Personal development is defined as activities that improve self-knowledge and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.
The following are key attributes derived from personal development. They include:
- improving self-awareness
- improving self-knowledge
- building or renewing identity
- developing strengths or talents
- identifying or improving potential
- building employability or human capital
- enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life
- fulfilling aspirations
- initiating a life enterprise or personal autonomy
- defining and executing personal development plans
- improving social abilities
The rationale for pursuing personal development is the improvement of oneself. It is becoming more than you already are that fuels the drive. It is a journey and the journey itself becomes the process to be enjoyed. There is no destination or arriving point. One continually works on aspects of themselves they would like to improve. It may be emotional, intellectual or physical aspects.
So why is personal development important to health? Apart from raising consciousness to impact health, personal development is another key component which is addressed. Personal development focuses on areas within ourselves which we identify as warranting attention and improvement. The ultimate goal is to transcend any limitations you’ve placed upon yourself by living the life you truly deserve.
For example, you might have trouble forming intimate relationships with the opposite sex or sabotage the relationship due to; jealousy, fear, resentment, anxiety, anger or any other destructive emotion. Through a level of awareness you might work out that the cause of the sabotage has been fear. You are generally afraid that the other person might abandon you. You fear that you might not be good enough for the other person.
The list could be endless. After careful reflection and turning inward, you come to a realisation that your primary fear is not being good enough to be with the other person. You discuss this idea with loved ones who have known you since you were young and recall moments as a child where you demonstrated the same attitude and actions. Your sister informs you that your dad was very stern when growing up and placed a great deal of pressure on you to act and be a certain way. Nothing was ever good enough for him. Although he was a kind and giving father, he imposed his ways on you, which were not received well by you.
Subsequently in your teenage and adult years you began noticing that you resented this and turned this emotion on yourself. Nothing you ever did was good enough. You became a perfectionist, sighting numerous reasons why things should be the way they are. You eventually take on the role your father imposed on you at the unconscious level, while it is playing out in your real life. When you’re involved in a romantic relationship, these unconscious thoughts start manifesting themselves throughout the relationship as though the other person has become your father. You seek approval all the time from your partner.
If you’re reading this and pondering what relationships have to do with health? Consider for a moment the consequence of the effects when a relationship dissolves and how it can impact ones health. Your health is multi-dimensional, meaning it has different components to it which include: social health, environmental health, mental health, physical health and spiritual health. Relationships fall into the category of mental and social health. Personal development means you are no longer unconscious to your physical world. As a conscious creator and manifestor, you have the power now to create your reality, since you are aware and awake. You are conscious of your thought process since they’re not running on auto-pilot anymore.
Our state of health is largely influenced by the thoughts we entertain and allow into our lives. Our thoughts drive our emotional being. If you are unaware of your thoughts and emotions, imagine for a moment the long term effect on your quality of life. Being aware and awake means being empowered in your life. It means having control and options to choose your destiny and not succumb to outside influence. You become the architect and designer of your life, the captain of your ship.
Taking ownership of your life means investing time in knowing oneself and growing oneself. Reading self help books is only one component of the process. Life will mirror whatever is going on for you at the deepest level. The experiences will show up as lessons in your daily life. Personal development becomes the training you’ve done for that big race – in this case those moments in life when we need to draw on our deepest self. Your experiences begin to colour and form the person you become.