Personal Development is a Lot Like Gym Membership

Muscles for your MindHaving gym membership does not guarantee getting fit.  Getting fit requires going to the gym and using the equipment.  Often.

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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13 Responses to Personal Development is a Lot Like Gym Membership

  1. Martha Giffen
    June 27, 2012 at 1:07 am #

    You are so right! Personal development is SO under-rated! I consider myself a self-help junkie and proud of it! I pay attention to everything that goes into my mind and out of my mouth (well, still working on the mouth thing!), but you know what i mean. It’s an every day affair!
    Martha Giffen recently posted..How To Be A Relationship MarketerMy Profile

    • Madonna June 27, 2012 at 9:05 am #

      Hi Martha,

      It is obvious from your blogs that personal development is important to you. If everyone had your philosophy the world would change pretty quickly. Thanks for commenting.


  2. Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A.
    June 27, 2012 at 6:39 am #

    I daresay that personal development is part of continuous improvement (another buzzword) to insure one reaches the pinnacle of performance.
    Roy A. Ackerman, Ph.D., E.A. recently posted..Big and small, small and bigMy Profile

    • Madonna June 27, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      Hi Roy,
      Not sure how the word improvement is a buzzword. But yes, without continuous growth we would still be living in caves.


  3. Kristen
    June 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm #

    I am not exactly sure what you mean by personal development, but I think that most of us develop personally each day. Every day that I read a new book, learn a new skill, help my daughter learn something, or visit a new place, I am developing myself. Even exercising, yoga, and sleeping well helps me better develop personally. Each of these things (and countless others) contributes to the person that I am as I continually evolve. Tomorrow I will be a bit different than the person I was yesterday. Good luck with your evolution!
    Kristen recently posted..Does Blogging Help New Mothers Relieve Stress? What the Research Actually ShowsMy Profile

    • Madonna June 27, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Kristen,

      I probably have a slightly different version of personal development than you. We all do evolve every day naturally as you suggest and the vehicles you use help that process more than some others.

      I see personal development as a stretching process above and beyond the normal growth that each of us experiences just by living. It is a deliberate attempt to grow and change beyond what is required for daily living.

      That is my definition.

  4. Gregory McGuire
    June 28, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Hi Madonna,

    Personal development is so important in MLM that at least one company I know of used to say that “We are a personal development company, that just happens to sell other products.”

    Without personal growth, I don’t believe one can achieve true and lasting success in network marketing. Unless we focus on constantly improving ourselves, we probably won’t take the actions necessary to succeed.

    Awesome post. Thanks for sharing!

    Gregory McGuire recently posted..What’s Really Important In Your Network Marketing Business?My Profile

    • Madonna June 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm #

      Hi Gregory,

      What you say about MLM and personal development is so true. Nothing makes a person grow faster that an MLM business.

      Unfortunately, most people still don’t get it, and put ll their faith in cash machines and instant downlines and other such rubbish.

      Thanks for commenting.


  5. Lhizzie July 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Hi Madonna.. Well for me, there are a lot of people who can benefit from your post here.. Actually, I am just thankful you have concern for the bloggers today..

  6. William Veasley
    July 3, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    Madonna: I did not always value personal development highly, but now all I want to do is fill my head up with possitive knowledge. It would be amazing if I read all day long because reading is important in personal development.
    William Veasley recently posted..Agree To DisagreeMy Profile

    • Madonna July 4, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      Yes, that would be great William to read all day. How can we organise it?

  7. Dr. Vaughan Dabbs July 4, 2012 at 2:38 am #

    Excellent information. Your site definitely explains essential concepts to its readers. Thanks for continuing to write such wonderful articles.

    • Madonna July 5, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Thank you. I enjoy it. And it gives my friends a rest from listening to my thoughts on the world. Lol.

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