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Signup Date: 01/26/2012

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12:04 PM   [29 Apr 2012 | Sunday]

Personal Development

"Always bear in mind that our own resolution to succeed is more important than any other one thing."

Abraham Lincoln

Personal development is my passion. Since I graduated from high school, I have worked on my own personal development. Now, I try to take what I am learning and teach others. It is my desire to use my talents and help people succeed in their own life.

The most important lesson that I have learned is that if we do not progress we regress. There is no such thing as standing still. Many of us complain that we take a few steps forward and a couple of steps back. This is due to progressing in our personal development and then stopping the development process. When we make strides in our development, we sometimes become tired and need to rest. We just need to make sure we don't rest for too long.

Personal development is bettering ourselves in all areas of our lives. These personal development steps includes building our identity, specifying our values, creating a personal development plan, identifying our priorities and setting our goals, increasing our potential through education, accepting and learning from our mistakes, and celebrating our successes. These are on the top of my personal development list. Each one of these step leads to successful personal development.

Building our Identity

The first step to personal development is building our identity. When we know who we are, we are more likely to accept ourselves and succeed in every area of our life. Many times, we are told as children who we are, how we should act, and what we should do with our lives. There are some of us who conform to others wishes for us, but we don't realize who we are and what we can do.

It's okay for parents to correct their children, so they become effective citizens and develop values for their lives. On the other hand, it is not okay for parents to tell their children what type of personality they need to have and what career is right for them. We are born with our personalities, so trying to change ourselves would be futile and frustrating. The key to building our identity is to learn our personality style, desires, and talents.

There are several assessments that I have taken to discover my personality. To find personality assessments go to a search engine and type in personality assessment. Several will probably pop up, so we have several to choose from. It is vital to take more than one personality assessment, so we can get a broader perspective of our personality.

A great way to really understand how we relate to the people closest to us is by giving them the test. If we find it hard to relate to our spouses, giving them this test will help understand where there may be an area of conflict. This is also a good idea for parents, because we need to know if we are upset with our children or there just a personality conflict. Another good idea is to get friends to take a personality test, so conflicts can be avoided and friendships saved.

Specifying our Values

Values are a vital part of personal development. When we know our values, we can base our decisions on those values. This way we can feel good about the decisions we make, and we can feel like we stayed true our own beliefs and principles. When we do not specify our values, we can make unethical decisions that not only hurt others, but it can hurt our confidence and decision-making skills.

The first thing we need to do is understand the meaning of value. Value is what we consider important and is a compass that guides our decisions. It basically is what we consider excellent and good for our lives.

Here are some questions to ask when developing our values:

  1. Do I have values that are important in my life?
  2. What are those values?
  3. What are other values that need to become a priority in my life?
  4. Am I making decisions based on my values?
  5. Am I satisfied with the decisions that I have made in the past?

After answering the questions above, we will have a good idea what we value. Next, we need to write our list of values and put it where we can see it often. When we are making decisions, it is important to refer to our values. This way we can feel more confident in everything we do.

When I made my list of values it looked like the following:

  1. Devotion
  2. Hard-work
  3. Perseverance
  4. Honesty
  5. Education

Identifying our priorities

First, we need identify our priorities. Identifying our priorities is essential to successful personal development. If we don't prioritize our life, we could easily work on goals that are not as important. Answer the questions below to get an understanding of what is really important.

  1. What is the purpose of my life?
  2. What steps do I need to take to live a purposeful life?
  3. Who do I enjoy spending my time with the most?
  4. What activities do I enjoy?
  5. Where do I like to go?
  6. What are my career ambitions?
  7. What kind of education do I need to pursue my career?
  8. What personal problems do I need to get over, so that I can become success

When I prioritized, I realized that my family was extremely important to me. Of course, I spend time with my family, but I knew that I needed to increase my time with each one individually. For each family member, I have tried to increase the alone time with each one of them. Every day, I cuddle with my boys, but my daughter is not one who enjoys cuddling. This meant that I needed to find a different way to spend time with her. On a daily basis, I talk with Snow and listen to stories or ideas she has, which is something Snow likes to do. From time to time, I also take her out to shop just the two of us or with a group of girls. With my husband, Brenton, spend time together talking, because Brenton likes to talk.

