Personal development is an often used but rarely explained term. It is about investing in yourself so that you can manage yourself effectively regardless of what life might bring your way. Personal development allows you t be proactive. Rather than wait for good things to happen, you get out there and make them happen. You may not always achieve your objective, but you will experience a richer and more rewarding life when you commit to pursuing your won objectives. Making that commitment to personal development is the first step on the path to personal fulfilment.
The following are the most important benefits of a personal development mindset:
Personal development begins with self-awareness. You get to know who you really are; your values, beliefs and the purpose you wish to pursue. True fulfilment can never come from chasing other people’s dreams. If you want to achieve lasting happiness, you need to design your life based on who you are. Then you can chase your own goals and objectives. When you are chasing your own goals, there is as much pleasure to be derived from the journey as there is to be derived from reaching your destination. Self-awareness is the first fundamental step in the personal development process.
Each day, you receive information about what you want from life but if you are not aware, these messages slip by without you even noticing them. A great opportunity for learning and self-improvement is lost.
You might be wondering how these messages are delivered. the answer is that they are delivered in the form of feelings and contrast. Each day you encounter things which you feel bad about. You don’t like something or, you don’t like a situation the way it currently is. Imagine if you took the opportunity to ask yourself questions such as:
* If this is not how I like it; how would I like it to be?
* As this is not what I want; what do I want?
* If this situation was the way I wanted it to be; how would it look, sound, feel?
* Given all the resources I needed to change this; what changes would I make?
* How would I behave if I did have this skill/trait? eg. confidence
By asking these questions and, others like them, you get clearer about what you really want in life.
If you are not committed to your own personal development and, you lack self-awareness; you just give out about every problem you see.
But when you are aware, you use the power of contrast to determine areas for personal development which will help you improve your life.
2. A sense of direction
Once you have raised your self-awareness, you are clearer on the things you wish to achieve from life. Decision-making becomes a lot easier. Tasks which used to take a great deal of your time, no longer make it on your to-do list. You now realise that they do not move you towards your objectives and therefore are not worthy of your time.
This is where many people make a major mistake with goals. They see goals as something extra that you add to your life. You find time to work on your goals when you have everything else done When you set goals this way, you think you are going to make your life bigger and better by adding more to it.
If goals are set properly, they reduce your workload and improve the quality of everything you do. The real magic of goals and personal development is not just that they tell you what you need to be doing.
Just as importantly, if not more so; they tell you everything that you should not be doing. The biggest mistake in personal development is trying to do more. If you want to improve, the real key to success is to do less and, do it better.
When you have a clear sense of direction, you can eliminate anything which does not take you in that direction.
Personal Development and a sense of direction allows you to shift your focus from quantity to quality. Do more and do it better. Even in your leisure time, do more and invest yourself more fully in it. Give one hundred percent to the vital few and you will do far better than dividing our energy among too many tasks and activities.
Life is most enjoyable when you have a clear sense of direction and purpose. Personal Development gives meaning, purpose and direction to your days.
3. Improved focus and effectiveness
With personal development comes clarity. Even with an improved sense of direction, there will always be multiple tasks looking for your attention. As your personal development improves, prioritisation becomes much easier. You are clearer on your objectives and you can quickly identify which task will give you the best result with the resources available to you at that moment.
Improved focus and effectiveness comes with knowing and playing to your strengths.
One of the biggest obstacles to focus is distraction. Distraction mostly happens because you don’t see the great difference between the benefit you will derive from the activity you should be doing and the one you are distracting yourself with. Therefore, you work better when there is a deadline looming i.e. the benefit of meeting the deadline becomes much clearer and the problems caused by the distraction become just as apparent.
Being committed to personal development helps you to become more focused. It helps you to resist distractions without needing to have deadlines constantly looming. Because having too many deadlines can lead to too much pressure and stress. Pressure and stress also arise from feeling the need to be perfect; as if you only get one go at anything.
Personal development is a continuous journey. With each step, it becomes easier to see the true value of each activity. The following are just some of the reasons why you get more focused as your personal development progresses:
* The most important activity will stand out like a sore thumb, while the activity with little or no value will be just as apparent.
* You also start to enjoy the important tasks more because you can see what they are leading to.
* It is easier to get yourself working because you realise that you can always improve on what you have done but, you can never improve on what has not been done.
Personal development allows you to see each task, project an activity for its true value, making it easier to do what you need to do.
