Personal Development Should be Optional

Personal Development Should Be Optional? Think Again

Personal Development. I don’t believe there should be a question that exists that says “should I try personal development?” First of all, there is not try. Secondly, personal development is for everyone – especially those who are working on themselves, their businesses. Especially for those who want to grow a team, become a leader. Especially those who, at some stages, become frustrated, or disappointed. Especially those who want to dream bigger, become better, thrive.

(1970) Maslow suggested that all individuals are born with a built in need for personal development – which one can say, occurs through the process of self-actualization.

The extent to which people are able to develop, depends on certain needs being met and these needs form a hierarchy. 

Only when one level of need is satisfied can a higher one be developed. 

As change occurs throughout life, however, the level of need motivating someone’s behaviour at any one time will also change.

personal development

Let’s have a closer look into this thought process on the Hierarchy of Needs.

Physiological needs – Food, drink, sleep, etc. Basic of Survival.

Safety and Security – Physical and Economical Sense

Love and Belonging – Progression, satisfaction

Need for self-esteem – self worth, self empowerment, confidence, respect

Need to understand – abstract ideas, search for meaning, or purpose, a deeper understanding

Aesthetics – need for beauty, symbolism

Self-actualization refers to the desire that everybody has ‘to become everything that they are capable of becoming’.  In other words, it refers to self-fulfilment and the need to reach full potential as a unique human being.

Personal Development is a lifelong process.

Let’s consider this list of questions you should ask yourself. This can be done on your own, you could jot your responses down in a journal, creating some tangible space. Whatever you feel most comfortable doing.

  1. What are my strengths?
  2. What are my short-term goals?
  3. What are my long-term goals?
  4. Who matters most to me?
  5. What are my values?
  6. What am I passionate about?
  7. What is my happiest memory?
  8. What do I dream about?
  9. What am I grateful for?
  10. What is my proudest accomplishment?

My suggestion, keep the questions positive. An opportunity for you to reflect on the positive, happy spaces in your life. A reminder of what you have, and what more you want to work on/for.

Personal Development isn’t something new. I don’t believe it’s a trend that we will see disappear anytime soon. Depending on our social, or professional circle, personal development might look a little different – and I think where the main trouble lies, is when the knowledge isn’t applied.

Practical Steps to Effective Personal Development personal development

  • Organize your time, make time, everyday.
  • Give yourself an inventory – your skills
  • Look at your transferable skills
  • Pick up a new book/audio (I just finished ‘Be obsessed or Be Average‘ by Grant Cardone. GREAT book)
  • Apply the lessons taught/learned

Many skills that you have learned and developed either through work, education or your personal life can be successfully applied to other areas of your life. 

For example, good listening skills are important in many aspects of life.  Such skills are known as ‘Transferable Skills’ a term which is usually associated with a skill set that can be easily transferred from one job/business to another. 

Analyzing your existing skills will help you to identify both skills and personal qualities that could be used in another field.  Further examples of transferable skills are IT skills, interpersonal skills, communication (verbal and written), organizational skills, literacy and numeracy, problem-solving and understanding the needs of others or emotional intelligence.

Learning a new skill through personal development, will broaden the opportunities open to you, at the same time, empowering you as an individual. There are many things that prevent people from learning new skills, these barriers may be overcome with some thought.

Barriers such as; lack of confidence, economic situations, family commitments, lack of time. 

I would recommend that it is often a good idea to keep a record of your personal development. By writing down key developments in your learning and development, when they occur, you will be able to reflect on your successes at a later date. 

We should only look back, to see how far we’ve come.

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personal development




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