Another value that was neglected was my education. A year ago, I stopped taking college courses, but this always bothered me. Receiving my masters was vital to my success. Since January, I felt the need to return to graduate school. On the first day of enrollment, I enrolled in my first class. This class was one of several classes needed to complete my masters. Now, I feel like my priorities are back on track, so I am happier and more fulfilled. When our priorities are off track, we can feel like something is missing, which can make us feel sad. Once we get back to our priorities, we can advance in our development and feel satisfied in our lives.

Creating a Personal Development Plan

Creating a personal development plan is an important part of increasing our personal development. If we don't progress, we regress. To continuously develop and grow, we need a road map. This plan or map will give us direction to better our lives and live without regret.

Every few months, I create new plans and update old plans. In my plans, I have steps that I need to take for every area of my life. For my role as mom, I have created steps to help my children with their education and social development. In my role as student, I have a plan to complete my graduate degree, which includes each class needed for graduation. As a wife, I need to set goals to build a stronger relationship with my husband.

This plan needs to reflect our own goals in life. If we desire to graduate with a doctorate, we need to have a plan that includes the milestones needed to obtain a doctorate degree. When planning a career, we need to write out where we want to work, what degrees we need, and any conflicts that need attention before we are successful. In my career planning, I know what type of company I want to work for, but I don't know the exact company, yet. In addition, I am getting a masters degree that will further my career, but I need to make other arrangement for my family while I work. Before I officially start my career, I need to work on eliminating my conflicts.

Increasing our Potential through Education

In my previous posts, I have talked about how important education is to everyone. Education has increased my personal development immensely. Education is not just about attending a school. It is a continual process of learning in various areas of our lives. Whether or not we attend classes or get a formal education, we need to develop and increase our mental capacity.

For example, my mom never graduated from college, but she studied the Bible and knew the right scriptures to lean on in every situation. The spiritual part of her life was top priority, and she continually studied and grew. As she learned, she taught me through words and actions that I needed to studied and grow in every area of my life. This is why I honor her by increasing my education.

We have multiple areas in our lives that need growth. Some of these areas are our minds, bodies, relationships, spirit, and careers. Education in each part of our lives will increase our potential. As we grow, we are able to expand what we can do. As we read books or attend classes on parenting, we are able to raise our children in the proper way. If we have a health problem, it is good for us to learn how to take better care of our bodies.

Accepting and Learning from our Mistakes

There is one thing that I have learned, and that is we all make mistakes. For a long time, I would get extremely angry with myself for all of my mistakes. This is where a lot of my depression started. Depression made it hard to forgive my mistakes. Fortunately, I was able to find a way to control my emotions, so that my emotions wouldn't control me.

Instead of getting upset with my mistakes, I now learn from them. If I don't study enough for a test and do poorly, then, instead of getting upset, I study even harder for the next test. When I speak too harshly to someone, instead of getting depressed, I ask them to forgive me and learn to speak more kindly.

When we learn from our mistakes, we can teach others, too. This starts with our children who need to learn that their parents are not perfect, and that there is a solution to every problem. Next, we need to share our mistakes with friends, family, and associates. If we can learn from each other's mistakes, we don't have to all make the same mistakes over and over, again.

Celebrating our Successes

As we progress in our personal development, it is important to celebrate each milestone and big success. When we complete classes or are able to control our temper, we need to give ourselves a reward. It is also important to have a bigger celebration when we experience major accomplishments. This will inspire us to set and reach even more goals.

When I graduated from college, I had a beautiful reception with my family and friends. In two years, I will graduate with my masters, but I am already planning an even more elaborate celebration. This helps me focus and gives me the drive to see it through. This drive gives me incentive to push through difficult moments and know that I am able to succeed.

It is a great idea that we surround ourselves with people who will actually motivate and inspire us. If we hang out with negative people, we will struggle with negativity. On the other hand, hanging out with positive people who are confident and secure in themselves, will influence us to confidently pursue our purpose. The great part of friends who positively support us is that they can help us celebrate our successes.

This week's challenge is to actively pursue success by building our identity, specifying our values, identifying our priorities and setting our goals, creating a personal development plan, increasing our potential through education, accepting and learning from our mistakes, and celebrating our successes. Each step can build on the other. When we work on personal development, we increase our ability and potential.

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

Mark Twain

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