Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Personal and Professional Growth–Quiet Rather Than Dramatic

Growth doesn’t necessarily involve moving.

It is easy to assume that personal and professional development involves action and motion. When we read about the topic it is nearly always about doing something. Nothing I’ve read–or taught–on the subject says, “First, stop working at it and just relax.”

However, there is a lot to be said for quiet concentration, calm confidence and gaining wisdom through waiting and watching. Have you noticed that most of the unpleasant situations at work are the result of too much activity? Busybodies are called that for reason! Hyper, obsessive, over-the-top, stirring the pot, out of control, bulldoze, frantichectic, running around, bouncing off the walls, are all words and phrases we use to describe people and situations that involve negative activity.

Dag Hammarskjold, the remarkable statesman who was the second Secretary General of the United Nations, was noted for his humility and quiet but strong convictions. He once said that his goal was simply not to encumber the earth.

After much prompting by friends and colleagues he decided to allow his journal of meditations to be published as a way to help others. It was aptly titled, Markings. It was not only his personal markings in a journal, it has left a mark on millions of readers around the world.

One of Dag Hammarskjold’s prayers was, “If only I may grow: Firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer.”  That is the English translation, by Auden, of the Swedish text.  Another version is this:

With all my heart I want to grow: To be more calm, more steady, more at peace and more caring of others. 

A worthy goal for all of us.

October 5th, 2010 Posted by | Keeping On!, Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 6 comments


  1. This was a wonderful way for me to start my day!I need to pause more often and I especially want to improve when it comes to interfering AKA meddling. Thank you, Tina.

    Comment by A.L. | October 6, 2010

  2. Good thoughts. I sometimes feel sorry for a couple of people in my work who are so busy climbing the ladder of success they don’t have any friends left.

    Comment by Meeker | October 6, 2010

  3. Very good Tina, very well put and well taken here. I was almost afraid to read this at first, afraid it was going to cut into my movin-and-shaken time.

    Comment by daniel beck | October 7, 2010

  4. Tina, I came to your website today as I am brainstorming ideas for a presentation I’m doing on promoting positivity in the workplace. This article fits perfectly with what I am thinking. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Comment by Jennifer | October 7, 2010

  5. One of my favorite verses of scripture starts with “Be still….” (“and know that I am God.” In a mental sense, I have found that being still is a good way to understand a problem or find a solution. I like Dag Hammarskjold’s prayer…thank you for quoting it.

    Comment by Don R. | October 7, 2010

  6. Thank you. 🙂

    Comment by JSM | October 11, 2010

Leave a comment