These days many people are asking, “What is personal development?”
But why are they asking?
Could it be because personal development is growing in popularity more than ever and is now becoming increasingly backed by science and research…
Perhaps people have seen the positive effects their friends have experienced after realizing the importance of personal development and implementing it in their lives…
Or maybe people are asking because they are skeptical about its effectiveness and want to know if it is real…
No matter the reason for your curiosity, this article is designed to introduce you to personal development and its importance. So, let us explore what personal development is, why it is gaining popularity and how it can help lead you to more success and happiness.
What Exactly Is Personal Development?
What comes to mind when you hear the term “personal development”?
Do you break it down and define each word as a separate entity, then bring them back together again to get the compound meaning?
Regardless of how you arrive at your definition of the term, your reply most likely will imply self-improvement. But we cannot simply equate personal development to self-improvement, as personal development includes other aspects of human development that cannot be portrayed as self-improvement.
Personal development is the “evolution of an individual into someone who is optimizing his capabilities, aware of his inner self, and, thus, able to become whole.”
Simply put, it is enriching yourself for your own good. It can range from creating the discipline to stick to your budget…
To a total overhaul of your personality and behavior.
It is having the ability to ask yourself, “What can I change to improve my life?” Then reinforcing that mindset by taking action…
It is altering your perspective so you take control of your life, step by step…
Devising a plan to consistently turn around the negative events in your life each day so that you will have gained more knowledge, understanding and compassion by the end of the day for yourself and others…
And it is the key to realizing your dreams and desires!
Where Did Personal Development Get Started?
Two ancient philosophers, Aristotle and Confucius, stand out as major sources of what has become personal development in the 21st century.
The renowned Greek philosopher Aristotle, representing Western tradition, defined personal development as a special category of practical intelligence (phronesis), where the practice of virtues (arête) can bring about happiness (eudaimonia) or prosperity, more accurately understood as “human flourishing” or “living well”.
To this day, Aristotle continues to influence the Western concept of personal development, particularly in the areas of human development and positive psychology.
Confucius, representing East Asian tradition, was a Chinese philosopher and politician. He originated an ongoing philosophy that focused on the importance of virtue (kindness and benevolence) and propriety (commonly accepted standards in society) in determining one’s life, as well as shaping a harmonious society.
His philosophy, known as Confucianism, is mainly recognizable for personal and governmental morality, the correctness of social relationships, justice, and honesty. His ideas continue to influence family values, education and management in China and East Asia.
Why Is Personal Development Important Today?
Ultimately, personal development allows you to take control of your life and direct it at fulfilling your potential in all aspects of your life.
Faced with the challenges and stresses of modern life, it’s now easier than ever before to fall into the abyss of negative thinking, becoming stuck and discouraged.
Personal development gives you consistent encouragement to confront your daily demands and work steadily on getting the most from your one and only life.
Numerous studies have been done on personal development. In fact, current research has shown that in goal setting, having a balanced life, improving confidence, and making more money, 25% – 62% of people who committed to personal development have attained tangible improvements in their lives.
Furthermore, personal development can be instrumental in helping you:
- Discover yourself: Although unrealistic, you can exist without fully comprehending who you really are. But you cannot achieve true prosperity and fulfillment without coming to terms with who you really are. Personal development can reveal parts of yourself that you probably do not even know exist.
- Develop a sense of direction: When you have a plan for what you want to accomplish, your life will develop its own compass, pointing you in the direction that you need to go.
- Enhance your efficiency and focus: With personal development comes clarity and precision. In other words, you will not struggle through tasks and projects that require your attention. As you progress in your personal development commitment, you will recognize effective ways to prioritize your tasks and projects. And you will be able to identify tasks that will provide sizeable returns on investment using accessible resources.
- Stay motivated: The easiest way to stay motivated is to have a clear picture of the expected rewards for your actions. Regardless of whether the task at hand is pleasurable or not, you will stay motivated because you know that it will get you closer to your main objectives. As they say, “where there is a will, there’s a way”.
- Manage stress, adversity, and change: Life is not a straight line, where everything goes according to plan. Instead, it is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. There will be times in your life when you will face challenges and adversity. With personal development, you can prepare yourself for the tough times, whether they come or not.
- Build fruitful relationships: Your relationships with your family, friends, colleagues, and other individuals can work in two ways. They can either make it easier for you to achieve your dreams or make it difficult for you to get to where you want to be. Through personal development, you can maintain a strategic distance from negative vibes and stick with like-minded people.
What Are Common Personal Development Activities?
Personal development covers a multitude of activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, enhance the quality of life, and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.
Personal development, which takes place over the course of a person’s entire life, may at various times include activities such as:
- Improving self-awareness and self-knowledge
- Building or renewing identity and self-esteem
- Developing strengths or talents
- Improving existing skills and/or learning new ones
- Identifying or improving potential
- Elevating health and wellness
- Enhancing lifestyle and/or the quality of life
- Boosting wealth or social status
- Employing time management
- Fulfilling aspirations
- Improving social relations
Is Personal Development For Me?
Personal development is not for everyone though – although I believe it should be.
If you are wondering if personal growth is for you, it probably is, especially if you have taken the time to read this article.
Personal development is applicable to people in all walks of life. Whether you are a student studying to get a degree, an employee looking to earn a promotion in an organization, or the CEO of a firm looking to create effective business solutions that will put your business on the map, personal development is for you.
Personal development can be for anyone and can be applied to all areas of your life. If you are willing to improve yourself and your life in any way, personal development is for you.
Where Do I Begin My Personal Development Journey?
While many people may think that personal development occurs only when you sit down with a mentor or a life coach to learn something new, that is not necessarily the case. Contrary to popular belief, it does not happen in a day, week, or even a few months.
It is a lifelong process. This implies that you will have to evaluate your skills, talents, and strengths every day, to see if they get you a little closer to your goals in life.
There are a variety of tools, techniques, methods, programs, and assessment systems that support human development at the individual level.
However, every one of us is unique and what works for one person may not work for another. Therefore, I would like to make you aware of several options available to you as you embark on your personal development journey.
If you want to determine “where you stand” in the world of personal development, standard tests are a good way to quickly evaluate your life, attitudes, values, and habits. There are many standard personal development tests available online, as well as self-help workbooks, that can identify your strengths and weaknesses and specific areas where you may need work.
If personal development is totally new to you and you want to increase your general knowledge about the personal development process, you can begin your journey by exploring some of our informative resources. We offer several complimentary tools for beginners, and the high-quality, low-cost report bundles available in our store provide excellent introductions to a variety of personal development topics.
If you would like to quickly experience many of the benefits of personal development, I highly recommend my first book, This Has To Be Cheaper Than Therapy. And if you are an avid reader, like myself, and would like to dive deeper into specific personal development subjects that interest you, I recommend reviewing our recommended reading blog post or visit our bookstore where you can discover some exceptional personal development books.
Using a personal development or life coach is also a good way to start raising your awareness.
We are constantly adding new content regularly to our site, so please bookmark us and visit us again here at Nurture Mind Body And Spirit soon.
Enjoy the ride!