Have you ever heard the phrase, “if you’re not growing, you’re dying.”?
Well, if you haven’t, now you have. And if you have heard it, you may know where I’m going with this.
It’s so common for us to work hard for the THINGS that make us “happy”. The new house, the new car, the fancy jewelry, the clothes, the bags, etc. because we think those items are what makes us happy. Constantly chasing things that can all go away or get old, fast. Does that sound familiar?
Well, let me ask you this, when was the last time you worked hard for internal growth? I mean REALLY worked. I am talking about growing internally and creating everlasting happiness, that type of hard work. A hard question to realize and like most, I had the wake-up call myself.
So, what is personal development? Personal development is a continuous lifelong process of nurturing, shaping, and improving skills and knowledge to ensure maximum effectiveness and ongoing employability. This is according to Chartered Management Institute Management House, Cottingham Road, Corby NN17 1TT. Managers.org.uk.
I’d like to remove the term employability from the definition above, simply because I think that’s where a lot of our employee minds tend to go. Why are we trying to only grow in a way that gets us a job? Being able to grow as a person is worth so much more than that and it’s something we deserve!
Anything you aren’t changing; you’re choosing to be OK with. I heard this quote recently
and I feel that it fits so perfectly with the theme of this article and something to reflect on as you read through. There are four main areas of personal development you’ll be reading about in this article, they are as follows: physical, mental, spiritual, and social.
Let’s get up and move while we still can!
How bad would a 15-minute walk hurt you? Nobody is saying you have to go sign up at a gym, get a trainer and start working out 7 days a week. Not sustainable, by any means whatsoever. So, let’s be real with ourselves and think like the logical people we are. Where can we start? Can we go to the gym once a week? Can we cook dinner more often than eating out? Cut out alcohol? Soft drinks?
You’d be surprised what dedicating to even slight changes will do for your physical and mental health. Don’t overwhelm yourself with the thought that creating a healthier lifestyle has to be a radical change. Set a goal, make a plan, and execute. Because who doesn’t love looking in the mirror and seeing something they are proud of.
I approach conversations with so much more attention. I’m using what I’m learning to live a better life for ME and we all deserve that!
Man, you couldn’t pay me to read a book just a few years back. What changed? My
mindset. I gave one book a chance, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. That’s all it takes, just give one book a shot to peak your interest. Always on the go? Then grab Audible or listen to some podcasts throughout the day, so much content out there to absorb that’s actually worthwhile.
There’s something beautiful about stimulating your mind and helping it grow by your own
efforts. Learn something new every day right? This year I’m taking a deep dive through some amazing books like What to Say When You Talk to Yourself by Shad Helmstetter, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, and Atomic Habits by James Clear to name a few.
After finishing a couple of those, the takeaways that I’ve started to implement in my life have been absolutely ridiculous. I approach conversations with so much more attention. I’m using what I’m learning to live a better life for ME and we all deserve that! Reads like these have the capability to create change in ways we didn’t realize we wanted, let alone, needed.
As people, we don’t have the capability to control the situations we are faced with, but our powers lie in our reactions to those situations.
When’s the last time you felt like you were truly at peace with yourself? Have you ever felt peace within? Tough questions, I know. When it comes to spirituality, I love taking the opportunity to get in tune with Jacob. Meditation is becoming so much more of a common practice and it’s exciting to see! It’s literally a superpower when you grow to a space where you’re in control of your energy.
There are various forms of meditation and for various purposes. One of the most popular forms of meditation is prayer. Now I am not writing this section to be all-encompassing of God, but I would say we all believe in something bigger than ourselves. Something that emulates a form of perfection to be strived towards, whether that is a higher power, a God, the universe, or science. Something that we can talk to and bring ourselves back towards when our life seems out of order.
Outside of meditation, it’s so important to get in tune with yourself. As people, we don’t have the capability to control the situations we are faced with, but our powers lie in our reactions to those situations. In taking a deep dive into yourself and learning who you are, you begin to reflect on who you are as a person and what your life looks like at a 10,000 ft view.
You look back at certain situations and think about how they may have gone differently. Hindsight is always 20/20, but in having control over our emotions we can now respond versus react to situations. In order to continue pushing forward with a clear thought process, there are 3 steps that are pivotal in that process. Those steps are as follows:
● Identify what your focus is in life
● Identify what you value
● Pause to check which direction you’re going in.
