Personal development: what is the point?

You will agree with me that every person who wants to achieve success must develop. Only constant self-development and personal growth make it possible to achieve your goals and make your dreams come true.

Man has only two paths: either progress or degradation; conservatism in its purest form contradicts the essence of the laws of the universe

Alfred North Whitehead

To begin with, in order to understand what self-development of a person is, we must clearly define several basic concepts.

Personality is a set of habits and preferences developed sometime in the past, which are due to acquired experience and sociocultural experience, as well as a set of psychophysical traits and characteristics of a person. All this determines the daily behavior of a person, his connection with society and nature.

Personal development is a very important and at the same time complex process, which includes such concepts as self-knowledge and self-development.

Self-knowledge is the study of one’s personal mental and physical characteristics, understanding oneself. Self-knowledge begins in infancy and then continues throughout conscious life. In simple terms, this is self-knowledge in order to understand who I am, why I live and what I want.

Self-development is a process of comprehensive development of a person, which is expressed in the independent study of something and the application of this knowledge in practice, all this is carried out without any external control. Self-development has three forms: self-affirmation, self-improvement, self-actualization.

Self-affirmation is a specific activity within the framework of self-development aimed at discovering and confirming one’s certain personality traits, character traits, ways of behavior and activity. Spheres of self-affirmation can be almost all types of life that acquire personal significance for a person: for someone it is work or study; for someone – sport, art or science.

Self-improvement is the most adequate form of self-development, which assumes that a person himself strives to be better, strive for some ideal, acquires those personality traits and qualities that he does not yet have, masters those types of activities that he did not own.

Self-actualization is the ability of a person to become what he should be, i.e. fulfill your mission, your purpose in life.

If we now analyze all the above definitions, it turns out that we develop and improve the totality of developed habits and preferences that have been formed under the influence of society, our experience and acquired knowledge, a set of psychophysical traits and social masks. As a result of personality development, we get personal growth and a change in our reality around.

Self-development of the individual – an individual path

You will agree with me that most people, when they are 25-30 years old, stop being satisfied with the skills and abilities that they have and start thinking about personal self-development. If you look at childhood and adolescence, then development occurs under the influence of external factors (social foundations). You need to go to kindergarten, then to school, technical school, institute, and everywhere they teach you. They make a person out of you who could work for an uncle, tirelessly 5 days a week, 365 days a year. But when we become adults, then comes the realization (again, to a few) that we have acquired a lot of unnecessary habits, complexes and everyday worries. You begin to think that life in the next years will consist of two stages: work and retirement. Everything is somehow gray, gloomy or something, but I want a rainbow to appear, there was more fun, joy, love.

And just by the age of 23, I already understood that I had a choice: to swim further downstream, as everyone else swims, or to try to escape from the cycle and routine of gray days. Sadly, but the first option is preferred by the majority, and I went for the second and opened a wonderful path for self-development of the individual.

There are a huge number of theories and ways of personal development that without preparation, many questions immediately arise: “What to read for self-development?”, “Which way of self-development is more effective?”, “Is spiritual or physical development better?”. And those people who want to start practicing should understand one thing, that personal self-development is an individual path. Yes, you can take knowledge, apply it, analyze it, but you must build a system that will give you results yourself. All people are different, with different starting positions, and therefore there are an infinite number of ways. Therefore, there is no right way of self-development of a personality that is suitable for absolutely everyone, but everyone must understand himself, understand who he is and what he wants, and then begin his own path of self-development.

What is the meaning of personal development?

Here I have prepared a very good parable for you.

The journalist asked the master:
— What did you usually do before you became Enlightened?
I used to chop wood and carry water from the well.
“And now that you have become Enlightened, what are you doing?”
– What can I do? I chop wood and carry water from the well.
The journalist, of course, was surprised:
“Then what’s the difference then?”
The master smiled.