Personal Development is Critical to Success
What does it take to become a successful person? If you ask that question to a room full of people, you’ll get a variety of answers. Some will say that you absolutely must get a college education. Others will recommend working hard. Many will suggest pursuing love over money. Still others will suggest doing the exact opposite. Not many people will place much effort on being a good person. However, if you think about it, if we define success as achieving what it takes to be happy with your life, your personal development is absolutely critical to that. After all, people become successful with varying levels of education. They obtain jobs that they think they will love only to become disappointed, or they find themselves shocked at how much they love a job they only took for the money. If money, education, or skills aren’t the common factor among successful people, what is? If you look at the majority of successful people in your life, you will find that they put a lot of dedicated effort into continually becoming better people.
The reason that personal development is so crucial to success is that it literally impacts every single area of your life. Think about that. Your family relationships, your friendships, your romantic relationships, your interests, and your career success are all dependent on your growth and maturity as a person. The next logical questions are, what does personal development involve, and what can you do to continue evolving as a person? Opinions may vary, but for the sake of this posting, let’s say that education, generosity, spirituality, physical health, mental health, and relationship skills are six core components of personal development. Keep reading to learn ways to improve and grow in each of these six areas.
Improving Yourself Through Education
Too many people limit the education that they receive to that which they can use to further their career. This is unfortunate because being well-educated means developing the knowledge required to become an informed and active citizen, not simply a person who is trained to do a particular job. Fortunately, continuing to educate yourself isn’t something that requires an investment of large amounts of time or money. You can become more educated by reading, learning the facts on current events, and taking advantage of the often free online courses that are available on a variety of topics. Even within your community, there are probably libraries, community centers, museums, and other places that offer a variety of classes and other enrichment programs that you can enjoy while becoming a more well-rounded person.
The Practice of Generosity
If your measurement of generosity is solely based on whether or not you give to charity, and how much you give, you are probably not developing a sense of generosity that truly results in self-improvement. Generosity is not an act or acts of charity or donations of money and time, although these are definitely ways to express generosity. The practice of generosity is placing the well-being of others at a high priority level. It means getting to know people, understanding their needs, and caring about doing your part to meet those needs. When you are generous in your relationships, the people around you feel valued.
Developing Your Spirituality
This one can be a turnoff to people who do not belong to a particular religion, or who do not believe in any supreme being. However, it is absolutely possible to have no religious beliefs and still have a spiritual side that you nurture and grow. It is also possible to be devoutly religious and have an extremely immature sense of spirituality. Your spirituality impacts two things. The first is your own sense of inner peace. If you have inner peace, you have a strong focus, are able to avoid or negotiate conflict, and aren’t prone to fall victim to the effects of stress. The second is the energy that you exude that impacts others. Some people believe that carrying negative thoughts and feelings literally throws your chakras out of balance and causes you release negative energy. Others simply believe that negativity in your thoughts come out in your words and actions whether you want them to or not. Meditating, praying, yoga, and other practices can help you boost your spirituality.
Getting Your Physical and Mental Health on Track
Your physical and mental well-being are two very important yet often overlooked aspects of personal development. Physical health has a direct impact on energy level, focus and concentration, and mood. It also affects your ability to socialize, actively participate in life with your friends and loved ones and reveal your personality. Then there is your mental health. If you ignore that, you can put yourself on a path to many bad results ranging from burnout to damaged relationships with loved ones. It’s extremely important to think of your physical and mental health as things that need constant care and attention. This doesn’t mean simply going to appointments and taking care of things when they come up. It’s exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and doing things that make you feel happy and recharged.
Honing Your Relationship Skills
If you cannot relate to other people, it is extremely difficult to become a successful person in any area of your life. People who have the ability to relate well with others have empathy, are intuitive, care about others, know when to be assertive, and can handle conflict while maintaining a cool head. Not only do people with relationship skills handle things well when they are in contact with people, they also make an effort to continually improve their relationships and their relationship skills. You can hone your relationship skills by first being aware of any deficits that you have when it comes to relating to others. For example, are you too impatient with people? Do you avoid conflict to the extent that it is unhealthy? When you are aware of what you need to work on, you become more conscious of these things in your dealings with others.