I do not, as a rule, make New Year resolutions. As an anxious person, the 12 months that lie ahead of New Year’s Eve do not fill me with excitement or anticipation. I just wonder what else could go wrong. I am as susceptible as the next person to notions of promise, to the idea that, with the right effort, I could become fitter, smarter, happier, better. But each new December, as I coast towards the end of the year on squeaky wheels, I find myself feeling the same way: older, wiser, worse.
Be conscious of self, but not self-conscious. There’s a certain point that we need to be conscious of ourselves, take care of it, then let it go. Some people worry about their appearance all day and it detracts rather than adds. So take care of it, and then let it go. Do the best you can, and let that get the job done. Be conscious of ourselves, but not to the point of being self-conscious.
Self-confidence is ultimately the starting point to following your dreams—you have to believe in yourself and your dreams enough to go after them. As you grow, you’re building up that mindset, that belief.
Many people come to self-help material because they feel like something is wrong with them or the way they are. The problem is that anything that tells you how to improve your life is also implying that there is something inherently wrong with you the way you are.
Watching the mind, knowing the mind, allows this experience of impermanence and evolution to permeate every aspect of our being. It allows us to move, intuitively from one moment to the next. It allows us to let go of the burden of the past and expectation of the future to reveal a limitless place of creativity and potential. It is from this place that great ideas arise, ideas which have the potential to transform the world in which we live.
In our current era of non-stop technological innovation, fuzzy wishful thinking has yielded to the hard doctrine of personal optimization. Self-help gurus need not be charlatans peddling snake oil. Many are psychologists with impressive academic pedigrees and a commitment to scientific methodologies, or tech entrepreneurs with enviable records of success in life and business. What they’re selling is metrics. It’s no longer enough to imagine our way to a better state of body or mind. We must now chart our progress, count our steps, log our sleep rhythms, tweak our diets, record our negative thoughts—then analyze the data, recalibrate, and repeat.
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.
There is a certain amount of natural overlap. Both 15 Minutes To Happiness and The 10 Minute Yoga Solution stress the importance of breathing, and the exercises are not dissimilar. But focus is the key to both, and the focal points are different. It’s harder to mix mindfulness and stillness than it sounds. Add in a podcast explaining what GDP is, and the whole thing becomes an exercise in frustration. I am reminded, to my eternal disappointment, that there are no quick fixes.
Some people feel queasy when encountering grow used transitively (as in “grow the economy”). While it may grate on the ears of many, grow has existed as a transitive verb for hundreds of years, initially in relation to such things as crops, then to facial hair and the like, and finally to a small variety of other things (such as a business or the economy). The transitive form of grow sounds peculiar to many people, and you may certainly avoid using it, but it is wrong to state, as some do, that it is always improper or that it does not exist.
If you have reached your mid-teens and hail from a family where all members are tall, but find yourself to be still short, then it could be time to visit a doctor. Certain medical conditions can be detected at an early stage. Hence, if you are doing everything required, but still aren’t seeing considerable growth, seek medical advice.
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This is harmful. This likely makes the problem worse. The problem is not you. The problem is what you’re choosing to value, how you’re choosing to see the world and the way in which it operates. There’s nothing wrong with pleasure. There’s nothing necessarily wrong with pain either. It’s the reason each occurs that makes them right or wrong.
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.
Earning additional formal certifications, such as the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, which requires educators to spend a considerable amount of time recording, analyzing, and reflecting on their teaching practice (many states provide incentives for teachers to obtain National Board Certification).
1) The self-improvement junkie. Self-improvement junkies feel like they need to jump on every new seminar, read all the latest books, listen to all the podcasts, lift all the weight, hire all the life coaches, open all their chakras, and talk about all their childhood traumas — both real and imagined — incessantly. For the self-improvement junkie, the purpose of self-improvement is not the improvement itself, rather it’s motivated by a subtle form of FOMO (fear of missing out). The junkie has this constant gnawing feeling that there’s still some magic tip or technique or piece of information out there that will create their next big breakthrough (again, both real or imagined).
As we can see, Balance and Success are relative terms. They have different meaning for each of the sixteen personality types. One statement using these terms is true for all types: Balance is the key to Success.
When I saw people with certain traits of character, or a certain kind of behavior that I did not like, I examined myself to see whether I possessed them too. If I did, I visualized and rehearsed in my mind a different sort of behavior. In my mind’s eye, I saw myself with the opposite traits of character.
The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BCE – 322 BCE) influenced theories[which?] of personal development in the West. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined personal development as a category of phronesis or practical wisdom, where the practice of virtues (arête) leads to eudaimonia, commonly translated as “happiness” but more accurately understood as “human flourishing” or “living well”. Aristotle continues to influence the Western concept of personal development to this day, particularly in the economics of human development and in positive psychology.
