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Personal Development

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I have been passionate about personal development as long as I can remember.

And since you are reading this, I know you are too. You want to improve your life as a whole or at least some aspect of it. 

So, what is personal development?

Personal development is getting in touch with your inner self and achieving self-actualization, which, is the process of maximizing your potential. In other words, personal development is improving yourself by bringing out your skills and constantly expanding your comfort zone, thus creating more from life.

When you undertake the journey of life, you are in it for all the successes and failures. And you need to work on your skills as a person to deal with both. Personal development is, learning to face your fears and expanding your comfort zone and making more use of your capabilities. To live a fulfilled life, you need to grow as a person. It happens when you work on your weaknesses. When you do that, you emerge as a more successful and confident person on the other side.

Fixed mindset vs growth mindset

Carol Dweck, a researcher at Stanford University, is known for her work on mindset. 

According to her, people can have two types of mindset according to their beliefs: fixed mindset and growth mindset.

People with a fixed mindset believe that their talents and innate abilities are fixed. If you don’t have it, then you can’t do anything about it. They never want to look like a failure, so they are not open to learning and new things.

On the other hand, in a growth mindset, people believe you can develop your skills and abilities. They understand you can grow your abilities if you put in the effort and stay persistent. 

When getting started with personal development, it is important to have a growth mindset. Because those with a fixed mindset are never open to change, as they believe their traits are unchangeable and therefore do not try. But studies show that you can develop any skill you want if you are willing to put in the practice for a consistent period of time.

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Does it mean you should always be unhappy with yourself?

What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

If you are always fixing yourself, doesn’t it lead to dissatisfaction with self? You might get the idea ‘I’m not good enough’ because you are always trying to improve.

It can seem so. 

But it’s counter-intuitive.

A desire to change occurs when you acknowledge your weaknesses and you feel there is a better way to live. When you strive for more, you learn more and you know that you are improving. In fact, personal development makes you happier and more confident and you begin to see it spreading onto other areas of your life.

It’s because to develop your personality you need to seek knowledge. When you learn new things, the new knowledge changes your outlook. And you start seeing the world and your experiences in a new light. You are not unhappy with yourself but you are growing and gaining more confidence. The constant aspiration to growth gives you something to look forward to in life.

Because you die when you stop learning and growing.

If you are happy with who you are, that’s great. Personal development is simply acknowledging your weaknesses and understanding your true potential and trying to explore it.

I will give you an example.

Suppose you are a person for whom forgiving others is hard. People wrong you all the time knowingly or unknowingly, especially your loved ones. But as you can imagine, life will get hard for you if you don’t forgive easily and hold onto grudges for a long time. 

In this scenario, you can do two things. 

  1. Live the same way for the rest of your life and be known as a bitter person. Or,
  2. Learn to forgive.

If you choose #2, you have a growth mindset. You’re acknowledging it’s a problem that is making your life hard and stealing your happiness. So, you search for ways to solve it by working on yourself.

 And in your search, you found a book that talks about forgiveness. You read it and suddenly you learn new things you never knew about. You find out why it has been hard for you to forgive, and what to do about it. So now you become a happier person because you know how to deal with the weakness you have.

I hope now you get why personal development is important. There are many things you could achieve in life if you overcome your fears. I have many fears left to overcome in my life. But I am not dissatisfied with my life. I am happy where I am now because I know I am growing. And the road ahead to more growth makes me only happier because of the results it will give me. It makes life exciting to live.

At the same time, I never forget to live each day. Constantly thinking about tomorrow is bad. Today, you think about how far you have come and how you are better than yesterday, even for a tiny bit. That’s how you improve yourself over time.

Let’s see how you can get started with personal development.

Analyze what areas of your life you need to work on

When starting a personal development plan, you need to evaluate what areas of your personality or life need improvement. 

It can be some aspect of physical health or your mental health, or career or relationships. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 and write down what you want to improve in each area. Brainstorm how you are going to improve each area of your life. For example, if you want to improve your fitness, you can write suggestions like

  • Exercise at least 3x a week
  • Include more fruits and veggies in your daily diet
  • Reduce the intake of junk food

You can do that for each area of your life. Here is a list of a few areas that you can work on.

