Exercise keeps the body healthy and fit, but it must be performed regularly to be effective. Personal Development keeps the mind and emotions healthy and fit. It also must be engaged in on a regular basis.
It is common knowledge today that in order to become or stay healthy and fit, we must exercise our physical body. It is less well known that in order to be healthy, enjoy life to the fullest and achieve our potential, we must develop our mental faculties and learn to manage our emotions. That is the ultimate aim of Personal Development.
Like exercise, Personal Development is not something you do once. It is not finished once the book has been read, the workshop is over or the program completed. In fact, that’s when the real process begins. Only about 10% of all participants in any type of success or personal development program actually go on to take the next steps and make use of the learning.
Developing mental and emotional intelligence is an ongoing process that should end only at death. There is always another level to reach, a new destination or a new vision to explore.
I remember when I was studying Humanities as part of my Arts Degree way back, dare I say it, in the 70’s (and I was then a mature age student) and I came across Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to the psychologist, the highest human need was for Self Actualisation. Self actualisation is the need to achieve all that an individual is capable of. In that moment I knew that self actualisation was something I wanted to work towards.
I believe we owe it to ourselves to strive to be the best version of ourselves that we can, irrespective of whether or not that leads to business success. Achieving personal growth is the most rewarding experience and the best gift one can give to the self. Unfortunately, Personal Development is a very underrated activity and is often resisted at all costs. Just like many of us have resistance to exercise, the resistance to personal growth is even higher still.
Without personal growth, we stay the same, with the same capabilities, the same experiences and worse still, the same outcomes. To me, that feels suffocating and boring.
For those who do engage in regular exercise or gym work, it is perfectly normal to work out at least 3 times a week. How many people do you know engage in personal development activities 3 times a week?
It seems that developing the physical body is a legitimate activity, whereas it is still not considered necessary to develop the mental and emotional aspects of ourselves throughout our life. The mindset of the majority is that once we become adults we are fully developed and only engage in learning activities that are either career or hobby related.
The whole notion of personal growth for its own sake is largely ignored. All my life I have loved learning for it’s own sake. That was the driving force behind attaining a University degree. It was not career related in the slightest.
One of the major frustrations for me about being a Personal Development Consultant is being able to see potential in others and knowing that this potential will remain untapped. Of course, it is also my own lesson. My own full potential has still not been completely reached. We are all a work in progress.
To become the best we can be requires an ongoing commitment. To grow and achieve our full potential is a stretch, not unlike pushing oneself in the gym. We need to develop stronger mental and emotional muscles and that takes time and effort. Like gym membership, paying for it is not enough. We must use the equipment and do so regularly.
If you’d like to learn more about personal development and find ways that work for you, join us in this Facebook group. We’d love to have you.
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