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Oct '09

Why Personal Development?

Depending on who you speak to, you can get some interesting reactions from people when you bring up any topic related to personal development. I remember at one point a few years ago when I was giving advice to a friend and his response was “Man that sounds like that weird self help bullshit.” It’s true personal development can get a bad rap from time to time with the wrong people. The world is full of misconceptions on the subject and creepy self help stereotypes can be seen all the time on TV. Self help products are seen by many as scams, there’s the whole “Everyone wants to be happy so slap a label on a product promising them their happiness and the suckers will buy it!” attitude.

The truth is everyone does personal development to some degree. Sure you might not browse the self help category of the bookstore on a daily basis, but chances are you may have read a ‘stress relief at the office’ article on the internet, or maybe you’ve been given some advice from an older relative about the lessons they’ve learned through their lives, maybe you looked up training advice from other players of a sport you like, or smiled at one of the email chain mails about appreciating the beauty of nature, or the cuteness of kittens. (Yes you know the one.)

The only difference is, instead of waiting for this information to come along, or looking up specific information to a specific problem, when you really get into personal development you have certain goals with it, you realize working to better yourself is a worthy and fulfilling learning experience. Actively seeking to grow as an individual becomes a lifelong pursuit filled with amazing opportunities for self realization along the way.

Why Get Into It?

When you want to learn how to play the piano, you can take the long difficult road of trying to learn by yourself, with no resources or information, and just hit one key after another until you eventually make up a song, or you can find yourself some Piano books, and get yourself a teacher. There will still be a long learning process, but it will have direction and purpose and the time it takes to learn the songs you want to play would be greatly significantly reduced. If it makes sense to learn to play an instrument this way, why doesn’t it make sense to learn how to live this way too?

It makes far greater sense actually, since the piano is only a specific skill for a specific time, while studying and working on improving your life will effect… well every aspect of your entire life!

Nothing is more important that your life, so it only makes sense to seek out and learn from those who have valuable information to give, who have taken the time to figure things out and who have found out what works to get the results they want.

It’s Good Stuff

Working on yourself through personal development is far more empowering than any religion. Instead  of placing your life at the will of some higher being it encourages you to take responsibility for your own life and places the power and control over it in the individual. Personal development is an inspiring pursuit. After realizing your own potential you may not be content working your unfulfilling 9-5 job, you might instead want to set higher goals for yourself, push yourself to achieve more and have more success by whatever definition for success you hold. Personal development leaves room for endless lessons along the way, with each new discovery or “A-Ha!” moment you will open yourself up to new paths of learning. They say you should learn at least one new thing every day, and personal development truly does bring lifelong learning.  Lastly it will bring real and lasting changes to all areas of your life. Even learning simple things like positive thinking can help you in many things you are struggling with.

Results in 10 days or your money back!

This isn’t about short term, shallow quick fixes. Working on yourself does take time, no one can change overnight and it can absolutely take years to work on the big things. But ask the man who is playing the show on the stage, who used to be too shy to go dancing with his friends, if it was all worth it and watch the smile on his face grow.

Imparting knowledge onto others can be a tricky thing. To have someone truly understand something just by reading about it isn’t always possible. In my experience there have been many times that I have read about something and thought I understood it only to experience a far greater understanding of it years down the road. But the information even if not completely understood at first is valuable, it acts as a seed planted in your mind which sprouts when an event triggers it further down the road.

What personal development has done for me.

My experiences with personal development only began a few short years ago, but it’s already had a completely life transforming affect on me.

I used to be a far more reserved, introverted, unconfident person, and while I’m not always a big social butterfly now I’ve made massive improvements in these areas and I continue to do so all the time. This renewal of my social skills helped me make a lot of new friends and rekindle relationships with some old ones. My increased confidence has also had a dramatic effect on my life. Turning something down due to unwarranted fear is not a good feeling and something I never plan on doing again. I used to have small issues with anxiety too, I’d get nervous pretty easily in social situations. Getting that under control was a huge victory for me. There are many things that I’d do now such as bungee jumping or moving to china that I never would have done in my formal mind state. A bonus to all this is that I’ve become a more interesting person. I have stories to tell and experiences to share. One of the most important benefits is in my happiness. Once I learned how to deal with troubling situations better and remove negativity from my life it was noticeable to a lot of people how happy I was. I’ve had people tell me I’m the most relaxed, or the most smiley person they know. Breaking out of a boring rut in life makes you feel a lot better about things, and removing limited thinking helped me appreciate everyday things a lot more. I also got a deep love for learning which is something that will continue to help me in years to come.

What it can do for you.

Besides things I’ve listed above personal development can really help you with any area of your life. It helps you use your mind more effectively to find new solutions to old problems. One of the best first steps to take is to claim responsibility for your own life and your own happiness. I encourage you to drop the victim mentality if you hold it. Learning that you aren’t just a person who has life happen to them, but you are someone who creates the life they want is crucial. Personal development tends to break people out of their day to day problems. Many people experience a sort of wakeup call when a tragic event happens in their life, after the tragedy, or near tragedy, they appreciate their life more and worry less about the little things. Personal development can help you adopt this mentality without the need for a wakeup call from the universe. Furthermore it can help you with the universal goal that I think we all strive for, happiness.

Why do all this? Just be happy for god’s sake.

If you’re completely happy and content with your life all the time then that’s super awesome and I applaud you. But make sure you truly have what your want in life, don’t settle for less just because that’s what you think you deserve.  Take responsibility for your life, and realize that if there’s any aspect of it that you aren’t happy with, you can change it. Finding out what you really want from your life and going after it is never a foolish quest, just make sure you enjoy each step of the way. It’s a good idea to be content with who you are, while still evolving as a person. If you aren’t at a 10 out of 10 on your life’s scale then you can always improve, and who knows, the 10 on your current scale might be a 1 on a scale you didn’t realize possible!

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