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What Personal Development Isn’t

It’s very easy to get caught up in the world of Personal Development to a point where we lose perspective.

What Personal Development Isn’t was written to provide the clarity of a balanced perspective and to take some pressure off of you, some of which may be unrealized and unknown.

During this article we’ll be talking of course about what Personal Development isn’t and alongside we’ll provide a short clarification of what it is, or at least should be. Personal Development is a multi-faceted world and most every aspect is exciting, new and adventurous. What the world of Personal Development provides is a map, a map whereby a route can be taken, depending upon your own inclinations, to reinvent yourself, move on and upward and rise to your potential.

father and sonEveryone, or at least most everyone, well let me take that back, some people want to release their inherent capabilities so they can live the life that gives them the most satisfaction and is also beneficial to others. I believe most people truly want to be of assistance to others and that requires a person to be at their best, as much as is possible for their present circumstances.

Now some just want to be big shots, show off and look down from their hoped for lofty tower, on others. If this is you, this article, heck this whole website is probably not for you because that attitude never takes into consideration personal character, ethics and morality, without which one becomes a stuffed suit (or pants suit) that ultimately forgets to some degree about others. It is impossible to completely rise to your potential without taking others into consideration.

That’s why as you go through this site you’ll notice that there is much emphasis on personal character as well as increasing you talents and being both physically and emotionally healthy. So, let’s get on with it…

What Personal Development Isn’t…

1. It isn’t a strict time schedule

Personal Development provides many goals to attain to and as you start to dig deeper in your quest, well, there are just so many aspects to success that sometimes a person just jumps in and goes at it with everything they’ve got. The hurryproblem with that is that as you start the process, you may start with one thing that you want to accomplish only to find out that part way through, another item of interest pops up that sends you off on a side journey, which may lead to another subject that sends you off on another side journey, and the process may go on for several cycles until you catch yourself wondering where you are.

It’s kind of like the cowboy in the old west who ran out of the saloon, jumped on his horse and rode off in all directions.

And this is so very easy to do. And what happens is that you wind up having sticky notes all over your monitor and Evernotes is totally full and confusing and eventually you just stop and wonder exactly where the heck you are. But that’s fine because success has many sides and aspects to it so it’s important to keep a notebook, just a simple spiral notebook, to keep your notes and therefore your path somewhat clear.

Now a time schedule in general is fine as it gives us a degree of direction and stability but at the beginning of your journey, you need to first just survey the landscape. Read a lot, watch a lot of Personal Development videos. There’s an organization called Ted Talks that has just tons of excellent videos on just about every subject you can think of. So for the first month just get to know the “lay of the land” so to speak.

Below I’ve included a short video from a popular speaker, enjoy…

 Personal Development can be organized into four categories

  • Personal Development as to clarifying and prioritizing your goals
  • Personal Development in regards to increasing your skill sets
  • Traits inwardly focused – for you
  • Traits outwardly focused – for others

Which ever one or combination it may be, slow down and take some time with your initial exploration. Bear in mind that there are only about a hundred gazillion web pages and a few thousand books waiting for you. So lighten up, cool down and chill out. (And no, for the more OCD among us, you don’t have to read them all – lol)

Write down about three maybe four subjects that you’re generally interested in and start your reading of articles and viewing of videos. During this time don’t make too many notes just enough to give you a general idea of this world of Personal Development is about. What you’re wanting to do is get familiar with your chosen subjects. And what you’re looking for as you study is recurring keywords or terms, you’re looking for patterns. These keyword / terms that you keep seeing are what you’ll take notice of.

This will start giving you a map both of where you are and you’ll start figuring out where you need to ultimately go.

2. Your Personal Development journey shouldn’t be your master, it should be your passion.

When a person starts to think that if they don’t totally accomplish overwhelming success they’ll fall apart, be a nothing and wind up never accomplishing anything, then your passion slowly turns into labor which turns into a burden that becomes very hard to bear and eventually you may end up losing sight of your original goals, of who you are.