-Health & Fitness

-Relationships

-Mental health and behavior

-Career

-Finance

-Education (learning new things/developing new skills)

Make a plan

Now that you know what you want to improve, planning comes next. Without planning or scheduling, you never get things done and you waste each day wishing away. So don’t skip this step.

You can use different tools for planning. Even though you can do it even on a piece of paper, I recommend getting a journal or planner so that you get serious about it and what you write remains with you for future reference and you can record your progress too.

Some questions you can ask while planning:

  1. How much time do I need to accomplish this goal?
  2. What should I do in one month to accomplish this goal in ___ months?
  3. How can I work for this goal daily? 
  4. What changes should I make in my daily schedule?
  5. What changes to make in my beliefs to become the person I want to be?
  6. What’s blocking me from achieving this goal?
  7. How to solve it?

There are so many questions you can ask yourself while you plan. I will go into detail about it in future on this blog. Have a brainstorming session with yourself and make a personal development plan.

Related: 10 reasons journaling will transform your life

What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

Schedule it

Put it on your calendar.

This step is important too. I always say that my secret to getting things done and making new habits is, scheduling.

For years, I told myself I want to do this and that but never got anything done until I started planning and scheduling.

Right now, I use a bullet journal for all my scheduling and that’s the system that keeps me sane and organized. 

Therefore, make time for personal development in your schedule. 

Related: How to start a bullet journal when you’re not artistic (step-by-step method)

Be consistent

In order to see growth, you have to put in consistent efforts. Nothing worth having in life comes easily and quickly. So be present and do the work every day.

To stay consistent you can look for accountability partners. Or announcing your goal in public or saying about it to the people who matter to you is a good idea. It’s a proven fact that we perform better when we are held accountable by others as we like to prove ourselves and others that we are not failures. That’s human nature.

Another idea is to track your progress daily using habit trackers. I use habit trackers in my bullet journal to keep me accountable. At the end of each month, I evaluate where do I need improvement and set new goals for next month.

You should review your goals and analyze your mistakes on a consistent basis. Having a review system will keep you on track.

Related: 25 bullet journal habit trackers to help you build better habits

Resources to get you started with personal development

 1. Books

Books are my number one choice to learn about personal development. My love for self-improvement content started years ago. And I have read a ton of books on personal development. 

Books have played a big role in shaping my character and thoughts. Often, after reading a good self-help book, I get a new outlook on life. My thinking is changed and I start to view the world with a fresh pair of eyes. 

You know, it’s a relief to break free from old limiting beliefs and expand your thought process. It frees your mind and makes you a better person. Now, I can go on and on about reading can influence your life. But, I think you got the idea. 

Here are some personal development books that  I have read and loved.


2. Youtube videos

If you love watching videos, Youtube has many personal development channels that can check out. They provide quick inspiration and knowledge. Though I doubt whether you would get in-depth knowledge like reading a book, you can get quick motivation from there.

Here are some personal development Youtube channels that you can subscribe to.

3. Blogs

Blogs are a great way to learn new things. Today, there are blogs on literally every topic. And there are great personal development blogs too.

Here are some of the personal development blogs that I love       

4. Podcasts

Podcasts are an amazing way to turn your time you spend for daily chores like driving, cooking, exercise etc. into something useful and knowledgeable. 

Here are some of the personal development podcasts you can start with

What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

The best personal development advice I ever heard that can transform your life

As I said, I read many personal development books and one such book I have loved is Jack Canfield’s “The Success Principles”. The book talks about many principles that can help you to take you from where you are to where you want to be. 

The first principle is “taking responsibility”. Yes, that’s the first step you should take towards changing your life. Life will throw you curveballs and when you take responsibility for whatever that happens to you, you start the mastery of personal development. 

You can’t control many circumstances that happen to you like diseases, accidents, traffic jam, the behavior of other people etc. But you can choose how you respond to them. 

