Top 45 Ways that Personal Growth & Development Will Help You Have a Life You Love Personal growth and development is another topic that I LOVE. As in LOVE! I completely LOVE this subject! I was fortunate to have my first real introduction to growth and development in the early 1980’s when I was in a Counselor Education course to become a Resident Assistant (R.A.) at Penn State. In the course you had to listen to two positive and two negative or constructive pieces of feedback from each person in the class. When I heard one young man say, “You were the first person that I met in this course, and you welcomed me into the classroom with a huge, warm, inviting smile” – I thought to myself oh, this is his positive feedback, until he continued with, “And I felt so intimidated by you.” Oh NO! I will never forget the dichotomy of my warm inviting smile and actions leaving someone feeling intimidated. It was a powerful lesson that impacted me, in a positive way, from that day forward. I could intimidate someone with my smile and warmth. That has been hugely helpful to this day.
So, what is growth and development? I will boil it down to working on yourself or self-improvement. My philosophy is that we either grow and develop through a crisis – think death, divorce or other trauma or we can intentionally take on our own growth and development. There are plenty of people who are simply unwilling to grow and develop. They remain stagnant throughout their lives, and that’s okay. It’s my opinion that growth and development offers significant benefits – the topic for this post. Before I give you the list of benefits let me set the stage for personal growth and development and some ideas of tools that can help you in this area.
Personal growth and development requires that you be open for starters. You have to be open to consider looking at yourself, your life views, your habits and ways of doing life. You have to be willing to consider other thoughts and views. I am not talking about giving up your values or those things that are core to who you are. I am talking about getting a real-world assessment of yourself, how you occur in life, and what would be helpful to you in having a more powerful life. Growth and development can happen through a conversation with a friend or co-worker when you have a eureka moment realizing something newly for yourself. It can happen through a variety of tools that are in your everyday life. Or it can happen with a commitment and a serious focus. Regardless of how it happens, this is powerful stuff.
Pretty much what I write about is personal growth and development and what it takes to have a life that you love. In my post titled “What Tripping Over the Truth Looks Like in Real Life – Ker splat”, I wrote about a distinction of growth and development that has been labeled “tripping over the truth” – which is worth a read. Regardless of how you get there or what vehicle you use – it’s my opinion that any time or investment in your own personal growth and development has a very high yield. We can all agree that life is difficult and at times can be extremely harsh and hard. The skills and abilities that you pick up on the path of growth and development while they won’t prevent bad things from happening in your life, they most certainly will make dealing with the tough stuff easier or perhaps less difficult.
Examples of Personal Growth and Development Tools:
Reading THIS Blog and doing the work
Courses, programs, seminars, training, podcasts, etc.
Programs like Toastmasters International*(see mention below)
Movies or DVD’s
Conversations with people
The Bible and religious programs
Setting stretch goals and attaining them
Going to college or a university for a degree program
Getting a coach
Doing things outside of your comfort zone
Implementing new habits that improve your life
Journaling for insight and understanding
Copyright 2015 Lisa A. Lundy, Original watercolor painting
Buyer Beware Without naming any names of businesses or programs, I have to say as strongly as I can that you must be cautious and beware about some personal growth and development programs, courses, companies and even coaches. There are some organizations and/or individuals that have a history of exploiting people and are even abusive. There are some cults and cult-like organizations. Since 2003, I have participated in Toastmasters International, an organization that helps individuals become better public speakers and leaders. Toastmasters International has been around since 1924 and offers a low-cost and proven program for personal growth and development in a safe environment. It is one organization that I feel comfortable in recommending as one vehicle for personal growth and development. Just understand that it is a buyer beware arena in my opinion. I would say more however that would not be prudent.
Top 45 Reasons Why Growth & Development Will Help You Have a Life You Love
You will deal with your problems head on. The first area of growth and development is dealing with reality and not a fantasy life. Once you start to acknowledge your life is your life – you will begin to deal with your problems head on. There will be no denial about what your life is and what your life is not.
You will avoid future potentially bigger problems and could save a lot of money in the process. As you become situated in reality and begin dealing with your problems head on, you will gain the benefit of avoiding potentially bigger problems in the future, which could save you a lot of money in the long run. That is one of the huge benefits of living in the real world is that you can anticipate and plan and AVOID problems but not if you are in denial or minimizing the current status of your life.
It will help you take control of your life. You – in the driver’s seat. How often do you hear people say that they can’t do this or they can’t do that because of X, Y, or Z? When you take on your growth and development, and you begin to act on the things that make you happy and begin making choices about what you want your life to look like – you will get back in the driver’s seat and take control of your life.
You will be happier. The whole point of growth and development, in my opinion, is about getting happy.
You will get freed up. The more you deal with your problems head on, the more you take control of your life, and the more you understand the potential problems you could avoid, you will feel freed up. Or at least freer than you were before you started.
