When people start developing an interest in personal development, it is mostly based on a realization or a pressing need for change. The realization is usually one in which the individual understands that there are either things in his or her life:
- Which have become unsustainable and need to change, or
- He/She has more potential which needs to be developed.
In any case, the realization that nudges you to take interest in your own personal development is always a positive one!
People enter the personal development world from different angles:
- Either with the goal to achieve a particular end such as increase their motivation and productivity or
- With a more general purpose such as to be a healthier, happier and fuller individual.
As explained in the beginning of this series of personal development, whatever the approach is, the ultimate goal is always self-actualization or in other words to be more complete and fulfilled. The question that needs to be asked is what are the real benefits of self-actualization?
What can we ultimately achieve from personal development? Naturally people ask these questions because they want to have a clear picture of why they should focus their efforts on changing themselves. Also because sometimes it’s simpler understanding something by knowing what it does rather than what it is. So here are my thoughts about the 7 core benefits of personal development that anyone interested in improving his or her life should know.
1. Discovering your Life Purpose
Imagine knowing very clearly what you are here to do and what it is you need to do to achieve your highest potential and live your talents.
Of all the benefits of personal development, this is the ultimate benefit because it is directly linked to self-actualization. This is why knowing your life purpose (and of course living your life purpose) is the hottest topic in personal development. A lot of life coaching focuses on this topic alone.
Knowing your life purpose is not important for its own sake – like “yeah I know what my purpose is and it’s cool”. Knowing your life purpose will automatically shift you in different gears where you are empowered, inspired and motivated to move forward in a given direction, with a mission and vision in mind. Many people often ask me “how do I find my life purpose?” Discovering your life purpose doesn’t come in an epiphany or flash of insight (although it might!) – but comes from first discarding what doesn’t belong to you – what is not authentically yours.
It comes from simplifying your life and leaving more space to listen to your heart and intuition. This is of course part of your own personal development.
The biggest malaise in society is dis-empowerment. People are not empowered to be their natural creative selves. Governments, education, norms, laws, rules and fear-based ideologies have lessened the individual to a cog in a wheel. Individuals are disarmed from their creative resources and made to believe they have no power over their fate.
One of the most pronounced benefits of personal development is claiming back your personal power – It is becoming empowered. It is remembering that you have all the inner resources you need to achieve all you want and develop your highest potential. It is understanding which are those fear-based beliefs that do not serve your life progress and learning those empowering ones which give you access to your inner greatness.
We all lose steam every now and then – for example either to finish some project or make some changes in our life. Sometimes difficult life passages make us fall into moments of demotivation where we cannot find the drive or the energy to move forward. Hence a lot of people look for things or ways to get motivated.
Biggest achievers and successful people in life are naturally self-motivated. They have in them the attitude and drive not only to motivate themselves but also to empower themselves with the right beliefs and thoughts.
One of the core paths towards personal development is in fact cultivating the right mindset to endow yourself with enough energy and driving force to reach your goals. Becoming self-motivated can either be a specific personal development goal or else a positive side-effect of other personal transformations you have cultivated such as a supple and positive mindset.
Everyone understands that we need to set goals – whether practical day-to-day goals or ones with a higher long-term purpose. What people often get wrong is how to set those goals. You can either aim too high or too low, too hard or too loosely….but effective goal-setting requires the right amount of focus and energy.
Goal-setting is one of the most practical topics in personal development because you can follow a set of determinate steps or mini-habits and if implemented correctly will allow you to set goals correctly.
For example, some of these practical tips will tell you to focus on one goal at a time, or break down the main goal into mini-goals and follow their progress; Affirm your goals everyday either visually, verbally or in writing; etc.
5. Positive Attitudes and Beliefs
Attitude is everything in life. We admire and celebrate people who walked through the most obnoxious episodes in life and history with attitude and flair. Your attitude towards life and your whole belief system makes all the difference between success and failure, fulfillment and losing oneself, empowerment and helplessness, happiness and deep anxiety. The same event or situation can be one of these extremes depending on your attitude and beliefs.
For example, some people may feel anxious, over-powered, confused and curse an apparently mundane mishap in their life such as missing the bus, getting scorned by their boss or their car breaking down. Others have kept a positive mindset, a vision of their beliefs and ideals and self-empowered themselves in the midst of hardships and injustice such as for example being locked away in prison and away from their family for thirty years of their life unjustly or without reason.
Everyone desires and deserves to be happy. It is our natural birthright. I believe happiness is the way we relate to life and give it meaning and comes from a general attitude, or rather, a set of attitudes towards it.
Happiness is determined more by one’s state of mind than by external events. ~ Dalai Lama (Tweet this)
Our personal development is therefore closely linked to happiness because a lot of personal development deals with cultivating these attitudes which are conducive to happiness. Examples of such attitudes are: Acceptance, trust and openness, emotional freedom and flexibility, perspective and a positive mindset.
Although relationships obviously involve other people they are still an integral part in the personal development world. Why? Because relationships can form the foundation for a healthier, balanced life. Our own attitudes and energies are also reflected back into our relationships so it is a two-way thing. Maintaining healthy relationships can restore balance and give happiness in our personal life while at the same time our own efforts in personal development cascades into our relationship with others. This forms a virtuous circle.
It is therefore true that one of the core benefits in personal development is kick starting this virtuous circle. We learn how to deal better with our relationships which in turn gives us fertile ground to grow ourselves personally. Nurturing positive aspects in ourselves through personal development will then reinforce and solidify how we relate to the world and others bringing in more fulfillment in life, happiness and making us more whole and complete as individuals.