Let’s talk about personal development for a second. If you had asked me a few years ago about personal development I would have said, “ What is that? I don’t need that.” I thought I had everything under control. I thought I was happy. I thought everything was going well in my life. I thought I didn’t need any help. And to a certain extent, I WAS happy and everything was going well in my life.
Enter personal development…… Just over two years ago I signed up as a Beachbody Coach and part of their vital behaviors is to do personal development. So of course at first I was like, “No I don’t need that!” Boy was I wrong. But I thought I would give it a try and it has changed my entire perspective on life, my relationships, my health, my finances, my career, my work ethic. It has changed my daily habits in such a way that I no longer “wonder” if I will be happy and successful. I know. I just know.
So what is personal development? Good question, because I didn’t really know either. Well, here’s a definition: Personal development includes activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. It is a lifelong process. It’s a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to realise and maximise their potential. And it can take many forms: reading, listening to audio, taking courses, watching videos. And the topic can be whatever you are interested in improving: finances, organization, relationships, health, happiness, becoming a successful entrepreneur, spirituality, and many personal development books talk about all these things.
Here’s a Staggering fact! Only about one person out of 20 will ever achieve his or her goals and dreams in life – and I’m not just talking about money. That means 95% of us will fail. And only 5% will decide to be different. Only 5% will break free from the downward pull of life and rise to a higher quality of accomplishment and success, to be a pioneer and risk discomfort and ridicule for the sake of your dreams.
So how do you get to be one of these rare and special 5 percenters? It starts with personal development. You have to have the right philosophy. You need the right attitude. You need to take responsibility for everything in your life and stop placing the blame somewhere else. You need to start doing simple actions and making positive decisions every single day, consistently over time.
So where are you headed right now?
Let’s just take a moment for some honest self-assessment. Looking at each of these seven areas of your life, one at the time, ask yourself, right now, am I on the success curve or the failure curve?
Let’s take an honest look at your health.
Are you building it everyday? The way you eat, the way you exercise, the kind of schedule you keep, the ways in which you take care of yourself – are all these building a greater feeling of health and vibrancy everyday? Or does it feel like you’re making more and more withdrawals from your life-energy bank account, and the balance is steadily decreasing? Is your health on the success curve or the failure occur?
Let’s take an honest look at your level of happiness.
Do you take time every day to notice those things you’re grateful for? Do you make a habit of looking at things in a positive light, rather than a negative light? Do you practice savoring the moment and regularly expressing your appreciation of others? Do you engage regularly in activities that are meaningful to you, things you do not because you have to but because you want to? Are you building greater happiness every day, or is day-to-day happiness drifting further away?
Let’s take an honest look at your friendships and close relationships.
Is the number friends in your life, people with whom you stay in touch, with whom you share meaningful exchanges and mutually enriching experiences, growing larger every year? If you are married, and you were to describe your marriage as a plant, would it be a plant that is growing taller, riper, fuller, and richer with each passing year? What about your family – children, parents, brothers, sisters, and others? Are those relationships growing deeper and richer or more distant and shallower?
Let’s take an honest look at your personal development.
Are you learning more about yourself, about the world around you, and about how life works everyday? Are you learning new skills and sharpening old ones? Are you becoming a more capable person, one more interesting to know and valuable to be around? Or is your character being gradually etched with the age-lines of disappointment, disillusionment,boredom, and bitterness?
Let’s take an honest look at your finances.
Are you building assets and putting money into a long-term plan that will create true financial freedom? Is your net worth growing larger each year? Are you living within your means and investing a portion of your income into a program that will build equity for you over the years, growing dollar by dollar and picking up momentum through the power of compounding interest so that, like a snowball rolling down a wintery hill, it will have gathered tremendous financial mass in the years when you need it most? Or are you living on credit, on borrowed money as well as borrowed time, running your savings empty and storing up debt instead of equity, digging yourself deeper and deeper into a hole that grows only harder to escape?
Let’s take an honest look at your career.
Is your professional life growing every day? Are you moving along a path that is taking you toward greater accomplishment and fulfillment in your chosen occupation? Is your work growing not only in its financial rewards, but also in your sense of meaningful contribution, personal satisfaction, and respect among your peers?
Let’s take an honest look at your positive impact on the world.
What kind of impact are you having on the people around you? How is the world different as a result of your being here? After you leave this world what will you leave behind as a legacy and how will people remember you? When you add together your career and all your professional accomplishments, your relationships and all your personal accomplishments, your sense of connection with nature, humanity, and God, how would you describe the overall value or meaning of your life? And is that sense growing stronger, deeper, richer, more powerful every day, month, and year?
Take a look at your life and tell the truth about where you really are. Which way are you headed right now? Whatever your answer is, I have no doubt that personal development can have a huge impact on your life and it’s never too late in life to change things. I know that I am grateful that Beachbody coaching has introduced me to this wonderful gift and I would like to pass it on to you.
Much of this post was taken or quoted from the book “The Slight Edge” by Jeff Olson. This book is by far the most powerful personal development tool I have used. It has literally changed the way I view everything in life – every daily decision.
I sincerely recommend reading this book or listening to the audio version. Personally I take 15 minutes every morning and read personal development. Who doesn’t have 15 minutes a day to possibly change their life? If you drive to work in the morning, listen to the audio book instead of the radio or music (simple daily decisions remember).
I bought my book from amazon.com but I’m sure you can find it at any good bookstore or by simply googling “The Slight Edge.” I hope it changes your life as it has mine. If you buy the book, please keep me updated. I’d love to hear what you think and how it has made an impact on you!
And remember, a genuinely successful life is far greater than purely one of financial health. A successful life means your health, your happiness, your relationships, your personal development, your career, your spirituality, your sense of fulfillment, your legacy and the impact you have on the world…. it means all these things and more.