What exactly is Personal Development?
Striving to make ourselves better, while thought of as new age, actually dates to ancient history. There are multiple societies that spoke of developing oneself as the only true vocation in life and that philosophy (knowing more about oneself and the universe), was the best way to live a more fulfilling life.
As we look into the history of personal development, it may have been called by other names such as, “virtues”, or “moral character”, or within the Christian era, “ethics.”
No matter where we find the roots of personal development, whether it is in ancient Greece, or more recently in the teachings of Benjamin Franklin, where he created possibly the first self-improvement course, we discussed over 13 weeks, with each week focusing on a particular characteristic of personal development.
The traits that he spoke of are as follows:
To practice self-control and exercise discipline, then to use these traits as a means of improving the individual
Quiet yourself and listen: Become a better listener, and exercise silence
Maintain order: Arranging our lives in an orderly fashion, and not procrastinate
Work ethic: Putting forth your best effort daily
Money/Time: Understand how we spend our time and money
Work: Learn to work and play hard, striving to bring a smile to others
Do unto Others: Always treat others, the way you yourself would like to be treated
Small Steps: to look at life with moderation, and to avoid extremes
Cleanliness both inside and outside: To be clean in body mind and spirit
Peace: Live life at peace, enjoying the beauty that surrounds us
Serve others: no matter your station in life, take the time to help others in need
Humbleness: realize that we are all equal in the face of the Almighty
Honesty: Strive always to speak the truth both yourself and those you come in contact with.
While this is simply a brief example, of what one of America’s historic figures offered, personal development is not a destination but a path you should walk.
Personal development should become ingrained in every part of our lives, both physically, mentally, and spiritually. Life is a continual movement from birth to death, and along that path we should always strive to move ourselves forward, to become better people, and to never settle, but always strive for excellence.
We live in a fast-paced world, with deadlines to keep an bills to pay, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we are physical as well as spiritual beings, and to truly be fulfilled we should not put one in front of the other, rather seek excellence for them both.
Personal development, which could be measured by setting and reaching goals, can be thought of as a measurement of our success in life. It does not matter whether we seek the summit Mount Everest, or simply to walk to a neighboring hill, rather it is the setting of our sight upon that goal, then walking steadily forward infielders reached.
We should seek both short-term and long-term goals, which short term goals being achievable, which offers fuel to our very essence, allowing us the strength and motivation to move forward.