Personal development is the process by which people improve various aspects of themselves—how they approach problems, how they interact with others, how they work toward their goals, and their conceptions of their own identities. Personal development begins the moment you look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself, “I need to become a better, more self-actualized person.”
Why Do I Need Personal Development?
There are different reasons you might need personal development. Maybe you feel as though you’ve never been able to accomplish anything, and are tired of having others look down on your achievements. Maybe you’ve never fit in anywhere because your social skills aren’t up to par.
Maybe you’ve always felt out of place within your own life, and that now it’s time to change. Or maybe you just don’t feel like a very nice person. Whatever your reasons are, personal development is an excellent choice for everyone.
How to Make Things Happen
Things won’t just happen in your life—you need to make them happen. Doing this is being proactive in your own life. You cannot become properly self-actualized if you are not proactive. In other words, to make the most of your life, you need to grab life by the horns (to quote the slogan of a famous car company). The world is your oyster, and you need to make the most out of it.
1- Realize That There’s a Problem
So, how can one go about making things happen? The first method is that you have to become aware of when there’s a problem. Doing this is important for you as a person, and important for your personal development journey more specifically. Once you’ve targeted the problem, you need to question yourself: what causes this? Why do you act this way (if you’re the source of the problem)? If you’re not, what are the reasons that the person is acting this way?
2- Manipulate the Environment to Your Advantage
Then, you have to ask yourself how you can manipulate the system to your advantage. For example, if the problem is that you feel you don’t put yourself “out there” enough, how can you put yourself out there? For this problem, one solution would be to join a local club, or start networking with others. But if your problem is, say, that you don’t feel that people like you because of your body language, you need to do research and focus on controlling your body language.
Some problems might have more complex solutions. For instance, maybe you feel like you’re not able to reach people. To deal with this problem, you could look into improving your posture, diction, and style of speech. Then, you’ll present the same ideas in more intelligent-sounding ways, and people will listen to you because they want to hear what you have to say.
3- Don’t Hesitate to Grab Opportunities
Another way of making things happen is by opening yourself up to life. Don’t be afraid to take small risks, like walking home via a different route or striking up a conversation with a person on the subway. Doing such small things will cause you to deviate from the normal course of events, but you will gain a lot by doing so. It will be fun to break away from your usual routine. Plus, you might get some networking contacts or some good conversation out of it.
Techniques and Tips
One simple thing you can do is incorporate meditation into your everyday life. Meditation is the process of trying not to have direct thoughts, and instead to focus on your environment. You close your eyes and take in the environment by perceiving sensations: the sounds and smells around you, the feeling of your body sitting on the ground, and so on. Meditation is highly correlated with happier moods, calmer dispositions in times of stress, and higher happiness in general.
If you meditate often, you learn how to approach your problems in a detached way—in other words, in such a way that you’re not emotionally invested in your problems—and find the best solutions. You won’t panic as much, and you’ll remain calmer overall.
Furthermore, when you meditate, you’ll get in touch with your spiritual side. As you sit there, contemplating the nature of reality, you can come to truly understand the universe and your place within it. You will become more appreciative of all the amazing things in your life right now, and all the wonderful things life has in store for you.
Reconsider what you need for happiness
Another thing you can do is reconsider what you need for happiness in your life. For example, is it necessary for your happiness to spend as much time at work as you do? Do you enjoy yourself for every hour of video games that you play?
What about your food—are you eating because you’re hungry or because you want to enjoy food, or just because you’re bored? What about screen time? Maybe you spend too many of hours in front of a screen. If you don’t need something in your life, you ought to eliminate it so that you can develop properly into your best self.
Assess your character and personality
A third thing you can do for personal development is assess your character and personality every so often. Doing so will allow you to see how far you’ve come, and to touch on those aspects that still need improvement. You will feel happiness at having a way of measuring your process, but—more importantly—you’ll know how you ought to progress for your future. With these touchstones in place, you can keep a clear record of who you are and where you’re going.
You should always exercise. Exercising is easily one of the best ways you can develop yourself. Not only will you become happier—this has been proven many times over by scientists, in both the long and short terms—but you will also get stronger physically. The gains you see yourself making—as well as the continuous effort you put into going to the gym or hitting the track every single week—will boost your self-confidence. Another reason you’ll get more confidence is because you’ll find yourself more attractive.
Related to the last tip, you should also make sure you sit down as little as possible. Having an overly sedentary lifestyle has been associated with diseases and illnesses in the long term, as well as medical conditions like worsened posture. Also, in the short term, sitting causes your butt to cramp up and your muscles to weaken. Try to stand or walk as much as possible. They offer standing desks for this very purpose. (Several companies even offer treadmill desks.)
Get in touch with other people
You can also get in touch with other people who are involved in the journey of self-improvement. Many groups of this nature can be found in the cities of the world. A like-minded community that will offer you support and respect has another advantage, too. Not only are you having more fun this way, but you guys will also develop your goals better. Since you’ll be cheering each other on, achieving your goals will be easier and more fun.
Watch what you eat
Another tip is to watch what you eat. Of course, there’s the more basic stuff, like avoiding junk food and cutting down your intake of sweets and soft drinks. You must limit how many of these you consume, and how often you consume them. But did you know that you should keep your intake of some healthy foods limited as well? This is because they cause farting and other gastrointestinal troubles. (As you might imagine, beans fall into this category.)
Explore the world
Moreover, you should try to explore the world. That sounds like a big time commitment, but remember—everything on Earth is the world, whether it’s India’s Taj Mahal or your own neighborhood. Vary your route as you walk through your town and city; you’ll observe new things that way.
Alternately, take a walk instead of driving in a car or using mass transit. Moreover, once you get the money, you should definitely explore the various parts of the world. (One relatively simple way of doing this: by seeing one major city in every continent.) You’ll learn about different cultures and different ppls, and you’ll be able to improve yourself by seeing what they do correctly in other places.
Your Own Personal Development Journey
Ultimately, becoming attuned to your needs and goals in life is one of the simplest yet most difficult things you can do in your everyday life. Fortunately, it’s also one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only will you become happier through personal development, you’ll also become more comfortable with your body and your feelings.
You will anticipate your reactions to any given situation better, and as such you will have a better grip on your feelings and what you can do to control them. You will be more emotionally stable, physically happier, mentally satisfied, and more at peace with yourself. Thus, thanks to your personal development journey, you will become a happier, more self-actualized person in the long term. Personal development is definitely a great option for you—and for everyone else on this amazing planet we call home.