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Personal Development-How Important is it?

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Many of us are perhaps familiar with the term ‘‘personal development’’ but what exactly does it mean to you? What is personal development and just how important is it for us to pursue it? The term is widely used today in the self-improvement arena and has been around since Samuel Smiles introduced the concept many years

ago. Personal development can be defined as those actions undertaken by a person that are directed to improving the person’s consciousness and identity; these actions develop the individual’s potential with a bid to enhancing quality of life far beyond what can be achieved through formal education. The aspirations as well as the vision of a person are much more important than mere formal education for any individual to achieve his/her true potential.

Achieving Personal Development
Achieving personal development is undoubtedly one of the best things a person can do to improve his/her life. By doing this, you will be in a better position to understand yourself as well as your strengths and weaknesses and will as a result make better decisions about what you hope to achieve in life. This is a life-long process since the ideal situation is one where you continually improve and become a better person. To attain personal development, try and follow the following tips:
  1. Start Right Away. Do not keep putting off your personal development till a later date. Now is the right time to start.

  2. Put down in writing what you hope to achieve in life. Evaluate where you stand right now and where you would like to be 2 years, 5 years or 10 years down the line.

  3. Accept Changes as a normal part of life. The earlier you learn to accept change not only as an inevitable but necessary part of life, the faster will your personal development be.|

  4. Learn from your past. You can glean some great lessons from your past experiences, particularly your failures, and use these to accelerate your personal development and success in the future.

  5. Learn from others. You can avoid common pitfalls that people get into by learning from other people’s experiences.

  6. Take responsibility. Take charge of your life and realize you are the only person who is ultimately responsible for what you achieve or don’t achieve in your life.

  7. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses. Identify your core strengths and try and capitalize on these as much as possible. Take note of your weaknesses and try and eliminate, or at the very least, minimize them.


Benefits of Personal Development
The time and effort you invest in your personal development is one that will be richly rewarded. There are numerous benefits that accrue from pursuing personal development. Some of these are:
  • Personal development empowers you. By taking charge of your life, you cease being a helpless victim and become, ‘‘Captain of your life, master of your destiny.’’|


  • The path of personal development does not have to be as tedious and expensive as formal education is. This process can be attained through self-study, coaching and mentoring, role play, wider reading and practical involvement. Most of these activities are free and easy to do.


  • Personal development sets you free. You set yourself free from the shackles of a life of limited possibilities, create new opportunities and widen the scope of your life, thereby greatly enriching your life.


  • The process of personal development is your individual responsibility. The process is not controlled by your government and how efficient it is but by you alone. You are responsible for instigating the process.


  • This is a lifelong and continuing process since you should ideally continually improve as time goes by. You are not limited to the availability of funds or the shortage of time in your personal development goals since simple exercises such as reading self-improvement books during your free time cost very little but contribute greatly to the process.


The benefits that accrue from personal development are numerous and far outweigh those of formal education alone. Individuals who take charge of their lives and engage in personal improvement and development exercises realize immediate improvements not only in their working life but also in their family and social life too.

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