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What is self-development and where to start?

The essence of life is growth. If there is no growth and progression, life, and we as humans might as well not exist.  Paramount to any person, is to constantly develop themselves so that they can move forward and grow personally and professionally. This accounts for the experiences, knowledge, and wisdom that you then gather throughout your life, ultimately passing it on to the next generation. As Lao Tzu said: “Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” 

What is self-development?

Self-development is a conscious decision you make to improve yourself in various facets of your life and does not happen by chance. It takes effort and will power. It is a lifelong process you commit to.   It can be to improve your personal skills like communication or how you handle conflict. It can be practicing or developing your talents, or it can also be to educate yourself better. Basically, it is about striving to continuously be a better version of yourself wholistically.  

Where do I start with self-development? 5 Steps to take.

  1. Self-discovery is a good place to start. If you don’t know yourself properly, you will not know where to start or where you are headed. 
  2. Decide on a few areas you would want to improve on as a starting point. Don’t choose too many. Rather limit the goals but put 100% focus and effort in.
  3. Set the goals and work out how you are going to achieve it. For example, if your goal is to learn a new language by the end of the year, you must enrol yourself into an extra course. 
  4. Obtain a mentor and some extra help. Don’t go through self-development alone. You might lose sight of your goals or become demotivated. You need someone’s guidance and them cheering you on to keep you on track. Get extra help like self-help books, or online support groups etc. The more help you can get the quicker and better you’ll arrive at your end goal. 
  5. Get into the habit of it. Make sure your methods to improve yourself becomes a healthy constant habit. If you get into the habit of, for example, upskilling yourself every month in something different, you will continue doing so and it becomes second nature to you. 

Personal self-development starts with you, and it is your responsibility. Decide what you really want out of life. Whether it is a promotion in your workplace, or being better at relationships, most people want to “do better”, and once you are committed and into it, you’ll see how self-improvement can become addictive. No matter how you look at it, self-development to improve yourself, helps you grow and enhances your happiness.