Blog 138. Business, Money And Your Career: Why Personal Development Is Critical to Success.
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I have made it clear through all my years of client observations that our families, childhood and school experiences mould who we become, and that this in turn can influence the relationships and indeed the careers we choose. And in this section of blogs, I have addressed how the past can influence how successful we may or may not become via various topics. And most importantly, that who we are – we take with us every day, into the office.
Understanding this reality, should then lead everyone who wishes to become successful, in whatever they do, towards some kind of personal development program. This could be as easy as listening to motivational speakers on YouTube – every day until the penny drops (Blog 124 contains a list of motivational speakers worth listing to). Or it may be worth seeking the aid of a mentor, a life coach or possibly even a therapist. Or all of the above, whenever deemed necessary. Doing so certainly doesn’t mean you are a failure. on the contrary, doing so suggests a willingness to grow and learn.
One important spin off of this process is the realisation that blaming situations or others, is just a futile exercise. Sure, stuff may have happened in childhood which could be the cause of mishaps, addictions, failures, financial mismanagement, debt, and so on, but once this is understood and worked through, then the next level can be reached. Also, sometimes these experiences are exactly what we need to grow and interestingly, the lessons gained are usually what comes in handy in whatever we do next. And depending on what a person wishes to achieve – through hard work, determination and persistence – goals can certainly be realised.
But throughout this journey there will be moments of doubt, moments of failure and moments when things do and will go wrong. However, nowadays and via the Internet especially, there are people who have stood in your shoes and are willing to share their experiences and knowledge. Sadly, asking for help is often considered as a mark of failure. But it isn’t. Rather – it shows a willingness to learn.
The important realisation is that we are all entirely responsible for what happens to us as adults, whether we are conscious of this or not. Many may disagree, but if they could just realise how we set up ourselves up for all sorts of situations that reinforce our belief systems, then they may want to think again. It is certainly possible even under strenuous circumstances – to avoid what others accept as fate. Yet many fall foul not realising they could have made different decisions or chosen differently. But it’s only by becoming aware that different options are realised or paths understood. My clients also realised after careful analysis, just how responsible we actually are for everything we put into action and that sometimes the details of how we disempower ourselves – is often jaw dropping.
Also, waiting for life to happen or looking to others for behaviour cues – does not represent adult maturity. Sadly, many adults spend their entire adulthood doing this. As a result, many even narrow their opportunities. Doing so, by creating echo chambers so they don’t have to flex their intellectual muscles. So they seek out those who aren’t successful, who can’t be bothered with the self development thing, who certainly don’t wish to read or develop themselves in any way. Instead they prefer to blame everyone else for their own misfortune. But sadly, this only keeps people stuck in their comfort zones and any growth becomes limited.
Yet, with only a few tweaks here and there, and by by eliminating “I can’t”, we can become independent thinkers and doers. This is when we are able to stand back from the crowd so that we can see things more objectively. And in doing so, options usually open up and new perspectives or ideas often arise.
In other words, further to personal development is mental development. Learning does not stop at school or university, it continues right throughout life and we can spur on this learning by listening or reading inspirational books, videos, podcasts, audiobooks and so on. And by keeping up with current changes and events that may offer new gaps that we might fill or use to our advantage.
But sadly, any decision to learn or grow has to come from within. No amount of tricks, motivation or positive psychology will ever change someone until they are ready to go within in order to confront their past so they can redefine their future. And as Jim Rohn once said, “This often happens as a result of either inspiration or desperation”. And often it’s the latter that does the trick – when things have gotten out of hand and have become hopeless. As a therapist I see this all too often, when clients seek help only when problems have reached crisis points. Yet by seeking help earlier, so much pain could have been prevented and so much resolved.
Also, bad daily habits can get in the way – as they can easily lead into a downward spiral of lazy behaviour and procrastination. Putting things off only makes things worse. It makes us feel bad and often it causes more stress than we realise – carrying a knowing that we have stuff to do, means we can never fully relax. This is why adding some form of committed weekly exercise routine to our lives is crucial. It helps keep lazy behaviour at bay and it also helps relieve stress, tiredness. I t clears the air and it helps create a mental agility which is helpful in goal keeping and problem solving, etc.
And once you start the journey of self-development and learning – you will want to keep on going. You won’t suddenly stop. You will always want to learn more whenever necessary. This is how you get better and you’ll want to continue getting better no matter how old you are.
And once you start this journey, you will see that as you focus on what you have to do, comparison with others will fall away. You will have less time to worry about what others are doing. You will focus on doing your best and you’ll start ticking off all the things you wanted to achieve and possibly, you’ll begin to achieve things you never thought you were even capable of.
And yes, even if you fail – this too can offer rewards. Failing is often necessary. It teaches us lessons and it teaches us what NOT to do, or how to do things better.
However, successful people never revel in their failure. They learn the lessons and move on. In fact, many have an inner dialogue that constantly seeks out new ways of doing things – leaving nothing to chance. They don’t allow themselves to be restricted by negative learned paradigms. They don’t follow the crowd. Rather they choose independence, and they learn to take responsibility for everything they do or whatever happens to them within reason. Indeed Margaret Mead, a cultural anthropologist, said that “Personal responsibility is our most important evolution.” She was right. And it is a great pity when this is not followed or understood.
Earl Shoaff’s suggested that, “If you want to be wealthy and happy, learn to work harder on yourself than you ever do on your job.”
Jim Rohn understood this all too well and added that, “What you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not,What am I getting? Instead, you should ask, What am I becoming? Getting and becoming are so closely intertwined—what you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are right now”.
© 2020 Deidré Wallace All rights reserved.
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