You will feel more peaceful and contented. While I am committed to happiness, some people would be satisfied simply to feel contented and peaceful. Feeling contented and peaceful is a byproduct of growth and development.
You will have less anxiety. The more habits and practices you put in place to manage and direct your own life – to your own design I might add – the less anxiety you will have. The more you work on yourself the less you will be concerned about what other people think of you – one of the big sources of anxiety for many people. There are many reasons why you will have less anxiety by doing the work – keep reading.
It builds self-esteem. When people are directing their own lives and creating their life to go a certain way – that builds long-lasting self-esteem.
It will help you or should help you in every area of your life. The more you take control of your life and the more you work on yourself, the less you will tolerate a dysfunctional mess in your life. Growth and development will permeate every area of your life and therefore you should reap benefits in all areas of your life.
It will help you be more authentic and real. To be able to be authentic and real with other people is so freeing. The more growth and development work you do will allow you to drop the facade of being perfect, having it all together, of having a problem-free or perfect life. You will be able to be with people with all of your imperfections and all of their imperfections – and enjoy people in a whole new way.
You will be able to deal with your past and make peace with it. While not everyone deals with their past in doing growth and development, it is often the case that the past comes up and is dealt with in some form or another. It is never as bad as people think it will be and it is exceptionally powerful to make peace with your past.
It will give you tools to help when life is hard. One of the most powerful benefits of doing the growth and development work is that it will give you amazing tools for when life is hard. You grow and develop and, in the process, you learn new things, gain new tools, adopt new attitudes all of which can be extremely beneficial when things get tough.
It can be very fun. Knowing me as I do, I have to say this – if it’s not fun then I am probably not doing it. Having spent more than a few decades doing growth and development, I can say with all sincerity that it is fun or I would have stopped a long time ago.
The people who engage in growth & development are pretty cool – get into that tribe. The people who you will meet if you jump into growth and development are some of the best people that you would ever want to meet! Without question, these are the people who you want to have in your tribe (with only a few rare exceptions).
There’s really no reason not to. What would be the reason not to get into growth and development? You are a multimillionaire with a perfect life? Yeah, that would be a reason. For the majority of Americans, that is just not the case. There is really no good reason not to get into growth and development.
It makes you more likeable and relatable. The more you can be authentic and real, the more likeable and relatable you are. It’s just easier to be around people who tell it like it is, aren’t trying to impress anyone, and have some emotional quotient as well as compassion for their fellow men.
You will be less annoyed by other people. The more growth and development work you do on yourself, the less annoying other people will be in my opinion because you will understand that they are doing the best that they can and you will have compassion for how they behave.
It’s an act of self-love. In my most humble and earnest opinion, doing the work of growth and development is a gift that you give to yourself. While everyone else who knows you may benefit greatly from the work that you do, you are and always will be the number one recipient of the benefits. It is a gift you give to yourself.
It helps you be more compassionate and empathetic. As you see yourself as a human being with areas to work on and grow, you will begin to see other people in the same light, which usually leaves you with compassion and empathy for others.
It will help you increase your emotional intelligence or quotient, which usually translates to higher pay. You will absolutely increase your emotional intelligence or emotional quotient, which translates to higher pay typically. See the post I wrote titled “Top 17 Benefits to High Emotional Intelligence and Why It’s Important” for the lowdown on this benefit.
You are never going to find out that you are a worthless scumbag (or it’s very unlikely unless you are really evil). Save for the really evil people in this world, you are never going to find out that you are a worthless scumbag. And quite frankly those people who are really evil are most likely suffering from some deep psychopathology as to not even recognize that they are evil and a scumbag. So, not to worry on finding out something really awful or terrible about yourself.
It can help you restore and clean up relationships. As you take on your life and begin dealing with your problems head on, cleaning up and restoring relationships will likely surface. The skills you gain in growth and development will help you restore and clean up relationships.
It is wonderful happy hour conversation starters. Growth and development can be a fascinating happy hour conversation starter. From my experience, the people who have never done growth and development work are often kind of curious – the kind of curiosity like I’d like to do bull riding, but I think I will just watch – and as such they often want to hear what YOU have learned and how YOU have benefitted from the work. Those people who have done growth and development work will, of course, love to exchange stories with you and you will have a delightful conversation about how you have grown.
It makes life less painful. There is no doubt that life is painful at times. Having tools, skills, and practices, etc. available through growth and development simply makes life less painful.
It’s why we are here in life. From the beginning of time the great thinkers and philosophers have written about growth and development. It’s embedded in the two historic questions that have been written about since the earliest days: (1) what is the meaning of life? and (2) why am I here?
You are either growing and expanding or shrinking and contracting. Growth and development offers you the ability to expand yourself and your thinking, which is better for you than shrinking, contracting or being stuck.
