What on Earth IS Personal Development?
February 22, 2008 by Stephanie
I am a sucker for self-help books, and love browsing at the local book store, or the section in the library that houses all the “Get Rich Fast!” and “Change Your Life RIGHT THIS MINUTE!” books. I don’t really know what I’m looking for, but I do know that I really like looking. I’m both pessimistic and optimistic when I crack open the binding, or track down an author on the Internet.
I am not one to believe everything I see or read—I’m just not wired that way. But I do like knowing that with some time, energy, and positive thinking changes for the better in all aspects of life are possible.
One of my favorite authors, Brian Tracy, taught me at the impressionable age of 21 that personal development simply means to never stop learning. I like that definition. I also like the idea that it’s okay to want to be better. There is no shame in wanting to be a better person, parent, athlete, employee, business owner, or humanitarian. Striving to be better does not mean that you are dissatisfied with your life. Instead it means that you are interested in becoming even better—-a valuable lesson to teach and model to children.
I am not interested in being the best of the best at anything—-it seems like just too much work, and I’m an awfully lazy person. But I do like to ask questions, and then follow up with research. One of my favorite things about the Internet is that I can ask good ol’ google a question, and get lots of answers. Who knows if the answer I come across is truly valid, but I can keep looking until I find the answer that best fits me and my mindset at the present moment. I also like reading about real people and learning what worked and what didn’t for them.
In the Totally Together Book, I talk about Personal Development, and how it relates to the WoMom. The WoMom is the woman behind the mom. The WoMom needs to be nurtured, whether that is by reading REAL and not picture books, getting some exercise, or by taking a nap. Do whatever it takes to remember who you were as a person before having children.
Were you interested in learning a new language? Get some immersion tapes from the library and pop them in while you fold laundry or chop vegetables. Always wanted to play the guitar? Look through the brochure from the rec dept and find an inexpensive class. Life moves so very quickly, and I would hate for you (or me!) to have a longer list of “shouldas” than “dids.” One good thing about getting older, is that you have more self-esteem. What would have freaked you out at 18 or 19 no longer does. Take the swing class. You can do it.