What is personal development?

Here’s a Brief Overview

Personal Development, means different things to different people. Ultimately personal development is about focusing your attention on developing or refining your skills, abilities, attitude, and awareness for personal goal. As a category Personal development covers various areas of human activity and can be applied to business and financial growth. Socially Personal development can be applied to improving social relationship, with friend’s family or colleagues, partners, employees.

Personal Development in a Nut shell

If you wish to achieve worthwhile things in your personal and career life, you must become a worthwhile person in your own personal development.

Brian Tracy

To sum up personal development in a sentence, you can say personal development is about identifying  challenges , finding solutions and integrating the answers or right course of action or behaviour into your daily life or business. Personal development is about making effective change in yourself or company procedures to better deal with the environment.

“Believe that you possess a basic goodness, which is the foundation for the greatness you can ultimately achieve.” Les Brown

Value oriented aspects

Many of the value oriented aspects of personal development boarders the realm’s of spirituality were the individuals attention maybe focused on developing better social and environmentally relationships, achieving personal self mastery’s over ones actions, as in behavioural changes or over coming limitations, at this level, persistence, inquisitiveness, study and self discipline are common themes. Professionally personal development may include such themes as personal mastery and communication, developing leadership skills etc.

In general personal development is about a cultivating a progressive attitude, studying/learning and applying appropriate success formulas or principles, whether as companies or individual. Much of the study of person development comes from the researching of people who have made significant growth, personally or in business.

Success leaves clues.

The early founders of the modern day form of personal development have studied and catalogued the process of success and achievement. They have made considerable progress in documenting the process of personal success as a science. Napoleon Hill is arguably the forefather of modern day personal development. He laid the foundations for our current generation of researchers, practitioner and coaches, such as the superstar Anthony Robbins

The following are some of the general themes in Personal Development

  • Developing or renewing identity
  • Fulfilling aspirations/Realizing dreams
  • Behavioural change/conditioning
  • Developing motivation – inspiration
  • Improving self-awareness
  • Enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life
  • Improving your employability
  • Identifying and investing in ones potential
  • Financial development
  • Developing strengths or talents
  • Personal and professional mastery – Learning techniques or methods to gain
  • Control of one’s life
  • Entrepreneurial
  • Improving self-knowledge
  • Developing personal development plans
  • Increasing awareness or defining of one’s chosen lifestyle
  • Integrating social identity with self-identification
  • Increasing awareness or defining of one’s priorities
  • Developing purpose
  • Increasing awareness or defining of one’s values
  • Developing purpose
  • Love
  • Increasing awareness or defining of one’s ethics
  • Strategies and realizing dreams, aspirations, career and lifestyle priorities
  • Developing personal discipline
  • Personal development goal/ material attainment
  • Developing professional potential
  • Developing talents
  • Developing integrity
  • Goal setting
  • Developing individual competencies
  • Becoming more caring
  • How to learn from experience
  • Time management
  • Developing mature interpersonal relationships
  • Establishing identity
  • Improving the quality of lifestyle (in such areas as health, wealth, culture,
  • family, friends and communities)
  • Learning techniques or methods to expand awareness
  • Developing competence
  • Achieving autonomy and interdependence
  • Self mastery
  • Managing emotions
  • Learning techniques or methods to achieve wisdom
  • Communication skills

 
Personal development philosophically practice

Personal development may also be applied to the following disciplines, either in practice metaphorically or philosophically

  • Yoga
  • Meditation
  • Qi gong
  • Juggling
  • Martial arts

The altruistic aspects of personal development

Some of the more altruistic elements of personal development have Parallels with some of the world’s spiritual tradition. A good example would be, The Eightfold Path of Buddhism which focus on the development of skills such as:

  • Right View
  • Right Intention
  • Right Speech
  • Right Action
  • Right Livelihood
  • Right Effort
  • Right Mindfulness
  • Right Concentration

Check out the Parallels

Right View this can be a likened to, open mindedness, beliefs, continual learning of techniques or methods to expand awareness, thoughtfulness.

Right Intention this can be a likened to defining of one’s values or the effort to develop mutually beneficial relationships for the general and greater good.

Right Intentions form a personal development point of view this can be seen as increasing your awareness of your actions and adjusting them for the greater good.

Right Speech, from a personal development view this would be Communication skills. Communications skills may also include your internal dialogue as in positive speech.

Right Action, this can be seen as exercising consideration, personal integrity, exercising wisdom.

Right Livelihood, this would have a relation to lifestyle as I’m enhancing one’s quality of life, career, and working in an ethical line of employment etc.

 Right Effort, this would relate to discipline commitment
determination persistence.

Right Mindfulness, can be a likened to thoughtfulness consideration…

 … And finally

Right Concentration, can be a likened to clarity, focus, exercising discipline of thoughts.

So where do you start? And what does it take?

Define an area of life you would like to work on…

1 create a vision
2 make a plan
3 action your plan

Commit to daily actions targeted towards change

Find a system or programme to facilitate your growth, in some cases this may mean reading the related material, books, websites blogs, in other cases this my mean joining the related clubs or taking courses etc. The main point is to develop a self image complementary to your goal/vision.

Their are no instant solutions, quick fixes or magic formulas to personal development – personal growth other then an awareness for the need for personal growth and the desire to grow. Granted that the two above conditions are meet – an awareness of the need for personal growth – and the desire to grow, you will be able to find success with the following tools:

  • Commitment,
  • Discipline,
  • persistence
  • inquisitiveness

These tools will make a nice starter in your chosen area of personal development/growth.

The Creative Power within us makes us into the image of that to which we give our attention.”

Wallace Delois Wattles

Here are two typical examples of a personal development exercise:

Example one

Renewing self images

First in order to realise success in you chosen area of personal development / growth. You need to do two things invest some time to identify and define an area you would like to develop ie you want a promotion

Developing an image of yourself in your finish or ideal state/position –

  • What you’re going to look like
  • How are you going to feel?
  • How will you be acting?

Develop you’re new self image  daily

Example two

The following is an extract from Napoleon hill think and grow rich, Hill is describing the six steps needed to develop what he calls the burning desire needed to drive a person to the accomplishment of their goals. In this example the steps relate to money but with creative editing this formula can be applied to any area of goal attainment.

First. Fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say, “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount. (There is a psychological reason for definiteness, which will be described in a subsequent chapter). See book Think and grow rich napoleon Hill

Second. Determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.)

Third. Establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Fourth. Create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at once, whether you are ready or not to put this plan into action.

Fifth. Write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for its acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Sixth. Read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning.

  Napoleon Hill’s  13 Success Principles are;

Desire, Faith, Auto-Suggestion, Specialized Knowledge, Imagination, Organised Planning, Decision, Persistence, the Master Mind, Transmutation, the Subconscious Mind, the Brain and the Sixth Sense

Think and grow rich by Napoleon Hill is a must have work -Think and grow rich is over flowing with valuable knowledge

All that man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thougths.”

James Allen
 
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