The term personal development can mean anything that helps you grow and evolve. It requires expanding your mind and shifting out of your comfort zone.
This requires effort, which it hard for a lot of people. It is easy to be overcome by outside thoughts and not think for ourselves. It is too easy to be programmed by the words of society and not hear the words coming from our own mind. It is easy to remain in one place for too long and not see a need for change.
To have an open expanded mind is important for the overall health of your mind and the soul. It helps you recognize new possibilities and opportunities. It helps you achieve success and a higher purpose. Thinking outside the box brings many rewards.
It also propels our society forward, which cannot happen without people who have the courage to be different. Your comfort zone may be safe but it is definitely not conducive to growth and evolution.
It is a healthy mindset to know that there are always things to learn. Constantly seeking knowledge is not only smart but also keeps you humble. Nobody likes a know-it-all. So by always being open to learning, you can admit there is still more that you need to learn!
A lot of people may be turned off by the thought of learning as an adult. "Didn't we already graduate high school?", you may ask. This is not memorizing dates, names and places. This is an extension of soaking up information like a child does. We should never lose that child-like curiosity about the world.
The world is far more vast that most of us could ever experience in our lifetime. The way I see it, if we cannot experience it firsthand, we should at least strive to learn about it in other ways. Every day we should have an open and curious mind to soak in anything new we discover. Being well-rounded helps us be the best version of ourselves that we can be. This is why personal development is so important.
Many people go back to college as an adult. If this is not possible, the next best thing is to take online courses, which comes in many forms. There are lots of online course platforms such as Udemy where you can learn almost any subject you can think of for a relatively low price.
You can also take classes at local community colleges. Many of the courses and classes found online and in community colleges will give you a certificate, diploma or degree. But it is not necessary to earn those if you just want to gain the knowledge for personal development.
Books are another great way to learn. You can buy old textbooks if you want comprehensive information organized all in one place. Or you can just read various non-fiction books about the subjects of your choice.
Audio books are even better, you can learn while you're driving to work, or doing housework, or in the shower. Most of the time I have something playing, if I am doing a task where my mind can focus on what I am listening to.
YouTube is even a wonderful place to find things to learn. It isn't all about entertainment. There are even colleges that post their lectures online for free.
Documentaries are one of my favorite ways to learn and expand my mind! Movies are generally known for their entertainment factor, but since I have gotten more into documentaries, that is what I prefer to watch now. Why just be entertained (which is kind of a loss of your time if you think about it), when you can learn at the same time?
Seminars, lectures, conferences, and workshops are more immersive ways to expand your mind and learn new things. Some of these aren't cheap, but many of them end up on YouTube or through the website of whoever put it on.
Doing anything creative is a great way to step into personal development. When you are in the act of creation, you are in a receptive state of mind to whatever ideas flow to you. Expressing ourselves is good for the soul and your health.
There are many means to do this, through visual arts, through writing or playing music, through poetry, through invention, through building things, through creating new recipes, the list could go on forever.
Many people think they are not creative, but I believe this is only because they haven't done the right kind of self analysis. A lot of "non-creative" people focus on others' ideas rather than diving deep into their mind to discover their own. When one is fully relaxed and receptive, creativity is natural and effortless.
Sit down with a pen and paper, or paint and canvas. Buy a musical instrument you've always wanted to learn. Take art classes.
Spend more time doing things you love to do. It's so simple yet so many people don't do it. What makes you happy? Spend more time doing it. How can you not be happier if you spend more time doing things that make you happy?
As people grow older, it seems they naturally gravitate towards the couch, and away from their hobbies. Another benefit of being holistically healthy is that people naturally find themselves doing more things they enjoy rather than ingrained unhealthy habits.
If your growth is important to you (as it should be), travel can accelerate your personal development.
Travelling gives you a more complete picture of the world, so people who travel a lot are very well rounded. They have seen different cultures, different lands, and had many experiences that cannot be had otherwise.
When you travel, especially to other countries, you find that materialism is overrated. When you travel abroad, it’s not easy to bring your book collection, big screen TV, and fine silverware with you. You quickly find that you can do just fine without all of the items you seem to love so much back home.
You also see other people living perfectly happy lives with very little in the way of possessions. Different cultures have different priorities. While our society values fame, fortune, possessions, and other forms of material success, many other societies have little concern for this sort of thing.
There are a lot of people in the world that don’t have the basics. We take many things for granted. There are people that walk 20-plus miles each day just for water. You can see people living with dirt floors or playing soccer with a ball made of empty water bottles. It’s easy to forget how the rest of the world lives.
Making new friends in other parts of the country or world is one of the best ways to broaden your perspective. You don’t have to limit your friends to those people you see five times a week.
It’s possible to create and maintain friendships across the globe. It’s easy to stay in touch these days with all the technology available.
When you travel, you learn to be flexible. Many things are less reliable than in the western world. From bus schedules to electricity, it’s not uncommon to have your plans disrupted on a daily basis. You will learn to be more flexible and creative. You can even bring that new skill home with you.
While you are traveling, you realize that you waste a lot of time when you're at home. While you’re traveling, you won’t want to spend your time staring at your smartphone or watching TV. You’ll want to be out living and experiencing the local scene. You’ll realize how much time you waste back home doing things that provide little value to you.
Click here to proceed to the next page about minimalism to learn why it is important for mental health.