How many times have you set goals and been frustrated? What if you could create goals in a way that would move you forward faster? Do you want more success and happiness?
Personal Development (also known as self-development or personal growth) is a term that ‘refers to activities that improve self-knowledge and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations’ (From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Through personal development you can achieve personal growth that helps you expand your understanding of yourself, others and life. It is ultimately creating who you will become next year, 5 years from now and ongoing. Personal development is the path to becoming the most that we can be. Personal development is the development of new skills, the raising of our awareness, the broadening our understanding and maturing of our body, mind and soul.
Sri Chinmoy in his blog writes ‘Personal development is our conscious self-improvement and self-transcendence. It is the aspiration to realise our higher self’.
The focus in this article is on personal development for an individual’s self-development and self-improvement. Personal development occurs via the setting of personal goals, the development of strategies and action plans to attain those goals, and the implementation of those strategies and action plans.
Key benefits of personal development include:
- educational attainment;
- development of talents or strengths;
- improvement of self-awareness and self-knowledge;
- enhancing one’s quality of life;
- improving job prospects or career;
- improving relationships; and
- improving health.
Everyone has a desire to get ahead, to improve themselves, to set goals for their lives and seek personal growth. Maybe our ultimate goal is simply contentment, but to reach that point you have to grow.
Personal development will help you eradicate what faults or bad habits you might have, and provide you with optimism about your future and your potential in life, no matter what short-term battles you may face right now.
You must never allow yourself to feel defeated by life circumstances, or to be complacent about your current situation. If you seek out opportunities you can improve any aspect of your life, be that your career, your relationships, your health or even your social life.
Whatever your position today, where ever life has taken you, there is no better time to take charge of your Life than right NOW! Start by creating empowering goals, removing the barriers to your success and taking more effective and focused action. In a previous post I wrote ‘In everything in life, if you want to achieve something, take the initiative and do it now! The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get where you want to go. BECOME A PERSON OF ACTION. Only through doing will you accomplish!’
Your life is what it is today because of a combination of both internal and external forces. Internal forces are those things within us: our thoughts, choices and actions. External forces are those things outside of us: circumstances, the actions of others, etc.
It is almost always the case that the internal forces have the greatest impact by far. Our thoughts, choices and actions are not only capable of directly shaping our lives, but they also influence the external forces to which we are exposed. The good news is, internal forces are those things over which we have control.
The National Science Foundation estimated that our brains produce as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day depending on how ‘deep’ a thinker you are (other estimates run as high as 60,000/day). We are always thinking. Often the vast majority of these thoughts are pointless. We often dwell in the past or the future, obsessing about mistakes we might have made, battling guilt, or just worrying. We are constantly drifting into negativity. Our mind can be our best friend or our worst enemy depending on what we choose to do with it.
Yet we are completely in charge of our minds. No matter how we are feeling physically or emotionally, we are free mentally to think any thought of our choice. You can take charge of your life by taking charge of your thoughts. You can change your life by changing your thoughts.
Our thoughts and feelings are creative. Whatever we focus our thoughts, words, actions, and feelings on, we bring into our reality. So consciously choose to create the life you want instead of unconsciously creating, through your negativity, the results you do not want.
When you begin to create a plan to make a positive difference in your life, the first step is to take a good look at your life as it exists right now. In order to change your life, you must first be aware of what presently exists. So take some time to evaluate your life as an objective observer. This is not a time to berate, criticise, or condemn yourself for past mistakes. That only adds more negative energy to the situation. The purpose of this evaluation is to help you see what it is you like about your life, and what it is you would like to change. Usually people know their lives are not what they want them to be, and they may be aware of some major problems, such as finances or health, but they have never actually taken the time to evaluate their overall lives. This is a crucial step toward making a positive difference, so invest the time to take a thorough inventory of your life.
In order for you to succeed in transforming your life, you need to plan where you are going. You need to have objectives and goals. Most people spend so much time worrying and dwelling on the things that they do not want in their lives that they have not taken the time to figure out what they really do want. Remember, what you think about, what you hold in your mind and put your attention and energy into, you draw into your life. So it is time to stop worrying about the things that you do not want and start focusing on the things that you do want.
Once you decide to take charge of your life, you no longer will just muddle through the day. Instead, you will purposely control your thoughts, words, actions, and feelings. By doing this you will begin to create for yourself a fulfilling, happy, harmonious, abundant, and peaceful life.
A key to personal development, through your thoughts and feelings is to eliminate the negatives. It’s time you took control and a good step is to take the time to see how negative you are at this moment in time. Keep a scratch tally for an entire week of every negative thought or feeling you experience. Notice I said EVERY negative thought or feeling. This includes the little, trivial, petty things that you allow to pop into your mind, such as the person that pulls in front of your car that you think is a ******, or your annoyance at the lack of courteousy of the sales assistant in a shop, the person in front of you in the supermarket queue on their mobile, or your self loathing at eating that cream cake, or the panic when you misplaced your car keys.
My experience with clients has been that by the end of the week people have several sheets of tally marks and are flabbergasted at how frequently they were negative and stunned at how unaware they were about their negative thinking. So, the next step toward your decision to charge of your life is to monitor your daily responses for a whole week. Pay very close attention to your thoughts and feelings and keep a simple scratch tally of every negative thought or feeling you have. Do not empower the negative thought by writing it down, just keep a scratch tally of it.
This is a very valuable exercise because it clearly
This helpful exercise will demonstrate to you whether you are already in control of your thoughts and feelings, or whether you are just allowing them to happen. It shows you how many times every single day you are allowing negative thoughts to run your mind. If you are just allowing your thoughts to be random and uncontrolled, full of negatives, you know that now you have to make the change, and take control. Start by controlling your thoughts, words, and actions.
I will pick this up in a later blog.