Personal Development, Oh What a Journey!

As I focus to improve my values I read about each one. What can I learn about what other people are saying about Personal Development? I will be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers, so getting insight from other people who have studied or researched these areas help me to get a different perspective.

As I have been reading about personal development some people have a three step rule to personal development while others will tell you that there are over 200 principles to personal development. But as I was listening and reading about personal development, I kept hearing a few common ideas that stood out to me.

  • What do I want? I mean, what do I REALLY want?
  • Set Goals
  • Take action
  • Avoid distractions
  • Make adjustments when needed.
  • Seek guidance and support from other individuals along the way.

The first step to achieving what I really want is to determine, what do I really want? I know that this seems really straight forward but I really think that I spend a lot of time (and I would guess you do to) trying to figure out what I want. I know that what I thought I wanted, say 5 years ago, is not the same thing that I want now. It might be similar but it’s not the same. So for the next few days I will be trying to think about (and writing down) what I believe I really want.

Then I need to look at developing goals. Any good personal development plan (or any other kind of plan for that matter) requires goals. How am I going to pursue what I really want? I will think about how to go about achieving what will bring me personal growth. Setting specific goals that are realistic and achievable. How will I know that I am getting closer to achieving my goals, and pushing myself to have a deadline as to when I want to achieve it.

Anyone that has set a new years resolution just to abandon it by the next day knows that any good plan is useless without the follow-through of the plan. Personal development takes action and a lot of it. I believe that personal development is something that I will be working on for the rest of my life. I believe that I will spend my whole life trying to become the best possible version of myself. Maslow suggested that only about two percent of the world would achieve self actualization. That to me suggest that I am in good company in my pursuit of personal development. But whatever I am trying to achieve I need to put it in action. I believe that most of us want what is best for ourselves but we often do not want to do the work that is required to get there.

This is where the next idea comes into play, avoiding distractions. In our fast pace society we have unlimited options available to us on a regular basis. We have thousand of shows to watch (and yet nothing is worth watching). We have up-to-the-minute news (and yet it often reports the same thing over and over). We can get to the other side of the world in a matter of hours (if we have the money to get there). We scroll through different social media for hours and wonder where the time has gone. And the list goes on and on. So before I get caught up in a rabbit trail of all the different things that will take us away from our goal it is important to get rid of all the different things that take us away from our goals. I know that I have frequently said “if I only had time”. It’s not that I don’t have time, its that I am not using it to my advantage.

I know that things happen and goals change so its important to acknowledge that personal development is a work in progress. It is like the ebb and flow of the tides in the ocean. My life has meaning and purpose but it shifts with the seasons. What was once important in my youth does not have the same meaning as it once did. I think it is important at this time to also add that I can’t try to take the easy or fast way. When things get hard (and they will) that I need to get my footing and keep on walking and adjusting my steps.

The last thing that I want to be aware of in my search for personal development is that I don’t have all the answers. I believe that in pursuing my personal development that I need to surround myself with people who can assist me in my journey. People who can offer guidance and experience, people who can be my sounding board and tell me the honest truth, people who pick me up and brush off my bruised ego and encourage me to keep trying, and people who challenge me to do just a little bit more. Oh, how I love my people! They keep me going and give me purpose.

I know that personal development is a continual journey, but oh what a wonderful journey it is!

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