When you starting with a self improvement program, it is common to encounter inner resistance that comes from your old habits and from your subconscious mind, and also resistance and opposition from the people around you.
5. Become an Early Riser. There are many benefits to becoming an early riser, including watching the sun rise, getting some early morning exercise, being able to work on a project just because it’s important to you before the day officially gets started, and so on. In addition, studies show that early rises are happier, healthier, and more productive than their late rising counterparts.
We all think we know ourselves well, but psychological studies show otherwise. In fact, most of us are somewhat deluded about ourselves. I put together a 22-page ebook explaining how we can come to know ourselves better, just fill out your email in the form. No spam. I promise.
Staying the same is comfortable, but it doesn’t help you achieve new goals or improve yourself in any way. Everyone has room for growth. Personal improvement helps you uncover a better version of yourself. You don’t have to completely reinvent yourself, but making improvements throughout your life helps you achieve more, whether that’s excelling at your job or being a kinder person who makes a more positive impact on the world.
Daniel Levinson (1920–1994) developed Jung’s early concept of “life stages” and included a sociological perspective. Levinson proposed that personal development comes under the influence—throughout life—of aspirations, which he called “the Dream”:
The following is a very simple example of using the GROW model to achieve a goal. This example deals with weight loss. If the client wants: “To bring my weight down to 120 pounds in three months and keep it down”, that is their Goal. The more heartfelt and personal, the more meaningful the goal is to the person and the more likely they will be to commit to and achieve the goal.
Statistical evaluations of interviews with GROW members found they identified self-reliance, industriousness, peer support, and gaining a sense of personal value or self-esteem as the essential ingredients of recovery.[3] Similar evaluations of GROW’s literature revealed thirteen core principles of GROW’s program. They are reproduced in the list below by order of relevance, with a quote from GROW’s literature, explaining the principle.[7]
Wake up early. Waking up early (say, 5-6am) has been acknowledged by many (Anthony Robbins, Robin Sharma, among other self-help gurus) to improve your productivity and your quality of life. I feel it’s because when you wake up early, your mindset is already set to continue the momentum and proactively live out the day. Seth recently wrote a waking up early series which you should check out to help cultivate this habit.
Once you accept that personal development is a continuous journey and, you commit to that journey; you realise that each day you will become a little clearer about what you want. As you become clearer about what you want, you start to see how achieving your goal will improve your life. You can visualise the benefits you will experience. This is what builds the will to accomplish the goal. This is where your most powerful motivation comes from.
If you are going to work out, you might as well eat well too, right? I find when I am working out, I eat better. When I stop working out, I eat poorly. It’s a simple cycle really. I lift weights, I feel good about myself, I eat well and the cycle repeats.
Major religions – such as the Abrahamic and Indian religions – as well as New Age philosophies have used practices such as prayer, music, dance, singing, chanting, poetry, writing, sports and martial arts. These practices have various functions, such as health or aesthetic satisfaction, but they may also link[citation needed] to “final goals” of personal development such as discovering the meaning of life or living the good life (compare philosophy).
The problem is that the media (again, both on the right and the left) has discovered that reinforcing the childish wishes of extremists on each side is good for business. That’s because extremists, like children, are compulsive. They don’t know how to stop. They are addicts for their cause. They throw their lives away for it. And because they will throw their lives away for an imagined cause, they make for the most impassioned audience. And with the internet squeezing the media’s business models dry, they’ve slowly had to resort to pandering to the most reactive and virulent people out there: the childish extremes. The extremes get the most attention. They get the most clicks. And they cause the most controversy. So they dictate the media’s discourse.
Take a break. Have you been working too hard? Self-improvement is also about recognizing our need to take a break to walk the longer mile ahead. You can’t be driving a car if it has no petrol. Take some time off for yourself every week. Relax, rejuvenate and charge yourself up for what’s up ahead.

…because you have the power – the power to mold your personality into someone you always wanted to be, the power to shape your future according to how you wanted to live, and the power to create your destiny as to how you wanted to make certain things happen.