When you see each task, project and activity for what it is i.e. a step along a continuous journey, you feel less desire to be distracted. You also see the pointlessness of perfectionism because you know that you, and your work, are constantly improving.
When you know what you want to achieve, it is easier for you to see the benefits of taking action. Even when the task ahead is not enjoyable; if you see a clear benefit, you are more motivated to take the necessary action. There is truth in the old adage
‘Where there is a will there is a way’.
With strong personal development, you develop the necessary will.
Once you accept that personal development is a continuous journey and, you commit to that journey; you realise that each day you will become a little clearer about what you want.
As you become clearer about what you want, you start to see how achieving your goal will improve your life. You can visualise the benefits you will experience. This is what builds the will to accomplish the goal. This is where your most powerful motivation comes from.
One of the biggest obstacles to motivation is the overwhelming size of the goal. There just seems to be so much to do that you feel like you can never achieve it all. And if you don’t feel like you can achieve it, how can you get motivated to get it done? The answer is that you really need to understand the truth about goals.
The end goal/dream is just the culmination of a process so, you don’t need to motivate yourself for that. You only need enough motivation to take the next action.
As you progress further with your personal development, you see that the real goals are the actions you need to take each day. You are confident that each action you complete will take you closer to the end goal/dream, so you don’t need to worry about that.
You just focus on what you need to do next and, get that done. Then, you move to the next task. Occasionally, you check to see what progress you are making but, most of the time, you are only focused on what you need to do next.
You rarely need as much motivation as you think. Instead of motivating yourself for the big goal, you only need enough motivation to take the next step. Personal Development enables you to see that.
Motivation is about building the will and desire to achieve your goal. Nothing great was ever achieved without a strong will and burning desire.
5. Greater Resilience
There will be tough times in life. When these tough times occur, you need to have the skills and attributes to deal effectively with them. Personal development cannot prevent bad things from occurring but it will help you deal with them when they do. You will have greater confidence, resilience, personal and interpersonal skills to cope with any eventuality.
Personal Development cannot make all your life experiences positive. There will always be times when bad things happen.
Many times, these events will happen due to circumstances beyond your control. Other times, you will screw up and create a bit of a mess for yourself – Congratulations on being human!
When you understand personal development, you learn that you can change just about any circumstance in your life. If you can’t change the circumstance, you can change your attitude towards the experience which makes it less unpleasant.
Knowing all this allows you to stay calm, composed and in control when a crisis strikes. You can then determine the best course of action to take. This allows you to minimise the damage cause by the negative experience.
Personal Development is not just about improving your life by helping you be, do and have more of what you want. It improves your life by helping you deal better with negative situations.
6. More fulfilling relationships
Relationships are a double-edged sword. They either lift you up or drag you down. When you improve your personal development, you are better able to see which relationships are worth investing in and which need to be cut loose. You also develop the skills to make the most of those relationships which have the most positive impact on your life.
When you give no thought to your personal development, you give little thought to the value of your relationships. You just take relationships as they come. You end up with friends who became friends because you spent time around each other. You didn’t become friends because you help each other to be better people; to be the people you want to be.
You wouldn’t choose our life partner that way because you understand the importance of being with someone who is right for you. Friendships should be chosen the same way.
Of course, you should be friendly with everybody, if possible. But being friendly and being friends are not the same thing. If you are friendly with someone, you spend time with them when you bump into them.
If you are friends with someone, you make time for them and, you are prepared to go out of your way to help them, if you can. You genuinely care about them and their wellbeing is important to you.
A great deal of stress in life comes from not distinguishing between those whom you are friendly with and, those whom you are friends with. You end up giving too much time to the wrong people and, not enough time to those whom you should be giving your time too.
When personal development is important to you, you ensure that your friendships are mutually beneficial, enabling both people to be the best they can be. You give as much time as possible to your family, friends and loved ones. Then you try to be friendly with everyone else.
Give more of your time to the people who make you better and less to those who bring you down. Every area of your life will benefit as a result.
Personal development is a much used and much maligned term. It is about taking the time and, making the commitment, to invest in your greatest resource – YOU! When you put the effort in to developing yourself, the rewards are amazing. Many people are put off personal development because the results are not always measurable. However, the greatest achievers in life know that the key to success is the ability to manage yourself in a variety of situations. That ability comes through personal development.