What is your opinion of personal development? Anyway, what is personal development? To put it simply it is all that we can possibly do to improve ourself. It encompasses everything from our mindset to our attitude, our skills and our behaviors.
You can decide to improve your communication skills, your writing skills or your listening skills to name a few. Or you could adopt a more positive attitude, stop complaining, victimizing yourself or getting angry.
We are not necessarily aware of the ripple effect that can have personal development on our life.
The effect of personal development on yourself
First of all, personal development is of course beneficial for ourself. It can help us reduce stress, feel happier, be more productive etc. There is absolutely no reason why we could not make major improvement in all the areas of our life if we are firmly committed to work hard on ourself. We’re living in the most incredible time in history where most of us have access to all the knowledge that exists out there for free or at a ridiculously low price. For less than 10 dollars you can buy a book written by a world expert in absolutely any topic you have interest in. Now, let met share with you how personal development helps me improve my life. What about you? What behaviors impact positively your environment?
How I benefit from personal development
- I’ve significantly reduced my stress by practicing meditation, doing positive affirmations or focusing on positive things most of the time.
- I became more confident: positive affirmations help me get started and as a result I could get out of my comfort zone more regularly.
- My perseverance was drastically increased: Motivational videos were very useful in that regard. Many people believe that motivational videos only pump you up for a short period of time before you go back to your habitual state. I totally agree with that but who said you should listen to those videos only one time. I used to listen to motivational videos on youtube for 15 minutes every morning for several months. I still do it frequently though not necessarily daily. And because I know exactly which passage of which video will trigger the emotion I need, it became a powerful tool. Each time I start feeling a little bit like giving up I know what passage to listen to and can avoid bad emotions from developing and growing stronger. Also, out of those videos I came across passages that strongly resonate with me. After a while I start using more or less unconsciously those passages in my daily life as positive affirmations.
- I’ve been way more productive: By learning to set goals, I’ve been able to achieve more things in the past months like creating the blog you are reading now, shooting Youtube videos, joining the public speaking group “Toastmasters”, networking with coaches, passing a speech exam in Japanese, working several part-time jobs and other activities.
I should also mention that finding my true passion and having the courage to follow that passion greatly impact my ability to take action and persevere. Being successful in whatever it is you are passionate about can be so hard, and you will fail so many times that without a strong “why” you are unlikely to get there.
What is personal development? Repetition!
Get rid of limiting beliefs through repetition
The greatest obstacle towards our desire to reach our full potential and living a fulfilling life is always our mind. We all have many limiting beliefs that, if not eliminated, will lead to self-sabotage and get us stuck where we are (see Second Step: Identify Your Limiting Beliefs – How To Overcome Limiting Beliefs) Limiting beliefs were formed through repetitions. They are the results of what our parents, our friends, the society or the media had told us some many times for some many years. Or they are the result of what we have repeatedly been telling ourself. We’ve been hypnotized! One way to get rid of those limiting belief is to use the same method: repetition. Repeat something to yourself enough time and you will believe it.
Form new habit through repetition
Repetition is also the key when trying to form new habits. Starting very small and adopting daily habits consistently one by one over a long period of time will reap great results. (See How to Form Habits Effortlessly – The Power Of The Compound Effect)
What is personal development? A positive ripple effect
I will take care of me for you if you will take care of you for me. – Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn used to say that self-development is the best contribution we can give to our family, our friends, our company and society as a whole. When you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Working on yourself will necessarily have a ripple effect on your environment. The better way to change your environment is to change yourself. When you stop reacting to your environment and set a high-standard for your mindset, your attitude and your behavior, you will become a role model, an anchor for you surroundings. You will start inspire your friends, your family, your colleagues and everyone around you. If you are a manager you probably notice how much influence you have on employees, and particularly new employees. They will model you for good or bad without even being aware of it. What about your children? If new employees model their managers to such an extent, can you imagine the impact that you have on your children? That’s why it is so important that we work on ourself.
A simple act as recommending a book to your friends can give them the motivation to start the business they always wanted to create, or to work harder on themselves. As the result they will positively influence their surroundings and the ripple effect will expand further.
Personal development: a hobby or a responsibility?
Personal development is not some kind of trend, neither is it a hobby. Most people spend their time reading crappy articles like “7 tips to XX”. Most of those articles are superficial and even if they happen to include somewhat useful tips, only a fraction of the readers will actually take any kind of action. I’m not blaming anyone because I’m also guilty of doing that. Those articles are certainly enjoyable and easy to read. They make you feel good by giving you interesting facts that you can share with your friends or your family, but we know they won’t have much impact on our life. If you enjoy it, it’s your right to make personal development a hobby but don’t expect major changes in your life.
Doing personal development is your responsibility. It is your responsibility because it will have a tremendous impact on your children, on your wife, on your colleagues, on the society and of course on yourself. I personally believe it is my responsibility to become the best I can be because it will allow me to better contribute to the society and to live a more fulfilling life. And growing as a human being is fun and give us pride and fulfillment!
Doing personal development takes time
Improving yourself takes time and there will inevitably be a gap between the moment you start working on yourself and the moment you get concrete results. It might be 6 months, 1 year or 2 years. However, I’m convinced that by working hard on themselves and being patient, people can have amazing results after a couple of years. The transformation after 5 years can be mind blowing. Yes, you will have to make some sacrifices, but what is 2 years in a life? If working hard a few years can allow you to create an amazing life, do you think the price to pay is too high? You are the one to decide.
What is personal development? Action!
Without knowledge action is useless and knowledge without action is futile. – Abu Bakr
It is easy to read dozens and dozens of self-help books and know all the theory but knowing is not doing. Knowledge is not action. I’m not always taking as much action as I should. I constantly have to remind myself to take action. Action is so important that if you are already taking a lot of action you might not feel the need to read self-help books at all. However, bear in mind that many successful people that have apparently every reason to be happy are so emotional unstable that there is no doubt that we are way happier than they actually are. They work hard on their skills but they forgot to work hard on themselves. What’s the point living if you are not happy? Doing personal development will allow you to master your psychology and be successful at the same time. Many famous people are actually working extremely hard on themselves. Look at Gandhi, Benjamin Franklin, Sir Templeton or Dale Carnegie. As I was reading a book about Sir Templeton recently I was so impressed by how hard he was working on himself. Very inspiring
Your turn to take action
Taking a lot of action is what matters in the end. However building simple daily habits can put us right on track and create momentum for more actions. Let me give you a few simple daily habits that will take only a few minutes of your time each day but will reap great benefits over time:
– Meditating (It is actually very easy to start meditation. For basic instructions see Is Meditation For Everyone?)
– Positive affirmations to address a limiting belief (to know more about affirmations see How To Change – Three Element You Should Focus On)
You can start with one of those habits at a time or adopt all of these habits at the same time. Daily habits are easy to do but they are also very easy not to do. Be consistent and you will definitely see results.
What about you? What is the one thing you could work on today that will have the most impact in your life? Share it with me below 🙂
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