“Never surrender your hopes and dreams to the fateful limitations others have placed on their own lives. The vision of your true destiny does not reside within the blinkered outlook of the naysayers and the doom prophets. Judge not by their words, but accept advice based on the evidence of actual results. Do not be surprised should you find a complete absence of anything mystical or miraculous in the manifested reality of those who are so eager to advise you. Friends and family who suffer the lack of abundance, joy, love, fulfillment and prosperity in their own lives really have no business imposing their self-limiting beliefs on your reality experience.”
When you google “how to be an adult” most of the results that come back talk about preparing for job interviews, managing your finances, cleaning up after yourself, and not being a disrespectful asshole.
These things are all great, and indeed, they are all things that adults are expected to do. But I would argue that they, by themselves, do not make you an adult. They simply prevent you from being a child, which is not the same thing as being an adult.
Research has been conducted on goal setting in an effort to determine whether people are more likely to perform well when working on challenging goals or easier deliverables. The research revealed that when goals are stretching, they result in significantly higher performance. This should be kept in mind when agreeing personal development objectives, but remember to keep things in perspective. Objectives that stretch an individual beyond the limit of their capabilities will not be achieved and you will be left with an employee feeling disillusioned and unmotivated.
The symposium, put on by the Pachamama Alliance organization, fights for the conservation of the Amazon rainforest, which is home to many indigenous tribes like our partners, the Achuar. Specifically, the symposium illuminates the predisposed assumption that the habits of the “modern world” have little affect on the environment, which is a gross misconception.
There is no quickie scheme that will make you a successful person. Psychological Type is a powerful aid in our quest for excellence, but it is not the actual solution. It is a model that will help you to expand your understanding of human nature. An improved understanding of yourself and others will help you to find, follow or expand your path. An awareness and acceptance of the fact that one personality function may be more effective than another function in a given situation will help you to understand the relevance of personal growth to your life.
Accept One’s Personal Value: “No matter how bad my physical, mental, social or spiritual condition I am always a human person, loved by God and a connecting link between persons; I am still valuable, my life has a purpose, and I have my unique place and my unique part in my Creator’s own saving, healing and transforming work.”
All told, this is a bleak picture. If the ideal of the optimized self isn’t simply a fad, or even a preference, but an economic necessity, how can any of us choose to live otherwise? Storr insists that there is a way. “This isn’t a message of hopelessness,” he writes. “On the contrary, what it actually leads us towards is a better way of finding happiness. Once you realize that it’s all just an act of coercion, that it’s your culture trying to turn you into someone you can’t really be, you can begin to free yourself from your demands.”
Wake up Early. Develop the habit to get up early. The age old proverb which says: “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise!” has been coined owing to the multiple benefits of an early riser. Some of these include: watching and enjoying the sun rise, do some early morning exercise for your fitness, being able to work on a project just because it’s important to you before the day officially gets started, and so on. In addition, studies show that early rises are happier, healthier, and more productive than their late rising counterparts.
You may already be doing things to grow and develop on a personal level even if you don’t intentionally set aside time for it. Taking your experiences and learning from them is part of growing as a person. Perhaps you went through a bad breakup, but you reflected on the relationship and realized you had room for improvement. Maybe you faced a financial or health crisis but came back stronger from the situation.
People operating on a childish pleasure/pain values derive their self-esteem from how much pleasure or pain they feel. Therefore, when they feel good, they feel good about themselves, and when they feel bad, they feel bad about themselves. So when a person at this level fucks up big-time, their first explanation is likely going to be, “I’m a piece of shit. I’m a horrible person. What was I thinking?”
