual of people hauling their own trash.
This has created a unique opportunity for the many people seeking political office in New Hampshire. What better way to have people come to you than to campaign at the Transfer Station? That’s right, in New Hampshire our politicians pander at the town dump. The jokes practically write themselves, but this seemingly strange event is quite effective and has become part of life in small town New Hampshire. In fact, I recall a conversation with my son, Gates, back in the fall of 2016. One Saturday morning I asked him where he was going that day. He said he was planning to spend the morning down at the Bedford Transfer Station and hand out flyers alongside a candidate running for his first term as Governor. Of course, Chris Sununu.
Transfer Stations – truly part of the Granite State political fabric. For those fortunate enough to have trash pick-up service, politicians have to come to our doors or call us but for those of us who live in the smaller towns, we get to meet our political candidates every Saturday during campaign season – not at the town dump – but at the Transfer Station!
Positive Profile of the Week: Zach Palmer
Zachery “Zach” Palmer seems to know everyone or at least those who know him feel that way. He seems to be everywhere supporting various community-based efforts and that’s just the way he wants it to be!
This hasn’t gone unnoticed as last year he received the Union Leader’s “40 Under 40” award and at just 25 years old he was one of the youngest awardees. The award is presented to those individuals under the age of forty who have made a difference in their communities and professions.
He sits on several boards that are further proof of where his interests and passions lie – NAMI NH (National Alliance on Mental Illness), NeighborWorks Southern NH and WayPoint’s Child and Family Services of NH. Additionally, he’s helping pilot and lead a community economic empowerment program that’s designed to listen to what Black and Brown-owned businesses in Greater Manchester need in order to thrive.
This past June, Zach participated in the New Hampshire Sunshine Initiative Day which was held at the Millyard Museum in Manchester. He was on a panel with Matt Mayberry, Zack Mannheimer and Ben Frost and helped lead a lively discussion on housing needs and solutions in NH. We loved his observation – saying that the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund is the state’s best kept secret! So, true it is!
In his role as a Community Business Lender at the NHCLF (New Hampshire Community Loan Fund), he works to close the wealth gap and solve disparities by taking a multi-faceted, evolving approach. For example, with affordable housing a big barrier for working families, seniors, and young families in NH, he works with ROCs (resident-owned communities) and gets to see and hear first-hand their struggles.
He provides guidance, coaching and consultation to the 13 ROCs in NH which include more than 1,100 households. Additionally, he’s assisting five of those resident cooperatives to purchase their own communities. Because when they purchase the park, it allows them to set their rents, create and enforce rules, and determine how the income and expenses are to be handled. What this also helps to do is preserve and stabilize the affordable housing market.
Even though the NHCLF focuses on everything from Affordable Housing to Childcare it’s the Community Driven Economic Empowerment program and the power of impact investing which allows them to do what they do. And as Zach will tell you, it’s also very important to note that the investment dollars stay in NH.
Because of all this great work Zach and the NHCLF are doing, the Easter Bank Foundation in June named them as a 2022 Community Advocacy Award honoree for their pioneering efforts in providing loans, capital, training and technical assistance to businesses and people across New Hampshire to achieve economic stability. Well done, Zach - NH needs you! And we appreciate all you are doing!
Quotes of the Week: Growth
“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.”
“Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.”
“All growth depends upon activity. There is no development physically or intellectually without effort, and effort means work.”
“Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” James Cash Penney
“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But, nothing is as painful as staying stuck where you do not belong.”
N. R. Narayana Murthy