I have now embarked on a series of self development articles. Personal Development or Self Development is an interesting concept. It is perhaps one of the most powerful concepts known to man. It is something that arguably sets us apart from the animal kingdom. We all have the power to think through our actions and their consequences.
The two words ‘personal’ and ‘self’ are entirely interchangeable. In this context they mean the same thing.
You don’t have to be rich or famous to empower yourself through self development. Essentially it involves two core aspects –
- Complete Honesty With Yourself
- Take Action To Change
Neither of these two fundamentals cost money. Personal or self development is free! The self development articles on this blog are certainly free!
Sometimes though it can be a case of a specific problem holding a person back. For example, some people suffer terribly from shyness or social anxiety disorder (SAD). If you are beset with confidence problems, I suggest you scroll down to the bottom of this page.
SAD is a subject close to my heart. Few people looking at me now would ever know I was the shyest kid. That shyness stayed with me for many years into adulthood. It was coupled with social anxiety. One of my previous callings in life involved much networking. How I hated those social gatherings!
“Social phobia also known as Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) is not simply extreme shyness. Many people experience some shyness and discomfort, especially in new situations or with unfamiliar people. However, it’s generally tolerable once you warm up and relax after a while. Unlike shyness, such conditions are intolerable for SAD sufferers who find it nearly impossible to relax in social or performance settings.” Source – Jenny C. Yip Psy. D.
What do I know about it and why am I qualified to write and talk about self development? Or as some people prefer to call it – personal development.
To use a colloquialism – I have been there, got the tee shirt and done it. I have been through the highs and lows of life. Married (more than once), divorced (more than once), sick, healthy, monied, penniless, bereavement, employed, unemployed, happy, unhappy, home-owner, homeless, career, no career, stable, unstable, drunk, sober, angry, calm, lied to, lied, loved, unloved, high, low, depressed, cheerful, faith, faithless, young, old, agile, old, fulfilled, unfulfilled!
I think you have the idea.
My working life has encompassed doing all these –
- police detective
- uniform police officer
- barrister – trial counsel
- motorcycle courier
- taxi driver
- truck driver
- truck driving instructor
- load shovel/payload driver
- excavator/digger driver
- dumper truck driver
- sales manager
- hospital porter
- hospital night security
- trades union representative
I think that completes the long list!
The ability to develop oneself is within the reach of every one of us. Some may find it easier than others. Surely it is more difficult for an uneducated person from a third world country to grasp these concepts than it is for a relatively privileged group of people in a first world country. But it is still possible.
Personal development can be a lonely road. It often helps to have guidance, a mentor. This is where I make my ‘affiliate disclosure.’ My mentor is my faith. I am a Christian and believe in God. He is my mentor. I say ‘He’ but who knows?
It is not necessary to hold the same beliefs as me to follow the principles I believe in. Honesty with oneself is not the prerogative of Christians or indeed the followers of any other religions. The ability to take action likewise is not reserved solely to believers.
As a result of my life journey and experiences, I feel qualified by reason of those experiences to write the series of summaries on self development articles.
Self Development Articles
One of the benefits of self development is the learning of the ability to be non-judgmental. I have my beliefs, others have theirs or possibly none whatsoever. I have my opinions. Others may hold a different opinion. That’s cool. It’s the way it should be. Respect is a natural ally of the ability to be non-judgmental. A respect for different views, beliefs and cultures.
Yet, I do think there is an inextricable link between the development of ‘self’ and spirituality. To fully understand our selves we have to look inwardly at our very souls. Cliches become cliches because they often contain truth – so ‘soul searching’ carries some weight with me.
I came up with the idea of publishing the summaries of self development articles as an aid to help others. It is intended as a ‘time-saver.’ The articles can point you in the right direction. They are an aid in a quest and not a panacea.
What about you? What are your self development needs?
I know nothing about you. You may be in need of help or simply curious. Whichever way, I hope the pages of my blog help you. If you use the category drop down menu you will find the self development category. That will take you to all the relevant posts.
If you need help with any area of your life, then contact me. I assure you that your details and everything you tell me will remain confidential. Think of me as a first point of contact. I am the listener. If I can help, I will. I may be able to point you in the right direction if I am unable to help.
As I wrote earlier, I have ‘been there and done that.’ You will be consulting with someone who has a vast experience of life and people. Nothing would please me more than to help someone realize their full potential. I will be driven by your goals and your successes.
My help does not come in the form of a course or a booklet. There are many of those. I offer one to one counselling and consultation. Working together, we identify the stumbling blocks and how to remove them. The the rest is up to you. I cannot act on your behalf. You are the only one who can act to change your life.
What is Self Development?
Self or personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employability, enhance quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.
Not limited to self-help, the concept involves formal and informal activities for developing others in roles such as teacher, guide, counselor, manager, life coach or mentor. When personal development takes place in the context of institutions, it refers to the methods, programs, tools, techniques, and assessment systems that support human development at the individual level in organizations. Source: Wikipedia
It may include all or some of the following:
- improving self-awareness
- improving self-knowledge
- improving skills or learning new ones
- building or renewing identity/self-esteem
- developing strengths or talents
- improving wealth
- spiritual development
- identifying or improving potential
- building employability or (alternatively) human capital
- enhancing lifestyle or the quality of life
- improving health
- fulfilling aspirations
- initiating a life enterprise or (alternatively) personal autonomy
- defining and executing personal development plans (PDPs)
- improving social abilities
Origins of Self Development
The origins are not new and can be traced back to Aristotle and Confucius. Source: Wikipedia
Aristotle and the Western tradition
The Greek philosopher Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) influenced theories of personal development in the West. In his Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle defined personal development as a category of phronesis or practical wisdom, where the practice of virtues (arête) leads to eudaimonia, commonly translated as “happiness” but more accurately understood as “human flourishing” or “living well”. Aristotle continues to influence the Western concept of personal development to this day, particularly in the economics of human development and in positive psychology.
Confucius and the East Asian tradition
In Chinese tradition, Confucius (around 551 BC – 479 BC) founded an ongoing philosophy. His ideas continue to influence family values, education and management in China and East Asia. In his Great Learning Confucius wrote:
The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own states. Wishing to order well their states, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons. Wishing to cultivate their persons, they first rectified their hearts. Wishing to rectify their hearts, they first sought to be sincere in their thoughts. Wishing to be sincere in their thoughts, they first extended to the utmost their knowledge. Such extension of knowledge lay in the investigation of things.
So, I believe am well versed and qualified in “practical wisdom.” I strive continuously to extend to “the utmost” my knowledge. I was born curious and remain curious and am forever extending my knowledge in “the investigation of things.”
Contact me using the form below if you need help. All inquiries will be treated with the utmost confidence.
*Eudaimonia means “living well” or broadly speaking “happiness”
As a postscript I got to re-evaluating the things that have developed me and help me grow as a person including the things that have helped me through the ‘shyness barrier.’
One of the greatest aids to my own self development has been education. Self taught education in the main. I have found that learning about a new topic, a new language or developing my writing skills have taken me far.
I have been through the stages of trying products and various methods and reckon many of them are useless, a total waste of money! Here are some of the things I recommend you take a look at in your personal quest to become a better person or just to learn something new.
For non-native English speakers look at –
I suggest this to boost confidence –
Or maybe this?
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