tags: abundance-creation, cosmic-ordering, focus, goal-setting, goals, law-of-attraction, life-changing, manifestation, manifesting, mind-body-spirit, mind-power, new-age, new-thought, positive-thought, positive-thoughts, reality, self-belief, self-growth, self-help, self-limiting-beliefs, self-motivation, spirituality, stephen-richards, thoughts, wealth-creation
Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations. Personal development takes place over the course of a person’s entire life.[1] Not limited to self-help, the concept involves formal and informal activities for developing others in roles such as teacher, guide, counselor, manager, life coach or mentor. When personal development takes place in the context of institutions, it refers to the methods, programs, tools, techniques, and assessment systems that support human development at the individual level in organizations.[2]
Growth in yourself eventually leads you to new opportunities, opportunities that don’t come about until you grow into the person who is ready for them. All you have to do is focus on self-improvement—start by reading personal development articles, books, blogs—and implement the things you learn into your own life.
When we’re in touch with that place within ourselves, when we can begin to apply this quality of awareness to every single aspect of our lives – especially our relationships with others (be that personal or professional) then the world begins to look very different. There is a sense of underlying contentment and unshakable confidence which enables us to be happy and engaged in whatever we’re doing.
Pleasure/pain values fail for the simple reason that pleasure and pain are bad long-term predictors of health, growth, and happiness. OK, yeah, touching a hot stove sucks and you shouldn’t do that anymore. But what about lying to a friend? Or waking up early for work? Or, like, not doing heroin. Those are just a few of the millions of examples where pursuing pleasure/pain values will lead you astray.9
But if you feel the need to improve yourself in any area (Rocky Balboa called this as “hunger”) the gates of self improvement will open for you, and this is a powerful moment because you gave yourself permission “to be a better you”.
Once you have raised your self-awareness, you are clearer on the things you wish to achieve from life. Decision-making becomes a lot easier. Tasks which used to take a great deal of your time, no longer make it onto your to-do list. You now realise that they do not move you towards your objectives and therefore are not worthy of your time.
This is the major reason why I don’t buy into utilitarian ethical philosophies. This idea that you can simply calculate life in terms of pleasure-added and pain-averted strikes me as naive at best and misguided at worst. Some of the best moments of my life were incredibly painful and undesirable. Some of the worst moments of my life felt amazing at the time. The utilitarian framework sounds wonderful in theory but quickly falls apart in practice for any situation of even modest complexity.↵
Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.
Reading connects you with a person that may have lived decades, or even hundreds of years before you were born. It gives you an insight into another world and perspective. And it grows you in the easiest way possible, all from the comfort of your favorite chair. If you’re not a big reader, the best way to start is to either pick your topic and go for the most popular book in that genre (it will be popular for a reason), or just go to the most popular books list on Amazon and start with something short.
You can’t live your entire life this way, otherwise, you’re never actually living your life. You’re merely living out an aggregation of the desires of the people around you. To become an optimized and emotionally healthy individual, you must break out of this bargaining and come to understand even higher and more abstract guiding principles.
As with many simple principles, any user of GROW can apply a great deal of skill and knowledge at each stage but the basic process remains as written above. There are numerous questions which the coach could use at any point and part of the skill of the coach is to know which questions to use and how much detail to uncover.[7]
(For me) In my opinion, after reading this article & thinking through my own experience, personal development is the growth into, or advancement towards, our higher, or to use a more modest word, better, selves.
3. Learn to Get Along With Others. Yesterday I was watching  a TV show called “Person of Interest”. One of the main characters–Reese–is working as a detective and his supervisor tells hims that he has to start meeting with a psychologist. During his first appointment Reese does the following:
And Brinkmann does offer some advice that seems immediately worth taking. Go for a walk in the woods, he says, and think about the vastness of the cosmos. Go to a museum and look at art, secure in the knowledge that it will not improve you in any measurable way. Things don’t need to be of concrete use in order to have value. Put away your self-help guides, and read a novel instead. Don’t mind if I do. ♦
When we’re toddlers, we are learning to see the world in terms of cause and effect. Of pleasure vs pain. Touching the hot stove causes pain in my hand. Therefore, it is bad. Stealing ice cream from the freezer causes my body to feel pleasure, therefore it is good. Good is better than bad.