Have you ever really thought about this topic? What does personal development actually mean? What does it look like? What’s the “right” way to go about it?
I’ve seen lots of different definitions of self-improvement and personal development, but none have quite fit what I see as the most healthy and realistic way to look at the topic.
For example, I’ve seen definitions along the lines of:
“Self Improvement means to become more confident”…
“Personal Development is when you learn to become the best version of you possible”…
“Personal Development means to work on yourself to improve positive aspects of your life, and reduce negative aspects”…
Out of the three definitions above, the last is closest to the truth, but it still misses a HUGE point. I think this point is possibly the MAIN contending factor as to whether someone is going to succeed or fail with personal development.
Ready for that point? Here it is:
“Personal development is an ONGOING journey…”
Ongoing meaning it NEVER ends! That doesn’t mean anything negative, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. It means that you can enjoy self improvement and its benefits for the rest of your life.
It’s completely unrealistic and dangerous to believe that one simple action made on one day will create the “best version of you that’s possible”.
While a lot of self help “gurus” know this very important point, I feel they fail to really drill it home with their followers. This is a huge mistake, since it leads people to make a teeny bit of progress, to then be depressed when life goes back to how it was before OR how it never goes up a level “again”.
The reason self improvement is an ongoing journey is because once you begin improving you won’t want to stop! And if you do stop, you really feel the dissatisfaction and staleness kick back in.
Just look at those people who you consider to be the most “successful”. Did they tick off one goal, or improve one aspect of themselves and then stop?
NO WAY! They continued setting more goals for themselves, and improving almost every other area of their mindset and/or physique that they could.
Once you get a taste of success you just want more of it!
Now, I assume that a portion of you reading this information “could” be thinking something along the lines of:
“This sounds terrible, does it mean I’ll never be truly satisfied? When can I finally stop to rest and enjoy the things I have?”
The solution to these concerns lies in the “way” in which you carry out personal development and the way you live your life. As I’ve said previously, the goal IS the journey!
Stop and smell the roses along the way, be fully present while carrying out your personal development and goals. Live in a mindful manner…
This is why personal development is a FULL package deal. You must look at various aspects of yourself and learn to improve them as a unit “as you go”.
If personal development wasn’t an ongoing journey what would this mean for someone who reaches their goals by the age of 30? Would they complete everything they set out to achieve one day, and then slowly decay away until their time of death?
That idea sounds more terrifying to me than the truth…!!
In order to live a full and fulfilling life, one must commit to ongoing personal development in a mindful way.
Wrapping things up…
Overall, we can see how the definition of “personal development” has been skewed in the self improvement industry. This has led to people becoming dissatisfied with their results, feeling depressed and useless, and as though true change is not achievable.
BUT, through learning the correct and realistic definition of personal development, we find that it occurs on an ONGOING basis. Living this way allows us to continue feeling happy with ourselves, completing goals and truly transforming our mental infrastructure in a very positive way.
I hope you’ve enjoyed today’s post, remember to “like”, “share”, and “comment” below!