Each and every one of us have our own paths that we are walking down. Our lives can become so complicated as we gain more responsibilities at home and work. How do we know where we should spend most of our time and attention?
It feels like no matter how much you get done, there’s always more. You can put extra hours in, but it’s never enough to feel fulfilled. You find yourself asking: what is the secret to happiness and success?
You dream of more. You have aspirations and goals that go beyond what the average person has. Looking around at everyone else is almost depressing to you. It seems like they are all content with where they are at in life, but you have this internal burning desire to be more. You don’t know where to turn. You don’t know who to talk to.
So, you turn inward. You reflect on yourself and your dreams. How will you get there? Well, the answer is personal development.
What is personal development?
Personal development is continuously improving yourself in the different categories of your life that have value to you. It is making a little progress each and every day so that you are always growing into the person that you were meant to be.
Personal development can take on many different meanings depending on who you are talking to and where you are at in life. One of the hardest things in life is knowing where your highest point of contribution lies.
That’s why there is personal development. Personal development helps you to grow into the person that you were meant to be. It’s a long journey that takes a good amount of planning. You will fail along the way. There will be a lot of trial and error.
To sum up what personal development is in just one paragraph is like trying to put all of the sands in the Sahara desert into one hourglass. It’s impossible. You’re going to go through different chapters in your life when you have to focus your time and energy on one category more than others.
Personal Development Categories
I dive a lot deeper into these categories in this article but I think it is vital to your happiness and success to always have a “why” and a plan for all 6 of them.
These 6 parts of your life are the pillars to happiness and success. They all work together and they also all work against each other. There will be times when one category is much more important than the rest, and there will be other times when that exact same category needs to be put on the back burner because something else is more important.
My philosophy on personal development is that all 6 of the categories above are where your focus needs to be each and every day.
When you create your personal development plan you will have a column for each of these 6 categories. They are all intertwined and if one is off then you will be searching for the reason that you don’t feel fulfilled.
Each one is important for their own reasons, but they all work together to make you the best version of yourself that you can be.
Make a little progress each day
There are so many tools that you will develop over the course of your life that will be there to help you with the different categories that we talked about earlier. It’s a never ending journey. And you never want it to end anyway, because you become complacent when you stop making progress and complacency will kill your spirit faster than anything else.
As Theodore Roosevelt once said:
“We must either wear out or rust out every one of us. My choice is to wear out.”
Do you want to rust out or wear out? It’s a real question to ask yourself.
Will you allow yourself to stop progressing and just sit there and rest on what you’ve done to this point, or will you continue working because you still have goals to reach?
Since you’re here, reading this article, I’m going to assume that you’re going to keep working, and that’s good because there is always work to be done.
My point isn’t that you should be working yourself to the bone every day. There is always the law of diminishing returns when it comes to the effort that you are putting in. But the point is that we all make choices in how we are spending our time, and you want your choices to be deliberate. You want your choices to help you on your personal development journey, not hinder your progress.
Finding your whys
Understanding what drives you is pivotal to leading a fulfilling life. Finding your whys should be one of the first things that you do when you sit down to look at where you are wanting to go in life.
If you don’t know what motivates you to get out of bed in the morning, then you are more likely to stop working towards your goals. Intrinsic motivation is what separates being good from being great.
Being able to internally motivate yourself will rely on knowing why you are doing what you are doing.
Having a reason to get out of bed in the morning is sometimes going to be the difference between putting your feet on the floor and putting your head back on the pillow.
Life is hard. It will defeat you. It will knock you on your butt more times than you can imagine. And you might just stay there if you don’t know why you would want to get up and try again.
After you understand what drives you and how to create a personal development plan, you are going to need to start setting goals for yourself.
Goal setting takes trial and error. You never really know how hard your goals should be to reach. There are different ideas for how hard to push yourself, but one of the best methods for goal setting is the smart method.
You can use that method for short term and long term goals, and you will need both types of goals to make the most out of your life.
You should be fired up to get out of bed and crush your goals. Make sure you’re setting goals that are pushing you to be your best.
I go back and forth on how critical goals are for success. They are a great way to understand what progress you are making, but if you really know what your motivations are by diving deep and understanding your whys then goals are really just an added layer of protection for you to insure that you are pointing in the right direction.
A major part of feeling fulfilled is pushing through tough times and winning. No matter how many times you have failed. Goals are a way to know when you have won.
If you’d like to learn more about goals, then check out my ultimate guide to goal setting.
You’re going to need to be productive with your time if you want to make the most out of yourself.
We live in a world where distractions are a dime a dozen. But we also have more opportunity than ever before.
Use your time wisely! Check out the ultimate guide to productivity for more information
Perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle, but it’s often totally overlooked.
Having the right mindset will be the difference between being fulfilled and quitting before you reach your highest level.
How do you bounce back from failure? How do you act when things don’t go your way? How do you react to winning big?
All of those questions are critical to your success. Mindset makes all the difference. Check out the mindset category for more information.
Wrapping it Up
This article is meant to give you a little taste of pretty much everything that goes into personal development. I’ll be adding to it as time goes on.
Personal Development Articles
This is a list of all the personal development articles that I’ve written. Enjoy!
- 25 Personal Development Goals that You Need to Know About
- The 3 Most Important Details to Your Personal Development
- Personal Development Plan Example Template
- 8 Easily Overlooked Personal Development Activities to do Today
- 10 Best Personal Development Books to Add to your Shelf
- 15 Powerful Personal Development Tips for Daily Growth
- The 6 Personal Development Categories for Maximum Growth
- Using the 80/20 Rule (Pareto Principle) to Make the Most of your Life