People put a high value on education—up to a point. You go to school all through your childhood, then—for physicians—complete undergraduate and medical degrees as well as a residency to be able to do what you do. However, many people stop actively seeking to learn, develop, and grow different areas of their lives and interests when they graduate and move into the workforce.
The price for greatness is a disciplined and sustained investment in oneself, otherwise called personal development. Jim Rohn, a renowned business philosopher and self-development guru, once quotes his former employer and mentor to have advised him thus: “if you want to be wealthy and happy… learn to work harder on yourself than on your job.” While this may sound absurd, it is good counsel. The general practice is that most people expend their time and energy the other way round; working more and often on the job — in order to earn so much — while devoting little or no attention to improving themselves.
As normal as this may look, it is a misnomer. While it is important to be dedicated to your work and put in a good shift above the average mark, it is equally essential not to neglect the regular cultivation of your mind. Every individual who has a sense of self should have a self-development programme he or she is observing to unleash his/her potential, sharpen latent skills and bring out the champion within.
Here are 10 ways in which you can improve your Self-Improvement and Personal Growth and climb the ladder of success:
- Read about what you want to improve.
Do you want to get better at a certain skill? Read about it. Be more meditative? Read books that explain that in detail. Want to be more productive? Spontaneous? Outgoing? Confident? All these topic areas are covered by books upon books that you can study–and by reading about it, it’ll always stay top of mind.
- Find a mentor.
A mentor can be anyone from a peer who knows something you don’t, and you want to learn, all the way up to someone vastly more experienced who is willing to take you under their wing (in exchange for your working in some way for or with them). Mentorship is by far the fastest path of learning.
- Reflect at the end of each day.
If you really want to take self-development seriously (and not just, you know, talk about it), you need to be constantly aware of how you can improve. And the only way to know how to improve is if you reflect and ask yourself where and how you still need some work.
- Create a strong practice regimen.
It’s your habits that unfold the results, not the other way around. You can’t live one life and expect to one day have another. You have to put in place the daily habits that will allow the things you want to change to change.
- Find others to push you and train with.
Self-development is not just a solo game. In fact, the best self-development is done with others in some capacity. Spend time with people who are working on similar things as you, and you’ll find yourself growing with them at a faster rate than if you had tried to do it all alone.
- Create a reward/punishment system.
This is necessary for people who need to break bad habits. Sometimes, it’s a reward (or a punishment) that makes the difference between immediate and rapid change, and ongoing fleeting promises.
- Stay honest with yourself.
No amount of talking about it will ever instigate true change. This is the hardest part for people. It’s far easier to buy a book on self-development, carry it around, and say, “I’m working on being more present,” while staying constantly on your phone to text your friends about how you’re trying to be more present. You have to really be honest about it with yourself. You are your own judge.
- Find role models you can look up to.
Again, self-development is not easy, so it’s helpful to be able to look to others for inspiration, motivation, or even just daily reminders of how you can continue moving forward on your journey.
- Measure your progress.
One of my mentors taught me, “If you can’t measure it, don’t do it.” Took me a long time to understand what that meant. Regardless of how ethereal the thing that you want to work on is, you have to find some way to measure your progress. It’s the only way you’ll really know if you are moving in the right direction–and when/where to pivot as you go along.
- Consistency is the key.
Self-development doesn’t happen overnight. It happens slowly and deliberately. Consistency is what creates truly meaningful change–and this is what makes the process so difficult for people. It’s not that you pop and pill and you’re done. You don’t do it once and you’re “fixed.” Self-development is a daily practice and lifestyle.
Wish you all good luck for your lives and may each one of you make yourself, your parents and your country feel proud on yourself.
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