Why Are You Even Looking at Personal Development?
Do you think this is a legitimate question? Well, if you cannot answer this simple question then it would be advisable to either take a moment to find a reason or you may just want to watch some more television. If you do have a reason then that is the first step towards making the most of personal development. Also, vitally important are setting up the right expectations and taking the heavy, albeit liberating, burden entirely unto yourself to actually implement life changes. These simple steps will have you on the fast track to getting the most from any personal development regimen.
First and foremost, answer this right now, what about yourself do you want to change with a personal development program? Identify why you embarked upon, or are considering, a personal development or improvement journey in the first place. It is critical to establish what you want to change or else we will just be looking busy as opposed to being productive. For some people it may be to get a promotion at work. For someone else it may be an attempt at fixing a failing relationship, or some may want to change due to a lack of meaningful human connection. And even if your reason for studying personal development is just to see how good you can get, then it is as valid as any.
The second part of finding out what you wish to gain from personal development is digging slightly deeper and exploring why you want this. Put shortly, if you do not have a good reason for wanting something – anything for that matter – then you are likely to give it up just around when the going gets tough.
Setting up expectations
The next step to make the most of personal development is to ask yourself, “What do I expect from this?” In other words, why are you even trying? Consider the following example. A person wanted to lose 30 pounds in 30 days, but feels defeated when they only lose 14. Now, even with a morbidly obese individual, losing over 2 pounds per week is a great success. The caveat we encounter here is that it is only a success to the individual if they had reasonable expectations.
When undertaking personal development, we need to understand that we all have years of engrained habits, traits, and personal quirks that are going to take time to consciously overcome. Use this truth to set realistic expectations and allow yourself reasonable time as well. The last part of this tip is to follow the expert’s or author’s guidelines. Let’s face it, if nobody in recorded history made themselves a success entirely alone then why should we presume we have all the answers? Do not expect to re-build Rome in a day!
Only your responsibility
The last part of getting the most from personal development may be the hardest to swallow and the most demanding to rise above. And that is personal responsibility. Perhaps at a few privileged private schools the students are offered courses on goals, overcoming adversity, or what it takes to be and feel successful. But for the rest of us, all of these duties fall solely upon ourselves to accomplish, and that is only if we even desire this.
As the world-renowned business philosopher Jim Rohn says, it is only action that begins the miracle life change process. Likewise, without action, there is no miracle and our lives remain just about how they have always been. The absolute bottom line of personal development is this: Nobody else can change you. Of course outside influences can effect your desire to change, but when it is all said and done each individual changes internally first. If we want personal development gurus, books, and seminars to affect our lives then we must take action and we must do it immediately, lest we allow our lives to continue down a familiar path.
Piecing it all together
In closing, making the most of personal development is simple. Find out why and what you want to change. Next, set up some reasonable expectations, and finally take it upon yourself – and only yourself – to successfully tackle this lifelong expedition. As you continue on in your personal development journey, take this quote from the great Jim Rohn with you: “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight!”