Personal development – or self-actualization, personal growth, self-realization, or whatever you want to call it – is one of the noblest pursuits that a human being can engage in. It is the relentless quest to become the best possible human being you can be. Many people think of personal development as a means to an end such as increased business or relationship success, and indeed it can be. But it is in fact something greater than these subsidiary goals. It is the endeavor to become a complete human being. Our everyday business practices, relationships, and routines can be used as methods to help us advance ourselves in pursuit of this over-arching goal. Following are 8 concrete tools that form the basis of any program of personal development.
1. Positivity – Find the positive aspect in everything. Learn to focus on what can be changed, and how it can be improved. Don’t let circumstances determine your mindset, but rather use your mindset to change external circumstances. Smile and use humor when interacting with others, and you will find that they will reciprocate your positivity.
2. Lifelong Learning – Most people associate learning with formal education. But especially nowadays, the business landscape changes so fast that it’s important to continually learn new skills to remain relevant. Soft skills are becoming more important than ever, as projects become more complex and interconnected and it becomes necessary for huge teams to work together. Be curious, and learn about things that interest you, even if they have no immediate practical value. The knowledge and experience you acquire throughout life are personal wealth that you can never lose.
3. Time Management – Finding additional time to make changes in life can be challenging. At times we may wish to prioritize spending time with family, spending time doing things we enjoy, devoting additional time to work, or devoting time to education. In order to maximize efficiency, give up things that you do not really want or need to do. This way you will be less conflicted and you can focus on devoting energy to things you are inspired to do. Learn to delegate, and say no to tasks that are beyond your responsibility. Learn what are your high and low times of day, and schedule your most productive time for the tasks that require it.
4. Follow Your Passion – Find things in life that excite you, and pursue them. Sometimes there is a tension between pursuing our dreams and fulfilling practical needs. But usually a balance can be struck between the two. We may not be able to become an astronaut or a movie star, but we can still find something that is both practical and attainable for us, and still inspires us. Although we may be able to do something that doesn’t inspire us, it drains so much energy instead of giving us energy. So whenever possible we should find what inspires us in life, and make that area of our life bigger.
5. Increase Your Value – We should strive to bring value to our interactions with others. But in order to give value, you must first create value for yourself. This might be through your sense of humor which puts others at ease, your caring and compassionate attitude, social connections that you can share with others, material resources, or a myriad of other things. Personal development is not a selfish pursuit, because in the end it raises our value, which we can then share with others. Instead of trying to change others, make a difference by changing yourself internally.
6. Create a MindShift™ vs Having a MindSet – The ability to respond vs react is the difference between the two. Shifting one’s mind relative to events and situations in your life gives you the ability to respond in the moment rather than being trapped in a “set” or stuck mind regarding people, business and life. When we find ourselves with our backs against the wall, the ability to move beyond the way things have always been or the way we have always seen them is essential to success. Choosing to create a MindShift™ as a different approach brings you into greater awareness and consciousness.
7. Choose a Personal Identity that Empowers You. This involves become conscious of your combination of beliefs, values, habits, and conditioning that you’ve unconsciously created as a model for living your life…and once again, SHIFTING so that you engage with ones that propel you forward in business, relationships, and life. At its most fundamental level, your identity is a set of “I am” beliefs; statements such as “I am smart,” “I am athletic,” “I am a procrastinator,” “I am not enough,” or “I’m not good at sales.” You will live “up or down” to the identity your hold for yourself. The mind is no respecter of person…it believes what you feed it, and proliferates that belief through everyday expression into your life via actions you take. So why not choose a great belief?
8. Recognize and Accept that Everyone is in Sales. Yes, the last belief above “I’m not good at sales” colors many people’s lives all around. It is interesting because, let’s face it, if you’re alive, you are presenting…to somebody at some point…whether that is to a spouse, a client, a colleague, a friend, a prospect, or a family member. You have to “sell” your ideas, concept. product or services. You have to get their “buy in” on what you are presenting. Most people attempt to do this from their point of view and foundation of understanding, and in the manner in which they like to receive information. Unfortunately, because the other person’s EPIC Code™ is potentially (actually, most likely) different from yours, you aren’t being heard most of the time. And neither are they. Sounds familiar? How would you like to hear and be heard better? Begin by clicking to Discover Your Epic Code™. Once you do that, you will understand more about why utilizing EPIC TAPP™, the tool that enables you to discover the EPIC Code™, of anyone you encounter or already know, is vitally important to you communicating efficiently and effectively with them.