How do you view growth? If you had to draw a graph of growth, how would it look? A steady incline? Up and down? I think deep down, when we are judging our own situations, we find it difficult to accept the declines as growth.
Let me tell you how Chinese bamboo grows.
The graph would not even begin for the first four years. But if you remain patient, and carry on watering this seed that seems fruitless, the bamboo will suddenly shoot up in the fifth year.
This was told to me in the context of meditation - when you feel you are making no progress, perhaps you are just preparing for the real growth to take place.
This can be applied to anything you do. If you persist in whatever you are doing, eventually it will grow.