My definion of what “personal development” really means

Often, I get asked about what “personal development” really means and if there is a clear definition for this discipline.

In this article, I would like to offer my point of view about personal development, hoping that you will really understand the mission and occupation that personal development has in our lives.

Personal development is concerned with your growth, with what you want to become and the life you want to live.

Most people do not have a clear perspective about how their life can be and what they want from it. When I start coaching sessions with my clients, I ask them about a specific life aspect and they have no clue what answer to give about how they really want that life aspect to be, what would make them feel accomplished in that aspect.

At first, I always ask the question “what do you believe for x aspect?” and they don’t know what answer to give… and such people can be highly intelligent and with advanced careers.

Why does this happen? This happens because we have never trained or taught ourselves to ask direct, clear questions to ourselves and how to be sincere when giving answers.

Asking the right (self reflection) questions is not an easy process.

We tend to change everything outside us in order to feel good and we show resistance in changing ourselves… but the real transformation starts from within.

I am now reminded of a beautiful quote by Socrates who said “In life, we don’t get what we want but what we become”. In order to get something you want or achieve a goal, you have to work a lot with yourself. It is a (continuous) process.

Another great quote said by Zig Ziglar emphasizes the continuous work we have to do with ourselves, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily”. Personal development is a (daily) lifestyle.

It looks like there is a lot of work to be done and this is true. But think for a moment/; by the time we reach the age 7 we start to go to school and continue to invest in our education for years and years. The same happens when giving birth to a child; it takes a lifetime to raise, educate and take care for your children.

These are difficult things to do but we do them anyway.

So, why not think of personal development the same way we think of our education or raising a child?

It is something that requires continuous engagement and it can be done rightly only when you are clear of what you want and where you want to go.

When you are not clear about what you want, you can experience stress constantly, low productivity and you are more prone to giving up and not find motivation to do the things you really want to do.

Do you think that personal development should become part of your agenda?

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