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Investing in ourselves is one of the best things we can ever do! Let’s think for a moment, about own professional and personal development. It’s something a lot of people don’t actually give much thought to at all. After they’ve completed their degree, diploma or whatever extra-curricular training is deemed necessary for them to do their jobs or run their businesses in the most effective way, many people simply stop thinking about on-going opportunities for self-development. A huge number of the people I encounter have done the absolute minimum they have had to, in this regard, which is a great pity, on both a personal and professional level. It is my profound belief that they are selling themselves short, and depriving themselves of great opportunities to learn something new and see where that knowledge might take them in life. It’s a bit like deliberately choosing a cul-de-sac to go down instead of a road that leads somewhere interesting. I don’t understand it at all. If you want or need a break in life, it’s ok to head down a cul-de-sac and “park up” for a while, because it can be the kind of safe harbour we all need, from time to time. But, once you’ve caught your breath and grown tired of a view that never changes, what’s the point of staying there? It inevitably becomes boring after a while.
Personal development is a bit like doing a u-turn that will kick-start your creative juice process and get your energy flowing again. We are a mobile, thinking, intelligent species. We’re not designed to stand still. We’re meant to be constantly moving forward, in any of a number of ways, physically or metaphorically, or both. Life pushes us forward whether we want it to or not, and it’s only when we resist or ignore the process that we start to have problems. Think about that for a while. Many of you will know from experience what it’s like to live in limbo, on an issue that’s outside of your control that takes time to resolve. Eventually, if the situation goes on too long, you start to become uncomfortable, and irritated from waiting. You feel restless, and driven to doing whatever you can to find the resolutions you need to enable you to move forward. That’s normal! It’s what we are meant to do!
Self-development is an important part of that forward-momentum process. A very plain and simple truth is that no matter how great we may be at what we do, or how comfortable our lives are, there is always room for improvement and the kind of stimulating change we all benefit from. Investing in our own development is one of the best things we can do for ourselves. It helps us to stay abreast of developments in our chosen field of personal interest, hobby, work or business, and to add the kind of strings to our bow that allow for flexibility and optimal chances if a career or life change or adaptation is ever called for. In today’s constantly evolving world, the only thing that’s certain is the fact that everything will continue to change. Gone are the days where job security is guaranteed. Nowadays, the more flexible and adaptable people choose to be, the great their chances are, of being able to adjust to change, particularly where it is – as per the current trend - abrupt and unexpected.
The really great thing about self-development is that it doesn’t have to mean committing a lot of money or time to something. No knowledge is ever wasted, however trivial it may seem at the time. Everything learned has value, even if all it does is enable you to hold your own side of a conversation at a dinner party. Self-development can be as simple a process as making the decision to be more informed about current events, and reading a quality newspaper every day, and watching one new documentary a week on TV, in order to achieve that goal. It can be something like taking a short, inexpensive cookery course in an unfamiliar type of cuisine, taking an art class, joining a book club, or learning conversational Spanish or French. It could be doing voluntary work with disadvantaged people or animals which can put your own life into perspective. Self development doesn’t necessarily have to be an intensive course that can take you a long way further in your chosen career or business but, as one who has done massive amounts of training and post-graduate study courses, I know that few things are more worthwhile, as an investment. I believe I am totally worthy of self investment, and I’m fully committed to it as an on-going process. I believe too, that everyone else is just as worthy.
There are a lot of really great people out there training and guiding others to be better at what they do, or teaching them new skills that can open up any number of life’s exciting doors. The opportunities are endless. It doesn’t have to be a classroom environment, either. One of my closest friends routinely gets out on the racing track and teaches people to ride motorcycles more safely. She is a truly fantastic, wonderfully empowering teacher, and everyone who has ever taken a course with her has come out of it with more confidence, a greater enjoyment of their passion for riding, and a desire to learn even more. And it doesn’t stop there. Online training courses of varying value and usefulness are prolific on the internet. There are also some excellent distance learning schools and colleges catering to those who are too committed to work and/or family to take extra time to go to college.
If you enjoy or are good at something, why would you not want to be as good as you possibly could be at it? Why would you settle for simply being mediocre or average, or knowing just enough of what you need to know to be effective when, with a strategic investment of time and money, you could be extraordinary at what you do, and get heaps more fun out of it, and maybe even better job, business or life opportunities? The truth is, if you’re already doing something you are interested in, you’re only a few short steps away from being brilliant at it, and enjoying it on a level far beyond where you already are. And if you’re feeling a bit daunted by the prospect of up-skilling or learning something new, think about how great it would be to master that, and get to a place of confidence, greater knowledge and maybe even fun.
Self development journeys are ultimately always positive, and sometimes the benefits can be very far reaching. Take some time to consider what would enrich your life. What do you want out of life that you’re currently not getting? The answer to getting what you really want probably lies in some form of self development. Joining a club, undertaking a study program, stepping up to help someone who needs it, taking a course for career advancement or even just for fun; any of these experiences you grant yourself permission to have can switch on a light bulb you didn’t even know you had inside yourself.
Until we push our own boundaries, we don’t know our own limitations. When we do push, we usually find that they are further away than we imagined. Generally, we find that we can do more than we first thought, go further than we first believed, and find more energy than we ever gave ourselves credit for. Self development opens the mind like nothing else can. Invest in yourself, and you never know how far you can go. It’s like pulling back a curtain on a window you didn’t even know was there. Everything, all the possibilities for the future, all open up before you. As a firm believer in the power of human potential, I can’t imagine anything more exciting than seeing someone finding their feet on a journey like that. I’m good at helping people find their passion, and guiding them toward developing their true potential. If you’d like some guidance or encouragement towards taking that first or next step on your journey of self development, please get in touch with me. I’d love to hear what you have in mind!
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