All Personal Growth Articles|
When we talk about personal growth, what does that really mean?
To many personal growth writers, motivational speakers, and life coaches,
this means coming up with a line of BS and jargon and inflicting it on people
while collecting fees or royalties. Beware the charlatans. Not only will they
take your money, but they will divert your attention from where it needs to be.
Personal growth isn't about shifting your paradigm, doing something "at the
end of the day," or "impacting" other people (misusing the word "impact" is a
wildly popular practice today).
What it's actually about depends on who you are, where you are, and what you
are dealing with. But regardless of parameters, the basics are these:
- Identifying your personal opportunities to improve. What are you
reasonably capable of achieving?
- Identifying which few opportunities are most worth going after. Not all
opportunities are worth taking, and some are worth more than others. You
can't do them all. You must choose one or a few and use your resources to
- Making specific goals, with specific dates of completion. This is where
many people fail. Vague goals don't motivate and aren't actionable.
- Develop a plan for achieving those goals on time and within budget
(budget meaning time, money, and other resources you allocate to reaching
- Stick to the plan, but update it as circumstances require.
We started off by saying what personal growth is not and by taking a dig at
many "providers" in the personal growth industry. But if you understand the
basics of the personal growth process (meaning it's really your work that's
going to make things happen), you can tap the enormous value that qualified and
competent providers bring.
As an example, take Tony Robbins. He's got his critics, as all top providers
in this industry do. Ignore them. If you listen carefully to Tony Robbins, you
will find he talks about the basics we listed above. One of his strengths is he
helps people shed the doubts and distractions so they can work through those
basics (he has other strengths, as well).
As another example, suppose you hire a life coach. This person can't make you
into anyone special. As Mr. Robbins would say, you already are someone special.
You just need to figure out how you're special and how to use that for greater
achievement and happiness. This is where a life coach can be enormously helpful.
If you need something less abstract to help you wrap your mind around
personal growth, here's an idea. Sign up for six months with a personal trainer,
preferably at a gym where other people are using personal trainers. Make mental
notes of where each person is at the start; better yet, write it down noting as
many specifics as possible.
Over the next 6 months, note who is taking the trainer's advice to heart and
really working without needing the trainer to constantly supervise, motivate,
and police them. And note which folks are just doing the minimum to get by.
After 6 months, compare the "start" notes on each person to where they are
now. You will notice those who made the most progress used their trainer as an
information resource, while those with the least progress seemed to expect their
trainer to just about do the workout for them.
If you understand the principles revealed by this experiment, then you
understand the principles of personal growth. Use our articles and other
resource for information. Don't waste time shifting your paradigm, impacting
other people, moving your cheese, or learning a dictionary of jargon. Focus on
the process of improving yourself.