This processes is often triggered by an important life event that inspires you to improve and empower yourself by discovering where your full potential lies. The result is a more satisfying and meaningful life, which is evident in your relationships, place of work, self-image and self-confidence, as well as your worldview.
People want to grow and develop themselves because they are unsatisfied with their life and the direction it is heading. To change its course and create a satisfying life, undergoing the personal growth and development process is essential.
I make it a point to exercise a few times a week. When I do, I feel great. Working up a sweat and lifting weights makes me feel good about myself and improves my mood. Not surprisingly, when I am busy and can’t make it to the gym, I find I am less motivated in general and my mood sours.
Think about failing when you were little. As a toddler, we have to learn to walk. If you ever watch a toddler learning to walk, she falls down many, many times. In other words, she fails countless times. Why is a child failing to learn to walk OK but you failing to learn a new skill as an adult a bad thing? At the end of the day it is still failure.
Yet, as Brinkmann’s title makes clear, standing still is precisely what he proposes that we do. Enough of our mania to be the best and the most, he says. It’s time to content ourselves with being average. With pride, he tells us that, when he and his colleagues at Aalborg University were asked to propose institutional development goals, he suggested “that we should strive to become a mediocre institute.” (“I thought it was a realistic goal worth pursuing for a small university,” he explains. His colleagues did not agree.) And enough of self-acceptance, too—in fact, enough of the self! “Being yourself has no intrinsic value whatsoever,” Brinkmann tells us. Maybe the Norwegian nationalist Anders Breivik felt that he was being “true to himself” when he went on his murderous rampage; maybe Mother Teresa did not. What difference does it make? If you must engage in soul-searching or self-analysis, Brinkmann advises limiting it to once a year, preferably during summer vacation.
There is an immense payoff for your commitment and efforts at change: A life-altering shift in who you are and how you think, feel, and behave. A new direction that your life will take. And finally moving toward achieving your life goals. As a former client told me so poignantly: “I realized that I would never have to go back to the way I used to live my life, and I have never been so happy!”
Get sufficient vitamin D (which can be obtained through eating fish, alfalfa, or mushrooms, or spending enough time in the sun). Vitamin D promotes bone and muscle growth in children, and a deficiency has been shown to stunt growth and cause weight gain in teenage girls. If you do not like fish, consider a purified fish oil supplement (purifying removes mercury).
It is more likely to increase your height while you are still in puberty. Unfortunately, you will probably not be able to grow any taller if you are already past puberty. If you are a boy, then you may keep growing, even in your early 20s. If you are a girl, expect to grow about until late teens. This, of course, varies on genetics.
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You might find yourself getting “do-overs,” or chances to respond to situations you’ve encountered before in different ways. This is the most powerful way to break a pattern. Do-overs are the way you integrate awareness and action.
Personal development can simply be for fun. Most of us, however, find it easier to motivate ourselves to learn and improve if we have a purpose in doing so. Developing your personal vision – a clear idea of where you want to be in a few months or years, and why – is a crucial part of developing this purpose.
Acknowledge your flaws. Everyone has flaws. What’s most important is to understand them, acknowledge them, and address them. What do you think are your flaws? What are the flaws you can work on now? How do you want to address them?
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”:
Get enough vitamin D. Vitamin D promotes bone and muscle growth in children, and a deficiency has been shown to stunt growth and cause weight gain in teenage girls. Modest amounts of Vitamin D can be found in fish, alfalfa, and mushrooms, as well as Vitamin D-fortified foods such as some milks and cereals. However, the vast majority of your Vitamin D comes from sunlight exposure. Just 15 minutes a day out in the sun (on average) can ensure you get enough Vitamin D.
Understand that a majority of your height will be predetermined by genetics. Scientists reckon that 60% to 80% of your height is determined by genes. Unfortunately, either you have the tall gene or you don’t. That’s not to say that you can’t grow tall if you have parents who are on the shorter side; it just means that having shorter parents means you’re more likely to be on the short side.
Meditate. Meditation helps to calm you and be more conscious. I also realized that during the nights when I meditate (before I sleep), I need lesser sleep. The clutter clearing process is very liberating.
This is essentially what good early parenting boils down to: implementing the correct consequences for a child’s pleasure/pain-driven behavior. Punish them for stealing ice cream. Reward them for sitting quietly in a restaurant. You are, quite literally, helping them to understand that life is far more complicated than simply pursuing one’s pleasure and avoiding one’s pain.3 Parents who fail to do this fail their children in an incredibly fundamental way because, as children grow up, they will experience the shocking realization that the world does not cater to their whims. This will be incredibly painful for them, far more painful than it would have been had they learned the lesson when they were younger. And as a result, by having to learn this lesson at an older age, they will be socially punished by their peers for not understanding it. Nobody wants to be friends with a selfish brat. Nobody wants to work with someone who doesn’t consider others’ feelings or appreciate rules. The un-taught child will be shunned and ridiculed for their behavior in the real world, resulting in even more pain and suffering.
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.