As you go through item #1, no doubt you’ll find other subjects that grab your interest some of which may end up taking precedence in the passion category. Again, that’s why this time of perusing the landscape is most important.

Don’t pretend to be what you’re not, instead, pretend to what you want to be, it is not pretence, it is a journey to self realization.”
― Michael Johnson 

During the beginning, a person doesn’t need to do everything correctly, you’re still wandering and wondering. You read (and read and read), you check out numerous videos and you take time off and ponder your path. Eventually the tons of information that you’ve gone through starts to feel more comfortable, slowly a way to turn your passion into reality starts to take shape until the special day when you see it. You see your goal clearly and you start to see yourself becoming a success but one of your choice not that of others, and that’s a magical time.

Main Rule: Never seek to impress others, only strive to impress yourself with the changes you’ve made.

When you’ve finally arrived at your purpose and with a few tweaks along the way, you finally have a series of rational goals that are sensible and attainable, then you can start to project seeing yourself as an influencer and a professional, so to speak. Someone who others will one day see as an authority in your chosen subject, field or life in general.

Keep that vision and press on. Below is a short videos about creating a mindset for achieving goals…

3. Your “you” and your “do”.

Now this point isn’t antithetical to the others rather it’s a place you come to where you realize that once you move up as an influencer and attain a degree of competence in your chosen areas it starts to dawn on you that you indeed are a capable person. Your “do” isn’t your “who”, so if you make some mistakes along the way, they don’t define who you are.

Your “you” is your value system, your “do” is how you strive to accomplish and fulfill your value system.

Remember, you’re a person who can do, and that’s what you need to hold onto.

You don’t have to be the number one in your chosen field(s), heck you don’t even have to be able to make a full-time living in this area, although that would be nice. Rather, now you’ve become a person who can research, learn and turn that learning into a skill. And it’s that confidence in your abilities that will build your image up to yourself. You’re the only one you need to impress.

There are many everyday heroes that you pass by, never knowing that’s what they are, because they don’t need others to know, they know it themselves.

It’s not the crowd or even that one special person that you need to show you have the stuff it takes, it’s yourself. And once you become aware that you truly are a special person, once you convince yourself that regardless of your past or the opinions of others you’ve shown yourself that you’re a capable person, that’s when the world starts to open up to you in your thoughts and imagination.

It doesn’t matter if you’re still in that one room apartment or you’re still driving that old thing that you’ve driven forever, because now you know that you’re capable, that the would needs who you are and you’re ready for your next goal or whatever the world throws at you.


It’s been said that a journey starts with a single step but that’s not entirely correct. A journey starts with a thought, with a single vision of what might be. Personal Development is a school that never ends, and that’s great because after following the steps herein, you have a road map to attain whatever it may be that you seek.

Remember, anyone can meet a goal if they set it low enough. Don’t be that person. Keep trying no matter what the odds or the clock says.

A long time ago I had been talking to a woman who seemed to be stuck on “high center” in her life, not moving or going anywhere seemingly. We had talked several times and I just couldn’t seem to get her moving.

I asked her to go to the door and look out and tell my what was out there. She opened door and said, “Well, there’s a parking lot and some cars.” I asked her again what was outside the door, what’s out there?

She said, “Well, there’s some houses over there, some people.” I asked her again, “What’s out there, what’s outside these doors?”

This time she looked and waited, thinking because she knew now I wasn’t talking about what she was merely seeing. Finally she turned to me and said, “Everything’s out there.”  I smiled and said, “Yes, everything is out there, and there’s something special, just for you and it’s waiting for you to find it.” She came back a couple of times, but that’s all, she had finally seen past her situation to what could be.

There’s something very special waiting for you, go find it and forget those who say, “It’s impossible.” Read the words from the song, The Impossible Dream from the Man of La Mancha…

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where

The brave dare not go
To right the unwritable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest

To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far
To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to

March into hell
For that heavenly cause
And I know

If I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart
Will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be
Better for this
That one man, scorned
And covered with scars,
Still strove with his last
Ounce of courage

To reach the unreachable star

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