One of the stressless quotes I have read on self improvement and personal development is one from the American self-help author and a motivational speaker. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer. He said, „You don’t need to be better than anyone else; you just need to be better than you used to be.“
It’s a very practical, easy-to-follow and doable goal, rather than following some influencer or personalities and using them as your template for personal development. Adapt Dr. Wayne W. Dyer’s definition instead.
Personal development as the term suggests is, first of all, personal. It is uniquely yours, customised and individual. You evolve and grow from within. In simple terms, it means “to be a better version of yourself.”
How does Personal development differ from Personality development?
These two terms are closely associated but not similar. It is important to know the distinction of the terms.
Personal development is a lifelong process of improvement to be a better version of oneself. It is holistic, all-encompassing and broad.
If personality is the set of traits and qualities that make a person distinct or unique from another like behaviour, habits, appearance, attitudes, or what a person appears to be, Personality development, therefore, is the enhancement of these traits and qualities. The polishing of these external attributes for a better presentation of self.
Personality development is part of personal development.
Have you thought, at this stage in your life, what could you have become? If you could be better, should you?
And why not? You have all the raw materials to be a great individual. So work it.
To start your pursuit, here are 3 Basic and Practical Steps to Personal Development according to Jim Rohn, American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.
John Earl Shoaff, an American entrepreneur, motivational speaker and Jim Rohn’s mentor, gave that word for Rohn’s life change – STUDY.
Make an effort to study anything that can bring about change in your life, improve your skills, increase your value.
If you want to be successful, study success. If you want to be wealthy, study wealth. If you want to be happy, study happiness, Rohn advised.
Success leaves clues, he further said. Identify a successful person you admire and learn from him. Find out about his life, his principles and how he achieved his level of success.
Get as much information as you can for what you desire. You never want to miss any opportunity because you lacked the information.
How do you do that?
The more you read, the more informed you are.
You acquire new ideas, develop new interests, form opinions on certain issues, and these make you more interesting as a person.
Beware though that knowledge does not puff you up. Instead, use your knowledge when opportunity arises. When you meet new people, you are able to communicate with them. You may not know everything or a lot about a certain topic, but you can participate in discussions or even share your opinion or views when asked.
Develop the passion for learning, for wanting to know things. He suggests even developing childish curiosity. And how true. Children can be so nagging when they want to know something, right? “Why can’t I stay up as late as you do?” Try to answer that.
Kids have remarkable innocent qualities we can model according to Rohn – curiosity, excitement, faith and trust.
Actively listening supports periodically asking questions which provides constructive perspective to the conversation. Poor listeners are competitive. They listen to find errors and speak to challenge and disagree.
Good listeners make conversations a positive experience for the speaker.
Listen to understand and this involves asking good questions. It shows you are listening enough to want more information or illumination.
Listening is never easy. Hearing is, listening not so much.
Just observe people while you talk with them. After a while, you see them become uneasy, fidgety, you lose eye contact because their eyes shift, or reach out for their phones (it could be a sign they are bored). But some people lose track of the time because they enjoyed the conversation.
Learn how to pay attention to someone when they speak. They will enjoy your company and maybe, lose track of time when they are with you.
Can you try this when you next speak with someone?
Get them to talk and you listen. Intently and intentionally. Focus on what they are saying. Do not allow your mind to wander or even think about what you are going to say in response. If a conversation ensues, fine and good. But stay focused. Sometimes in a conversation, a momentary silence or pause happens. Do not try to fill the gap with unnecessary comments. Relax. Use the moment of silence to reflect on what was said. Speak only to clarify or to verify your understanding.
Engagement surveys show poor communication (listening) as one of top reasons for poor management. One way to build a trusting relationship is transparent communication.
When a person realises that you listen to understand, and not to judge, trust develops.
Part of studying people is observing. As Rohn says, there are two ways we see. One, is with our sight. And with our sight, we see things. Second, is through insight. With insight, we see with our mind. And when we see with our mind, we see answers.
Observe things using these two ways – sight and insight.
But do not stop there. An insight is much deeper than observation. When you do not know why or the reason for fact, it is merely an observation. Observations though are great catalysts for developing insights. You elevate your observations to insights by asking good questions – Why did you do that? What did you feel when it happened? Why didn’t you buy it? How is it frustrating for you?
Be interested to know more. Then you will see answers.
- Work it
Put feet to your idea.
You have a great idea? Create an action plan. Don’t accumulate so much knowledge and then store them all up. Act on them. But not after making a robust game plan.
What is most frustrating is when you have talked to everyone about your great and innovative idea only to find someone has acted on them and became the person who launched your idea.
Not acting on your idea is just fantasy. Talk is cheap.
As the Irish proverb says, “You’ll never plough a field by turning it over in your mind.”
- Don’t take shortcuts
Be a quick learner, act on your game plan but don’t take shortcuts.
Don’t compromise. Do it right ALWAYS. Not just the first time.
Live your life with integrity.
The key to personal development is to study successful people and learn from their stories. That would save you a lot of mistakes and wasted time. Create a game plan on how to make the changes in your life and don’t take shortcuts.
What are your personal development goals? Have you made steps towards achieving them?
Did you learn something from this article? I love reviews. Please share your thoughts in the comments.
If you have any questions or interest in this topic and would like to explore conducting a deep level assessment of yourself or your team, please connect with me through my number +49 4292-517 288, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or any of my social media accounts.