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Half of you are probably shrugging, disinterested in the entire subject while the other half of you are keenly reading, wondering what knowledge you’re going to gain.
Even if you don’t think you’re interested in personal development, the truth is that you are. Unconsciously, you are doing things to improve yourself, not realizing that it counts toward personal development.
There’s no doubt that we all have goals, dreams or ambitions, but sometimes we do not know how to go about achieving them. We often have thoughts about what would it take to improve our lives, but have no idea how to even begin to make the plans and take the actions required to make our goals a reality.
Some of us have a vague idea of how to go about self-improvement believing that if only we had a better job, or had been given better opportunities, or met the love of their life, or whatever else-everything would be fine, and we would be super happy.
We feel that our happiness or lack of happiness is decided by external factors, and our thoughts and actions are of little consequence. (So wrong. More on that later).
Some of us believe that if only we had more money, we could have whatever we want and be on our way to an awesome life.
However, we tend to spend little time purposefully thinking about what we actually want from life, and frankly, most of us do not really believe there is anything we can do to create the life we want. (Wrong again!)
Sadly, some of us do not even know what we actually want from our lives and may even have little idea of what would really make us happy. We seem to just drift from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year, and do little more than just getting by-just surviving.
Oh, we may have seemingly secure jobs and earn enough to live relatively comfortable lives. We seem happy enough; thus, having no great ambition to achieve anything more from our lives than what we currently have.
But the question is…
Are we really living?
Are we living without reservation or regrets?
A few years ago, I was drifting from day to day, week to week-living a life without purpose. I hungered for more out of life. I realized that life has more to offer than the status quo, i.e., nice, job, house, spouse, children, and a fairly good social life.
A single middle-aged lady who was profiled on the popular T.V. show House Hunters International echoed the same sentiments. As she packed up all her belongs and sold her house in California to move to Mexico, she said that she had worked as an office manager for a lot of years, and finally realized that there was more to life than sitting at a computer for 8-9 hours a day.
We see this type of attitude more and more, especially with millennials. These young risk-takers are creating the life they want by following their passions or becoming financially independent at a young age or Financial Independent Retire Early (FIRE).
It’s no secret that the popularity of self-improvement books, seminars, coaches, podcasts, and blogs is a reflection of the universal interest we all have in overcoming our limitations, or “being the best we can be” or “achieving our full potential.”
Hence, I started researching, reading self-improvement books and blogs, and taking classes. The more I learned and implemented in my life, the more motivated and excited I became about where this journey was taking me.
Self-improvement and personal growth have changed my life for the better.
This is no exaggeration.
I think differently.
I react to situations (especially the bad ones) differently.
I talk differently.
I approach life differently.
I see what is possible.
That alone is worth the investment.
The reality is that throughout our lives we are all constantly growing and developing. Circumstances make us grow and develop, even if we do not make the conscious decision to do so.
Up to a certain age, we learn through formal education, and we continue to learn through our experiences for the rest of our lives. We have to learn and grow to deal with everything that life throws at us. Eventually, we all have to go through some type of self-improvement.
But when we consciously decide to pursue our best life, that is when the excitement happens. That’s when curiosity gets the best of us. We look at life through a different lens. Life becomes more exciting because we can see what’s possible.
Now, some may feel that there’s nothing they need to improve upon. This is where people are misinformed. Self-improvement and personal growth do not require something to be blatantly wrong. The very premise of self-improvement and personal growth is rooted in consistently becoming the Best Possible You which is the single most important reason to invest the time.
There is always room for improvement.
There is always room for growth.
There is always more to reach for.
Your life only gets better when you do.
When you work on yourself, the rest naturally follows.
To say the least, self-improvement and personal growth is an exciting journey.
Personally, I may not accomplish all the goals I have established, but I am having fun and enjoying trying.
So, yeah, I can attest without reservations that self-improvement and personal growth are very important and a commitment to them may well be the deciding factor in how my future or your future will turn out.
I’ve put together a list of the 6 key areas of personal development. These are the most common areas where people look to make improvements.
I have intentionally put this one first because it might seem as though it has little to do with personal development – the truth is it has a lot to do with it.
Every relationship you have, whether it’s with your partner, children, neighbors, friends, co-workers or parents, falls under this umbrella. You’re part of these relationships, therefore, who you are as a person influences how they operate.
So, if you tend to have a lot of relationship issues across the board then you may need to take a long look within yourself to understand what is causing you to stumble in so many relationships. Start thinking about what you can bring to each of these relationships and what steps you need to take to improve them.
I briefly referenced the overlap between self-esteem and self-respect. Self-esteem, though, is a reflection of how much value you place on yourself. It is your attitude towards you as a person. It covers beliefs like I am good enough. It also includes emotions like shame, triumph, pride, and even despair. It’s our self-concept.
How do you view yourself? Is it positive? Is it negative? This is your self-esteem. It is believed to influence the outcome of your career, your happiness, your relationships, and beyond.
Your spirituality doesn’t need to be related to religion – there are plenty of people who want to get in touch with their spirituality and use meditation to do so, instead of church.
There are different ways you can help develop your spirituality – if you are religious then consider what steps you can take to improve that. The most obvious steps would be to attend church more often, to spend more time in prayer, and perhaps to delve deeper into your holy text.
For those who are spiritual, but not religious, you can meditate regularly and find a community of like-minded people to commune with. What are your goals for your spirit? How can you reach that goal?
Do you have a five-year plan for your career or perhaps just a one year plan? What are you doing to develop your career? If you’ve been waiting for a promotion that seems to never come, it’s time to ask yourself why. What are you doing to improve your chances? Talk to your boss about what other steps you can take to improve your working life.
Remember, your career is what drives your financial situation, too, so if you want to develop it you need to work harder on improving your career chances.
We all have some type of creativity flowing through our veins – it’s all about getting in touch with what art allows us to express ourselves most accurately – that could be playing the piano, it could be writing, it might be cross stitching, painting, dancing, or even basket weaving.
It doesn’t matter what makes you feel creative, it matters that you stretch yourself and engage in those activities regularly.
How healthy are you? Do you eat potato chips at lunch and enjoy a dinner of sugary cereal? Do you smoke between meals, top up your whiskey one more time before bed?
It’s time to take your health and wellness seriously – so create a plan to improve your diet and exercise regularly.
Start with a three-month plan and grow into a six month and annual plan. You won’t be sorry you chose to develop your health, it plays a role in everything else listed above.
Once again, the purpose of personal development isn’t merely to live or even to thrive, it’s to strive – you should always be pushing yourself to grow a little bit more.
While there is nothing wrong with being happy with your life, there are always different areas where you can make improvements, even if they seem small.
Self-Improvement and Personal Growth Await You!