What is personal development?
Personal development is a process wherein people will be able to hone their potentials. This life-long process allows an individual to find his/her purpose and goals in life.
Along with this process, you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. By developing necessary habits, a person can be able to become confident which in turn makes him succeed in many areas of his life.
Personal development starts in infancy and it continues towards adulthood. As long as you live, self-development never stops. Your childhood friends, your classmates, your family, and your co-workers contribute to your development.
Does personal development important?
Do we really need to develop ourselves? Well, the general answer to this question is yes. If you don’t improve, you will be stuck in life. You will be stagnant and succeed nothing.
Imagine yourself sitting on a chair all day for the rest of your life. What would it feel like?
Lazy people have this kind of habit. Their lives are boring. They just exist but do not live.
We all exist. But only a few live.
Doing nothing with your life is existing. But making sense of your life is living.
If you choose to live, then your life will be fruitful. At the end of your day, you’ll have no regrets.
Steps in achieving personal development
There are many ways to improve many areas of your life. But what I want to share with you here are my personal favorite recipes.
1. Establish your personal vision
When I was applying for a job, the interviewer asks me “How do you see your life five years from now?”
Most job applicants exaggerate their answer to this question. “I will be a supervisor.” But doing so does not make any advantage. In fact, it can backfire.
The best thing to do instead is giving a true and feasible answer. You can’t be a supervisor or a manager in five years. But you can be way better than who you are today.
Like a job interview, you need to ask yourself where you are going. What do you really want to achieve? What course do you need to take to get there?
This is a personal vision. No one will make it for you. And no one will achieve it for you.
Once your vision becomes clear to you, keep it to yourself and work on it. Do not share it with others. Your goal is still in its infancy. It can be easily affected by criticisms. Goals that are shared are more likely to fail than the concealed ones.
2. Track your personal development
Keep a record of your development. A daily journal can be helpful. List all your accomplishments. This will allow you to monitor what you already have accomplished and what needs to be done.
Keeping a record helps you maximize time and other resources. And most importantly, you will be guided accordingly. This is the most salient characteristic of successful people. They monitor their daily activities. You should do the same if you don’t want to waste your time.
3. Revise personal development plans if necessary
The most common advice you can get is you should never give up. I also give it to most people who asked my advice.
But the rule is not absolute. This principle does not work all the time.
Sometimes, you need to quit pursuing a goal. When? If a goal does not work. In contrast, if you see that your goal is achievable, it is worth pursuing. You should not give up.
The challenge here is that sometimes it can be hard to determine whether or not a goal is worth pursuing. Again, no one can tell you that. It is your job to figure out. Examine your goal regularly.
4. Find a mentor
Achieving success can be a slow-pacing and painful journey. Of course, you can get there, but having someone to teach you the necessary steps can make your learning process easier and faster.
Find a mentor. A mentor does not necessarily your teacher or professor. It is someone who has a lot to offer in terms of achieving personal development. That person must have a passion to teach you as much as you want to learn from him. In other words, you and your mentor should have a common interest.
5. Read a lot of books
Books are incredible sources of knowledge. If you can’t find a personal mentor, books are good alternatives.
Successful people are book lovers. Part of their personal development process is reading.
The best thing about books is that you can reread it over and over again. If you can read one book a month on minimum, you’ll be able to read twelve books a year. That alone can provide you a ton of knowledge.
6. Develop a belief system
After reading a number of books, you will acquire a tremendous amount of knowledge. But it is possible that the perspectives you learned are contradicting from one another.
The best thing you can do is build your own principle. Your personal perspectives will define who you are. You don’t have to subscribe to every idea you come across. Use your critical thinking. Discard the ideas that do not fit with your principle.
For years I’ve been reading so many books. What I noticed is that the ideas from those books become my voice. I collect those ideas including the bad ones. Why? Because they are equally important to me.
A rejected idea does not mean useless. You can somehow learn something from it.
To be successful, you need to open your mind to new perspectives. Weigh all the ideas. Select the ones that resonate with you.
I hope that my tips for achieving personal development can help you find personal success. But these tips could only work if you put them on the action.
You can always change your life. And the best time for that change is now. Decide NOW where you are going.
To give a little bit of motivation, I’ll give you my favorite personal development quotes.
Your journey can be hard. You need motivation. The following quotes will provide the strength you need.
My personal development quotes
1. “Absorb what is useful, discard what is not, add what is uniquely your own.” – Bruce Lee
2. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
3. “We must become the change we want to see.” – Mahatma Gandhi
4. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” – Bruce Lee
5. “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” – Helen Keller
6. “Everybody wants to be somebody; nobody wants to grow.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
7. “I do not think there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.” – John D. Rockefeller
8. “I don’t have to be what nobody else wants me to be and I am not afraid to be what I want to be.” – Muhammad Ali
9. “I studied the lives of great men and women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and enthusiasm and hard work.” – Harry S. Truman
10. “It is your attitude, not your aptitude, that determines your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar
11. “I’ve never seen a monument erected to a pessimist.” – Paul Harvey
12. “The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” – Vince Lombardi
13. “The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates
14. “We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.” – Aristotle
15. “What you habitually think largely determines what you will ultimately become.” – Bruce Lee