When you are diagnosed by a chronic disease, you can either wallow in self-pity thinking ‘why me?’ or react to it positively. Take responsibility by identifying the cause if any, and do what’s in your power to combat it by making the necessary lifestyle changes. 

When you are met with an accident that makes you bedridden for a month, it might not be your fault that it happened. Instead of cursing the driver,  you can choose to respond to it by using the new free time effectively.

When you blame your circumstances and others, you are playing a victim. When you portray yourself as a victim, you can never achieve anything concrete in life. Because you tend to blame others for everything and you act as if nothing is in your hands. 

When you choose to respond to the events in your life as if you are fully responsible, your life begins to change.

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What is personal development? A guide on how to get started with your personal development journey.

 

 

 

We all come empty handed to this world. We all will leave so.

But when we go, most of us hope to leave something behind. A life well lived. A rich legacy. Not in terms of money, but in terms of character and service.

How do you define success in life?

I think the answer depends on those who are asked. Success means different things to different people.

But to achieve success in life, you must make sure to not waste the precious days, and the resources given to you. 

Your days are your life in miniature. As you live your days so you craft your life.

Robin Sharma.

Click to tweet this quote!

Read on to find in what ways you are wasting your life.

**This post contains affiliate links. I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase through my affiliate link. It helps me run this website and create useful content for you. Thank you for supporting my blog :-)**

If you want to have a successful life, take care of your each day. Know how you are wasting your life by doing these common things.

1. Wasting time on distractions

Today, we are all distracted more than ever. Yes, we used to have screens in the 90s too. But our way of life is different.

The increasing dependence on smartphones has dramatically changed our lives. It has affected especially our ability to focus on our work. Or even simply the ability to wait patiently.

Have you noticed how we don’t let ourselves be bored for even a minute? We have to fill even a ten-minute wait in a restaurant with our phones checking notifications.

We can’t stand in a queue waiting patiently because our brains demand for  constant stimulation from social media.

Ever wondered what is it doing to our capabilities? We are becoming a generation who can’t lift our heads to notice what’s happening around us, or worse, can’t focus on one task deeply to complete it. It affects our productivity badly. 

I recommend reading Cal Newport’s book, “Deep Work” to understand better. He writes about a concept called ‘attention residue’. 

Every time we switch from Task A to Task B, our attention doesn’t immediately flow. A residue of our attention gets stuck in the first task.

This residue gets especially thick if your work on Task A was unbounded and of low intensity before you switched, but even if you finish Task A before moving on, your attention remains divided for a while.”

This happens when we check notifications every once in a while. Our attention switches from current task to the email we just received, and if it’s something that requires to take action or do some thinking, it can really take away our focus from what we are doing.

This produces shallow work.

So, being distracted hurts your productivity and even your career growth more than you think. 

What you can do is, schedule time in your day to check emails. I do mine twice a day. And practice controlled use of social media. Like login only once or twice a week to stay updated.

success in life Wasting life distractions social media2. By not chasing your dreams

We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.

-Jim Rohn

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This thought is deep. When you reach the end of your life, you don’t want to regret, because you are leaving with the song still inside you. Let it come out. Sing your song. It doesn’t matter even if nobody thinks it is good. What matters is whether YOU enjoyed it.

You are wasting your life when you live other’s dreams. Whatever is it that you want in life, take time to do them. 

For me, my life is successful, if I could do the things I love and I could be who I want to be. I am constantly trying to evolve and grow. And I can tell you as scary as it may be, it is worth all the fears and roadblocks. Because at the end of it, I know that I did exactly what I wanted or at least I tried. 

3. Not disciplining yourself

Self-discipline means controlling yourself to your will. It is important to succeed in life because it is what gives you the power to stick to your goals.

You don’t become successful in life by working on your craft for a few days. Or working for it only when motivation strikes. You need to hustle consistently. 

Every successful person has routines or habits that help them stick with their vision. You need the self-discipline to form new habits and routines. 

And developing self-discipline helps you by not giving into temptations and deviate from your path. 

