Personal growth and development helps you get excited about life. It becomes a challenge or an incentive to see just how far you can go. You may find yourself more excited about life in general when you focus on your growth. It’s exciting to learn new things and uncover new talents you didn’t realize you had. You become more aware of how many opportunities there are in life.
Being a mother has caged me, grounded me, freed me, limited me, taught me, and made me. It’s made me learn to love myself and get past others’ opinions, even my childrens’. If I think too hard about this process, I’ll skip the present if this moment and be sad.
Whether it’s a public blog or a private journal, writing is a therapeutic outlet for your thoughts. Totally up to you however you do it; Julia Cameron’s morning pages, a diary that you might go for months without writing in, or random notes typed on your phone.
Nicholls posits a model for happiness that I find reassuring. He stresses the value of negative thinking. He says that actively seeking happiness can often end up making people feel less happy. On page 49 he writes: “Be open to the possibility that you bought this book and you don’t actually need it.” This, I think, is my kind of self-help.
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Let go of the Past. One of the biggest hindrances to personal growth is holding on to the past. In order to be happy in the true sense of the term, it is very important to be in the present. So, you must learn to release the ghosts of the past and clear skeletons from the cupboard.
Addicts and criminals often overcome this by latching onto some transactional value. For some, it’s religion. But for most, it’s usually a loved one. I once spoke to a recovered drug addict who said the only thing that got him through was his daughter. He didn’t give a shit about himself. But the thought of her losing out on the opportunity to have a father, when she had done nothing to deserve it, brought him to his knees and eventually got him sober.
Historically, I’ve tried my best to remain positive and appreciate the process. I do my best to stay focused on the fact that all things in my life, both positive and negative, present themselves for a reason.
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For self-help tourists, self-help material is like going to the doctor. You don’t just show up to the hospital on a random Tuesday saying, “Hey Doc, tell me what’s wrong with me.” That would be insane.
Placebo effects can never be wholly discounted. Thus careful studies of “the power of subliminal self-help tapes…showed that their content had no real effect…But that’s not what the participants thought.” “If they thought they’d listened to a self-esteem tape (even though half the labels were wrong), they felt that their self-esteem had gone up. No wonder people keep buying subliminal tape: even though the tapes don’t work, people think they do.” One might then see much of the self-help industry as part of the “skin trades. People need haircuts, massage, dentistry, wigs and glasses, sociology and surgery, as well as love and advice.”—a skin trade, “not a profession and a science” Its practitioners would thus be functioning as “part of the personal service industry rather than as mental health professionals.” While “there is no proof that twelve-step programs ‘are superior to any other intervention in reducing alcohol dependence or alcohol-related problems’,” at the same time it is clear that “there is something about ‘groupishness’ itself which is curative.” Thus for example “smoking increases mortality risk by a factor of just 1.6, while social isolation does so by a factor of 2.0…suggest[ing] an added value to self-help groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous as surrogate communities.”
“Depression weighs you down like a rock in a river. You don’t stand a chance. You can fight and pray and hope you have the strength to swim, but sometimes, you have to let yourself sink. Because you’ll never know true happiness until someone or something pulls you back out of that river–and you’ll never believe it until you realize it was you, yourself who saved you.”
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An adult will be honest for the simple sake that honesty is more important than pleasure or pain. Honesty is more important than getting what you want or achieving a goal. Honesty is inherently good and valuable, in and of itself. An adult will love freely without expecting anything in return because an adult understands that that is the only thing that can make love real. An adult will give without expectation, without seeking anything in return, because to do so defeats the purpose of a gift in the first place.
Around the same time, I made another important discovery. The ice cream that my parents would treat me on occasion was stored in the freezer, on a shelf that could be easily accessed if I stood on my tippy toes.
He goes on to suggest spending “15 minutes writing about some positive things that have happened to you”. I am extraordinarily resistant to this idea. I only like writing about bad things that have happened to me, in part because I know I will never run out. At first, I can’t even think of any recent positive experiences, but after a few minutes, I recall a long and mostly tedious drive to Exeter the previous week.
Remember being in second grade, or even seventh grade, and feeling confident you’d know what it meant to be an eighth grader or a tenth grader when the time came? Not worrying that you weren’t in eighth grade at the age of 7?
Be Ordinary: “I can do whatever ordinary good people do, and avoid whatever ordinary good people avoid. My special abilities will develop in harmony only if my foremost aim is to be a good ordinary human being.”
In all likelihood, you will initially only recognize the forks when you are long past them (“Darn it, I wish I had seen that fork earlier!”). But, with time and vigilance, you will see those forks earlier and earlier until one day an amazing thing will happen; you will see the fork when you arrive at it.