All too often we’re constantly moving instead of taking the time to check our compass to see if we’re still moving in the direction we originally intended to.
With the power of the internet quite literally at our fingertips, we can network with anyone, anytime, anywhere. What are you waiting for?
Building up your soft skills can help you immensely! Being able to become a better communicator can be life-changing. By practicing our listening and speaking, so many areas of life can reach improvement. Friendships, relationships, and our network will all see the impact. Learning to communicate with your spouse can completely change the trajectory of a relationship from reaching its end to rekindling the flame.
When was the last time you told someone close to you that you appreciate them? It’s said in our minds I’m sure, but unfortunately, we’re not all mind readers. Give those close to you their flowers while they are still in your lives. Be open and true in your communication, watch the change happen.
There is SO MUCH power in getting your name out there and what’s hard about saying hello? With the power of the internet quite literally at our fingertips, we can network with anyone, anytime, anywhere. What are you waiting for? There's also immense value in building your brand both online and offline. It may just be the most important asset you'll ever build. Don’t you want people to know the awesome person that lives inside you? I know I do. So how can you work on that? Here’s your answer: Smile more.
Crazy thought, I know! You’re probably thinking, “I smile, don’t I?” Quite literally, that is the question that went through my head when I was told to smile more. I thought I smiled “enough”, right? But just like there is nothing wrong with a little change in our other habits, there’s nothing wrong with a little extra smiling.
Force yourself and yes, trust me it is weird. You will begin to see how much making yourself smile, also makes you naturally happier and more welcoming to talk to. What do you know, already more sociable just by practicing on yourself and hmmm, growing? I’d say it’s crazy how that works.
Alright, we’ve talked about all the areas that it’s possible to grow in personally as well as how it’s done. Now, most of us already knew some of these things, right? So, why are we not seeing results? The answer, resistance. Well, what is that? Resistance is your enemy, your arch-nemesis, your biggest foe. What’s worse about resistance, is that once you conquer it, it never goes away. The fight against resistance is a fight that happens every minute of every day. Why? Because our minds are constantly battling between decisions, some of which
empower resistance and some of which empower us. How is it possible to even identify it?
You can find in a multitude of ways, laziness, procrastination, fear, doubt, pride, instant gratification, boastfulness, etc. The list goes on and on, but I’m sure you can see where I’m going. I learned about this aspect of resistance from Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. This read dives deep into why we as humans who strive for happiness, rarely achieve the prized possession.
Author Matthew Kelly describes the war on resistance as having to wake up every morning ready to slay the day. Our very first decision of the morning can really set us up for success or failure without us even knowing. On the journey to happiness and achieving areas of growth in personal development, you will be tested to see if you’re truly committed to what you’re working towards. Nothing good comes easy, but I promise it is worth the fight. Working hard for desired results makes the win that much sweeter.
Reading this and getting all fired up feels great, right? I know, I’ve been there and still experience it today. We all get that sense of euphoria and burst of energy when we listen to a podcast, attend a seminar, read an article, or watch a success story. The real secret sauce lies in USING that energy and putting it into something worthwhile, don’t let it go to waste. Find ways to create your own motivation daily, weekly, monthly, & continuously.
But I get it, life happens. Sometimes we get stuck in the motion and forget to realize, this isn’t the life we wanted. We let a million and one unimportant things deflect us from taking action and creating the life we really want. We end up living the lives of our "circumstances" and forget that our current reality doesn't have to and shouldn't predict our future. The classic way to go to college, get a good job, get a spouse, then buy a house is great, but if that's not what you want, then it's time to make some changes.
Now I’m not knocking that by any means, because for some that is the life that truly makes them happy. If that is your life, give that life your all by continuing to work on yourself, your marriage, and your family because no one can take that from you! But let’s say that’s not you, let’s say you’re not happy with where you’re at and you’re looking for a change.
I’m with you, right here in your corner, cheering for you to make whatever change it is. Don’t do “enough” to get by, challenge yourself to do a little extra each day. Why? Each day that passes is a day older, and we can’t go back, so do yourself a favor and grow.
Because if you’re not growing, you’re dying!