A Growth Story, Part 1 – The Kid and The Brain

This is a pituitary gland. Mine doesn’t work so well.

Let’s dive into it, starting inside the brain – yes, mine and yours.

If your brain could function as a team, the manager would be the hypothalamus, the one who dictates what should be done and by whom.

But the pituitary is a small gland inside your brain that functions as the captain – the one responsible for getting the hypothalamus instructions and give to the other hormone glands/players, such as growth hormone, thyroid, adrenal/cortisone, testosterone, and many others.

When I was 9 years old, I got diagnosed with panhypopituitarism, a rare condition that means your pituitary does not work – and therefore, the whole “supply chain” of hormones doesn’t start without the right instructions.

I’m not sure if I was born with it or developed it as a kid, but it doesn’t matter now. The thing is: I needed to take all the hormones artificially (still need). Including the growth hormone – and that’s the first time I have met my growth obsession.

Being the smallest kid in town makes some impact on how you think.

Growth hacking comes since that age: when in school, since I couldn’t be stronger or have the best physical abilities, I would give all of it to be smarter, or more creative.

I am fine, and I was able to grow beautiful and strong (special thanks to my family, the Brazilian medical system, and an excellent endocrinologist), despite some broken bones here and there (lots of them, really).

But then, the growth obsession was already inside me. Every inch mattered, and it didn’t take long for it to irradiate to my whole personality.

Competitiveness was there: when in judo as a kid, my goal was to obliterate opponents who were twice my size and weight. But teamwork was there as well – I have always thrived to learn and teach others.

I measured progress also: from the inches and dates on the wall to how I would get to know my evolution at football matches or even videogame.

In a nutshell: I understand myself as an RPG character, that one that you grind to up the levels and skills, since a long time ago. That reflects from approach on learning about everything, to my annual OKR (objective and key results) plan, to my daily action.

Since being a kid. Growth First. Always.

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