Finally, there’s the economy. Survival in the hypercompetitive, globalized economy, where workers have fewer protections and are more disposable than ever, requires that we try to become faster, smarter, and more creative. (To this list of marketable qualities I’d add one with a softer edge: niceness, which the gig economy and its five-star rating system have made indispensable to everyone from cabdrivers to plumbers.) Anything less than our best won’t cut it.
One month is not a long time for the body to grow taller. In this case, you can practice standing up straight and focusing on ways to make yourself look and feel taller. Platform shoes or heel boosters are another option.
Once you know yourself, you want to know other people, especially those ones who seem to be better than you. Although we all know that comparing ourselves to others is bad, it’s a start point if you want to become a better you.
While you change your habits, you should also focus on setting goals for yourself. Where do you want to be in one year, or three or five years? Don’t just write them down, but visualize these goals. Make the goals a part of you.
So far, I have spoken mainly of the positives associated with personal development. However, personal development cannot make all your life experiences positive. There will always be times when bad things happen. Many times, these events will happen due to circumstances beyond your control, Other times, you will screw up and create a bit of a mess for yourself – congratulations on being human!
Learn chess (or any strategy game). I found chess is a terrific game to learn strategy and hone your brainpower. Not only do you have fun, you also get to exercise your analytical skills. You can also learn strategy from other board games or computer games, such as Othello, Chinese Chess, WarCraft, and so on.
Set Big Hairy Audacious Goals (BHAGs). I’m a big fan of setting BHAGs. BHAGs stretch you beyond your normal capacity since they are big and audacious – you wouldn’t think of attempting them normally. What are BHAGs you can embark on, which you’ll feel absolutely on top of the world once you complete them? Set them and start working on them.
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. 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.
Put someone up to a challenge. Competition is one of the best ways to grow. Set a challenge (weight loss, exercise, financial challenge, etc) and compete with an interested friend to see who achieves the target first. Through the process, both of you will gain more than if you were to set off on the target alone.
But soon enough February will come, mid-winter doldrums will set in, and you’ll start to slide. Not to worry. Jane McGonigal’s “SuperBetter” tells you how to gamify your way back from the edge with the help of video-game-inspired techniques like finding “allies” and collecting motivational “power-ups”; and Angela Duckworth’s “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance” reminds you that persistence makes all the difference when the going gets rough. Duckworth doesn’t think you need talent in order to become, as another of Duhigg’s books puts it, “Smarter Better Faster,” and neither do any of these other experts. According to their systems, anyone can learn to be more efficient, more focussed, more effective in the pursuit of happiness and, that most hallowed of modern traits, productivity. And if you can’t, well, that’s on you.
9. Read More. You may have heard that knowledge is power, and one of the best ways to acquire knowledge is by reading. In addition, researchers have found that gaining new knowledge can satisfy our need for competence, which makes us happier.
Accordingly, if we notice that someone seems to be unable to make an impersonal decision that is isolated from human perspective, we should say to ourselves, “Ah ha, here is a Feeler. This person does not use Thinking well, and that is why they’re behaving this way.” Yet when we as Feelers are presented with a situation that requires an impersonal approach, we should NOT say to ourselves “I am a Feeler, and can’t be expected to make decisions based purely on impersonal facts and logic.” This kind of rationalization for behavior is certainly an easy way out of a situation, but it enforces the weakness, making it weaker and weaker still.
When you smile at a stranger in the street they might go home in a better mood, compliment their partner, who will in turn show love to the next person they encounter. Your small acts of kindness can have a ripple effect on the world.
Start your life handbook. A life handbook is an idea I started 3 years ago. Basically, it’s a book which contains the essentials on how you can live your life to the fullest, such as your purpose, your values and goals. Sort of like your manual for your life. I started my life handbook since 2007 and it’s been a crucial enabler in my progress.
Consider taking vitamin supplements. You can top your intake with basic multivitamins you can buy at the store. You could also focus in on vitamin D and zinc by purchasing vitamin tablets just for these two important elements. Cod liver oil tablets are also easy to find and are an excellent source of vitamin D and great for your bones and joints.
Does smoking really stunt your growth? The effects of smoking and second-hand smoke on body mass index (BMI) are inconclusive, however, according to Columbia University’s Internet Health Resource: “the available research suggests that children who smoke, or who are exposed to second-hand smoke are shorter than those who do not smoke or are children of non-smokers.”
You might be wondering how these messages are delivered. The answer is that they are delivered in the form of feelings and contrast. Each day you encounter things which you feel bad about. You don’t like something or, you don’t like a situation the way it currently is. Imagine if you took the opportunity to ask yourself questions such as: