Sunday, 26 July 2015 04:07

How to Develop Yourself Featured

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How to Develop Yourself


Personal development has a greater scope than continuing professional development because it involves everything that you do as an individual. It is sometimes summarised as “becoming the person that you really want to be.” To effectively do this you first need to take stock of where you are personally and decide what is needed to bridge the gap to the “ideal” you. This involves an honest assessment of strengths and weaknesses, particularly in areas such as:

  • Dealing with people
  • Personal ethics
  • Personal competencies

As well as taking the opportunity to ask those whose judgement and honesty you trust, you can look back over your own performance in recent months. Ask how many of your objectives you have met and how well you have worked with others in meeting these objectives, including the balance between how you are performing both at work and at home. There is no point in hiding faults or failings at this stage – this is your personal assessment, after all. You need to be honest to yourself if you want a better result.

I don’t know what your stories are. Stop thinking it is too late for you because it isn’t. As long as you are still alive, you are capable of changing and growing. You can do anything you want to do, be anything you want to be. You don’t have to give up. If there is life there is hope and it’s never too late to start improving your life.

After self-assessment what did you discover about your life? Remember this is a journey and not a sprint, so don’t expect miracles. You need to constantly put in the work and all it takes to improve your life. Prayer is not a guarantee here because faith without works is dead. I am not against prayer but most often people that spend all their time praying are very lazy because they refuse to take responsibility and act, they try to give their responsibility to God. How about praying that God show you the way to improve your life then you apply the principles instead of waiting for a miracle.

If you want to improve your life you need to accept personal responsibility for your own growth; no one can do it for you. What you do today will determine your readiness for tomorrow. You need to take time every day to do something for yourself. Take classes to stay current in your field of expertise. The world is changing rapidly and you must learn to manage change to avoid obsolescence. Will Rogers put it this way: “Even if you are on the right track, if you just sit there you will get run over.” Many of us have been ran over because we just sit there waiting. What are you waiting for? You need to keep moving on the track and stop obstructing you and others.

One of the ways I personally improve my life is to listen to audio recording of successful people. This is fundamental. Listen to recordings on personal and professional growth topics. Never look back to the past. You can only control your actions in this instant, so what should you be doing right now? When you look to the past you’ll become a past tense. For sure you can use the past to navigate into the future but never ever hold on to the past and use it as a stumbling block for your future. The past should be your teacher and not your tormentor.

Learn from “other people’s experience” rather than having to try everything for yourself. It shortens the time needed to learn. We’ve all heard that experience is the best teacher. Unfortunately this maxim is used to justify making mistakes due to insufficient preparation, hasty action, lack of thought, or carelessness. To me experience is a hard teacher because it gives you the test before the lessons and you will fail the test. Although we all should learn from our experiences, both good and bad, there’s no good reason to keep reinventing the wheel. Rather than learning from your own experiences, it is far more efficient to learn from someone else’s. Although experience may be a good teacher, someone else’s experience is a far better teacher. Many other people have been down the route you are traveling. Although it may not be the exact same path, they have encountered and solved many of the same problems you may be facing. By using their experiences as a starting point, you accelerate your progress

Dealing with a problem helps you learn patience and strengthens your management skills; it is good mental exercise. Never shy away from problems. You need to be strengthened and it is only challenges that will strengthen you but remember you need to be patient. This is a skill many no longer have in this generation. It has never been easy to be patient, but it’s probably harder now than at any time in history. In a world where messages and information can be sent across instantly, everything is available with only a few clicks of the mouse. Fortunately, patience is a virtue that can be cultivated and nurtured over time. You will be pleasantly surprised by how relaxation and peace of mind can impact the quality of your life.

Whenever you are involved in a mistake you need to analyse this mistake in a non-judgmental way. It will help you to prevent further similar mistakes in the future. Mistakes in not an indication that you’re a failure. This is the big mistake most people make. It’s never easy to admit you’ve made a mistake, but it’s a crucial step in learning, growing, and improving yourself. You can only learn from a mistake after you admit you’ve made it. As soon as you start blaming other people (or the universe itself), you distance yourself from any possible lesson. But if you courageously stand up and honestly say “This is my mistake and I am responsible” the possibilities for learning will move towards you. When you take responsibility of your mistakes it makes learning from the mistake possible as this moves the focus away from blame assignment and towards understanding. Wise people admit their mistakes easily. They know progress accelerates when they do.

Learn to reward yourself when you catch yourself working on the most important priorities. Everyone likes a pat on the back every once in a while. And there’s no better time to get one than when you’re out of your comfort zone, challenging yourself to improve, nervous about whether you can succeed. Try to approach your goals from a position of “possibilities” instead. Find ways to use regular rewards to pat you on the back and give a word of encouragement. Instead of focusing on what you do wrong, try paying more attention to what you do right. Rewards create a feeling of doing something you want to do, not just what you’re forcing yourself to do. Even the smallest of rewards can work wonders as you travel from milestone to milestone, pound to pound, and mile to mile.

Never say something can’t or won’t be done. Keep looking for ways to do it. Every problem has a solution. You must look for it. For all learning experiences, whether it is reading, seeing, thinking or attending, apply this formula: Recognize, Relate, Assimilate, and Apply. These actions will help you grow in the direction of your goals. Eliminate one time waster a week from your life. Read a minimum of one chapter of a book a day. Read a minimum of one book a month. Be hungry for what life has to offer and go for it.

Identify your assets (honest, hard-working, loving...etc.) and your liabilities (angry, lazy...etc.). Recognize your strengths, even if you have to list all of them down. You have to be your own best friend, and then you can be a good friend or lover to others.

Decide what you really desire to do-then do it.

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