As a trained engineer, one of the things I learned in college was the ability to solve or derive a suitable solution for any problem. From an engineering design perspective, it also follows that for you to outshine a competitor, you must know what they know, and put in the efforts to fill the gap in their knowledge. Personal development is very similar to this. For you to grow, you must know yourself. If you are not growing, you are not making any contribution to society, and at the rate at which things move in society today, you will soon be treated without regard.
For you to fulfill your God given purpose, personal growth must be an intentional effort. That you have a sense of calling does not mean it’s just going to happen. You must grow yourself in competence, and with the right attitude, wait for the opportunities that will come your way in order for you to be a success.
If you are confused about your life, lacking a strong sense of purpose, having no direction, you probably don’t know in what areas you need to grow. However the first thing you must do is to make a decision that your life will count for something. You probably need to read the various posts on discovering purpose that I write on this blog first, and from there come back to this one on personal growth.
One of the secrets to becoming relevant in your field of work or purpose is to identify the areas about your life, talents and experiences, and discipline yourself to develop. As a starting point to identifying purpose, ask yourself what things you like to do. Many people live their lives just doing what they have to do, rather than doing what they like to do. The fear of the unknown cripples a lot of people from living their lives to the fullest. If you’re not enjoying what you do currently, then change it. Take a risk! It is much better to live for what you’re ready to die for than to die for what you settle to live with.
After you identify your area of purpose, you must then begin to identify what skills and talents support your desires. God by His grace gives each person an ability to function at a level beyond the ordinary. It is in learning these areas of grace that we need to focus on growth. If you become aware of these areas of divine uniqueness, then take immediate action and become accountable by following through. As you do this, you will begin to produce the behavior you desire and you will start getting closer to living a fulfilled life.
Realize that nobody ever got anything by sitting around. You must start working towards what you desire to get it. The whole essence of growth in the area of your purpose is to be an extension of God in adding value to the society. You are an agent of restoration upon the earth. Hence, your personal growth and development is a process of acquiring knowledge and applying the knowledge learned to create value.
Develop a learning plan. Your personal growth should not be left to chance. Identify the areas in which you need to grow and commit to buying books, attending seminars, listening to practical teachings on various subject matters related to you. How many books will you read a month? How many seminars will you attend a year?
Expose yourself to those who are at the level you desire to reach. We are creatures that function by images. Keeping company with wise people will eventually make you wise. Identify people who are accessible to you who have attained a certain level of mastery in an area of your personal growth and spend time with them. Ask questions, watch what they do, and learn as much as you can from there. For those that are not accessible to you, get their books and other published material.
Develop an accountability system. A major part of education is discipline. It’s you being able to follow through consistently with your plan and reach your goals. You should have a system of self accountability as well as one involving other people (mentors, friends, and associates), who will constantly hold you to your word and ensure you are doing the things you have said you’ll do. When you vocalize your intentions long enough to many people, something inside of you seeks to make sure you attain to the goals.
Practice what you learn. Knowledge is of no value if it stays in your head. It must be translated into practical applications that add value. Don’t try to change the world in a day, neither should you try to change your life in a day. Start with little areas of practice so that you can develop competence. Once these things become second nature to you, build on what you’ve been able to do. The key is consistency. Once you are consistent over a long period of time, things change much to your surprise.
Start today! That’s all i’ll say about that….
A big part of personal growth is spiritual growth. I’ll talk about that in another post, so be on the lookout.