There is no doubt of the growth in China. They are moving at a very rapid pace toward new technologies and innovative ideas. Their new architecture is amazing by any city's standards. But once you look past the surface, the growth is uneven and haphazard. This is a country in search of a vision; they don't know who they want to be.
Individual, organizational and national growth depend on a few characteristics; the freedom to grow, innovative ideas, resources to develop those ideas, and a clear direction. China has all but the last characteristic. Their history illuminates the development from fiefdoms, to a powerful imperial dynasty, then a strong communist state, and now, well, not really anything.
Any of us can learn from their challenges. I've met with countless individuals who had the freedom, ideas, and resources to be amazing at whatever they chose. The challenge was that they never chose. I've struggled with that same challenge. When there are so many avenues to choose to try new things, it's difficult to pick one because you worry you will chose incorrectly, or leave a good road behind.
However the poison of indecision is far more insidious than we realize. Trapped in not choosing a direction, we wallow in perpetual mediocrity, or occasion triumphs only to sink back into uncertainty. To achieve our best, we need a direction.
Sometimes, for me, it is as simple as picking a direction I really believe I want my life to move and taking a few steps. I've learned that sometimes it becomes very clear, very quickly that it is the wrong direction and I can retrace my steps and head another way. But I've clarified my direction and eliminated a road for the future. That is worth the attempt. Sometimes I choose well and it feels like everything clicks into place as I move toward my vision.
Ask yourself: what's my vision for myself, or for my organization or family? Is it clear to me? Is it clear to others? Once you have identified your vision strive for it with everything you have because all your energies will be focused in the same direction and you will more likely succeed.