It will help you appreciate yourself and others. As you do the work, you will begin to appreciate yourself in a whole new way and in the process, you will be able to appreciate others as well.
It will inspire you. It’s my opinion that growth and development work is inspiring. To see people grow and change – is cause for celebration! I frequently celebrate my own growth and development! Why not?
It’s very good for your brain – doing actual thinking. As I have written before, much of what we do in life is repetitive, which conserves energy for the brain. Doing actual thinking as required in growth and development – while it uses more energy – it is very good for your brain.
You will be able to empower others by your own empowerment. The more skills you pick up along the way, the more you can share those skills and empower others.
It can help you deal with traumas. The work you do on yourself can help you deal with either past or current traumas and that is a very good thing.
It’s not as scary as you think. It is really not scary to do growth and development because you are not going to find out you are some horrible person. You will find compassion for yourself and others.
It will help you not take things so personally. When you do the work, you will not take things so personally because you simply don’t have to. And, if I may be so bold – you don’t even have to take things personally that ARE personal! How’s that for amazing! To not take things personally that actually were personal? That is power my friends. Absolute and real power!
It will make you a better leader or manager. The research on emotional intelligence or emotional quotient makes it pretty clear that individuals with higher emotional intelligence or emotional quotient are better leaders and managers and usually make more money.
It’s very fascinating. The whole arena of growth and development is very fascinating to me. I am not the only one given the plethora of books, courses, training programs and life coaches available at this moment in time. It’s been the subject of books and writings since the earliest of days including the Bible.
You will be less concerned about what other people think of you. As you grow and develop and gain more confidence and self-esteem and become clear in what you are up to in life, the opinions that others hold about you will have less weight. That’s both powerful and freeing.
It can be more effective and cheaper than therapy (operative words can be). I am of the opinion that doing the work of personal growth and development can be more effective and cheaper than therapy. The operative words are can be. It really depends on your commitment and actions.
It can help you deal with and/or reduce your addictions. As I have said repeatedly, I am not a therapist or licensed medical professional in any capacity, that being said, it is my thought that people use addictions to avoid feeling pain or dealing with their lives. Assuming I am correct, it stands to reason that doing the work of growth and development would lessen the need to numb yourself to life and would thereby reduce addictions.
It can help you connect with your purpose and passions in life. Often when people do the work, they open themselves up to connecting to their purpose and passions in life. I have asked my beloved readers over and over to identify what makes you happy and then to sprinkle your life with what makes you happy. Doing the work allows you to take the time to begin to identify and/or create the things that will bring you happiness.
It can help you identify and break dysfunctional family patterns. Doing the growth and development work can definitely help you identify and break dysfunctional family patterns. Frequently, we are unaware of the dysfunction or level of dysfunction in our families until we do the work. It’s very powerful to be able to identify and break family patterns that do not empower you.
It is a high return use of your time and energy. In my humble opinion, there are very few things that you can do that will result in such a high return for your time, energy, and sometimes money. Looking at this list of benefits – this is a lot of goodies for your investment.
It will boost your self-confidence. The more you know yourself, the higher your self-confidence will be. I am not talking about an arrogant kind of self-confidence. I am talking about a sense of humility about humanity and life that is at the core of this kind of self-confidence.
It builds character. There is no question that doing the work of personal growth and development is an act of courage and bravery – even though it is not difficult. These are the things that build character over time.
You help make the world a better place every time you grow and develop. I assert that when you grow and develop and in essence become a better version of you – you help make the world a better place. You are more compassionate, empathetic and kind. All of the benefits offered by growth and development help make the world a better place with you in it.
Blatant judgements and criticisms from others will not impact you so deeply or at all. You will always be judged and criticized in life. It’s just part of life. When you do the work, I assert that the judgements and criticisms from others will not impact you so deeply or possibly at all.
Copyright 2016 Lisa A. Lundy, Original watercolor painting
Concluding Thoughts As someone who has actively participated in the actions necessary to produce personal growth and development for over 35 years, I believe without question that this is critical and necessary to having a life that you LOVE! It doesn’t have to be hard. It can be fun and quite engaging. In fact, if it’s not fun and engaging, try another approach. There are numerous ways to find a path to growth and development. There really are so many ways to get there. What matters is that you make a commitment, first off, to having a life that you LOVE. Then get busy to do what it takes to get there.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be happily engaged in moving your life forward? Wouldn’t it be lovely to have the tools in your toolshed to deal with the tough times life can bring you? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have less stress, less anxiety and more fun? Looking at the benefits I have listed above, aren’t those benefits something you would enjoy and make your life easier? I would venture a guess that they are benefits that would give you a better quality of life. I am committed to you having a life that you LOVE- one that you design and create for yourself. How can I support you in your journey? Do let me know! Love, Lisa
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