The Laureate Way

Articles to Help Families and Older Adults Manage the Challenges of Aging

Spring Forward: Vertical Growth vs. Horizontal Growth

Spring Forward: Vertical Growth vs Horizontal Growth

Spring is a season for transformation and rebirth. All around us we see signs of growth—crocus and tulips breaking through the once frozen ground and new foliage budding out on the trees. Spring inspires us to start anew, to do something different, to make a change, to believe that we can grow and improve. What better time of year to introduce some new growth!

Vertical Growth

We often associate growth with youth. But, personal growth does not stop with maturity; it simply changes. During the first two thirds of our lives, we experience what might be called vertical growth.

We put most of our efforts into achieving some relatively narrow goal that is important during those early years, such as having a career and raising a family.

We specialize in order to gain recognition, self-esteem, financial success, and our desired place in society.

Horizontal Growth

At some point in our lives, we put aside the narrow pursuit of vertical goals in order to pay more attention to what is going on around us. 

This often happens with retirement or the “empty-nest” state. Suddenly, we have more time to explore and less need to prove ourselves. The later years of life present an opportunity for horizontal growth, exploring new interests, traveling to different places, meeting new people and making new connections.

It could be as simple as reading a new genre of books or magazines. It might mean taking up a new hobby or studying a new subject—trying to learn something new every day. The third age can be a great time for growth and fulfillment.

Spring Forward: Vertical Growth vs. Horizontal Growth

A wise person once said: “Life is not about getting more. It is about becoming more.”  How will you grow this Spring?