Self-discipline is what will give your days, a structure. You know how to spend your days to maximize your potential. If you lack self-control, you waste your days, and your life because you give into whatever comes your way.

Related: 10 best habits to have to take your life to the next level

4. Not spending time with family

7 common things you do that waste your life

Nurses can confirm one of the top regrets of people lying on the deathbed is “I wish I had spent more time with my family”.

And many people regret “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard”. Yes, you must work in life to earn a living and fulfill your dreams. But life is not all about it. 

Life is also about creating strong bonds with the people you love. It helps to create a sense of belonging in your kids and develop strong ties and a sense of security within the family members.

At the end of the day, you want people in life who are there for you no matter what. When you spend more time with family you also get to share your day, your joys and disappointments with them, and that builds strong ties.

In the quest for making more money or creating empires, always find time to spend time with your family. Because in the end, what matters is not how much you earned, but how much love you gave away.

5. By not expanding your comfort zone

The sooner you step away from your comfort zone you’ll realize that it really wasn’t all that comfortable.

-Eddie Harris Jr.

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If you want to be successful in life, it means stepping outside of your comfort zone consistently.

A comfort zone is where you feel the safest and you have the least anxiety there. Anything that asks you to face your fears and feel terrified is asking you to leave your comfort zone. 

And once you do it, you naturally feel less fear next time. And that’s how you expand your comfort zone.

All my life, I have been terrified of many things. But the ‘burning desire’ in me led to face many fears, and I have never been happier or more confident.

Though I am not quite there yet, I have been conquering each of my fears slowly and I can see the wonderful changes it has brought in my life.

Nothing worth having in life comes to you by staying where you are. So don’t stay stagnant and live the same days again and again till you die. Try to grow yourself constantly and say “yes” to more opportunities even though it scares you. 

You don’t have to do everything at once, but tiny steps will do.

6. wasting life By worrying constantly

Success in life worrying is waste of life

Worrying is another life waster. Often we worry about what happened in the past or we regret the mistakes we made. 

And we constantly worry about our future too. In the process, we forget to enjoy the present moment that life has gifted us. 

I used to be a constant worrier. I would agonize over what happened and let myself wallow in self-pity. And I would keep thinking about what could go wrong in the future. What if I were to lose whatever I have?

But it all changed once I learned about the “Law of Attraction”. After I read the book ‘The Secret’, I understood my constant worrying was bringing me more things to worry about. I had to stop that habit.

I began to overcome worrying by practicing gratitude and mindfulness. Gratitude can change your life. When you express genuine gratitude to even the smallest blessing you have, you become naturally happy. You are so content you don’t have space for worries.

I practice gratitude in my bullet journal. But you can practice it anywhere. Even now, as you are reading this. 

Close your eyes and think about everything you love in your life right now. Think deeply about each blessing and each person and how they bring value to your life. Focus only on the positives. It is when we focus on the negatives, we become unhappy. 

Tell yourself how happy you are to have your home, your parents, your job etc. Thank the universe or the God you believe in for giving you all these. You will instantly feel lighter.

Mindfulness is, focusing your mind on the present moment. You don’t think about the past or the future. Just be present and aware of what you do. Be aware of your breath and how you are feeling. And do not judge any thought that comes to your mind.

Practicing mindfulness gives you more patience and the ability to stay more connected to yourself. Here is an article I wrote on how to practice mindfulness.

Related: How to start a bullet journal even if you are not artistic

7. Living to please others

There are many people who regret not taking action to pursue their dreams. They care too much about other people’s opinion and try hard to impress others. Not only you don’t get to live your life on your own terms, but you live a dissatisfied life.

You always wonder about “what would have been”. Because there is nothing worse than living with regret. Always give your dreams a chance. It doesn’t matter where you are in life, it’s never too late to follow your dreams. And it is better to die being happy that you tried even if you succeed or not.

If you are not enjoying your life, it’s time to make a change. Let’s not waste our one and only shot on this planet. 

What would you add to the list? I am interested to learn. Please comment below!

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If you want to have a successful life, take care of your each day. Know how you are wasting your life by doing these common things.