Personal development is so important. In life there’s a lot that’s out of our control, but we have no excuses when it comes to our own behavior. Each of us is the primary architect of our misery, and we can either remain our own worst enemy or become our own greatest ally.
I would know. I once was homeless and living out of my car. Now I own a multi-million dollar construction company. The more I took responsibility for myself and my circumstances, the better things got. In that process, I learned 7 personal development principles that I believe will help anyone who applies them.
Visualize a Clear Destination
First, don’t focus on what’s wrong: what you don’t like about yourself, your bank account, your relationships, etc. Instead, focus on where you want to go, who you want to be, and what you want your life to look like. Use all five senses to imagine the life you’re dreaming about. Journal about what you see and feel and add to the list.
Doing this exercise regularly will help you transform your mindset. It will create motivation and positive emotions. Your brain will start to look for possibilities and solutions instead of frustrations. This is huge, because your beliefs determine every move you make. When your beliefs become positive, life gets better.
Discover and Use Your Learning Style
You are one of the following four types of learners:
Visual learners need imagery to grasp a concept. They’re typically very detail-oriented and get a lot from watching demonstrations. Auditory learners learn through sound. They need to talk things through a few times in a conversation about a subject to really get it. Tactile learners get revelation through physical touch and must use their hands for something to sink in. Kinesthetic learners must use their whole body to maximize efficiency and get a lot from role play.
Here’s why this matters: you must be a learner in order to be successful, and the faster you can learn, the better. Knowing your learning modality will tremendously help you in your personal development.
Play the Long Game
Learning is a lifelong process. We never really arrive at an endpoint. The journey is the reward. The more we grasp this, the easier life gets.
Most of the suffering in self-improvement (and arguably in life) comes from the fear of failure and the frustration with where we are versus where we’d like to be. Yet the more we focus on our anger and fear, the more we sabotage our personal development and miss out on enjoying the present. No matter where you are, don’t let your goals become a burden. Remember that change doesn’t happen overnight and to celebrate the small wins whenever they come.
Choose Your Mentors Carefully
Mentors are a necessity in the path to transformation. Yet be very careful who you choose to mentor you. There are people who have achieved a form of success but who are nevertheless emotionally unhealthy and even toxic. You become who you surround yourself with, so make sure that your mentors exhibit character, not just skill or money.
Backfill Your Weak Spots
Working on strengthening your areas of weakness is all well and good, but make sure that you’re spending the majority of your time and energy on your strengths. Find people who are strong where you’re weak and partner with them. Delegate as much of the work that drains you to others as possible, then focus your unique gifts. Remember that personal development is about becoming your best self, not someone else. You’re not supposed to be good at everything – that’s why we need teams.
Pursue Impact Over Income
For many of us, our definition of success needs to change. I’ve known a lot of people who were extremely wealthy and yet led miserable lives. Some of these people I still know, while others died young because they didn’t take care of themselves and pursue something that was fulfilling. At the end of your life, you won’t be thinking much about your money. You’ll be wondering whether or not you made an impact.
The people who give themselves to a cause they believe in are the ones who lead the richest lives of all. These are the people we remember long after they’re gone. So focus on making a meaningful contribution to the world before anything else. Who knows? You may get rich in the process anyway.
Become the Example Once Made for You
I’ve often said that life is about serving the person you once were. I believe that for many of us, our destiny is to help other people overcome the obstacles we’ve faced ourselves. Your trial today isn’t new, but your story can be. No matter where you are, you can seek to humbly serve someone who is where you used to be. Find these people and do what you can for them. Just remember that you can’t help them more than they can help themselves. You’re not their savior, but you can be a friend and helper.
Let Us Help You Accelerate Your Transformation
The Journey Principles Institute exists because we want to help people like you transform. We believe that with the right principles and follow-through, this is possible for anyone.
If you’re ready to get unstuck, we can help you become unstoppable. The next step would be to download our free E books with practical next steps for your personal development.