Taking your personal development journey seriously has its rewards. Maintaining strengths while tackling areas of weakness can be a balancing act, but is necessary for personal growth. Intentional effort toward results oriented improvement and self-care along the journey can pay huge dividends in the long run. This return on investment makes up the very essence of #HARDWORKEASYLIVING.
That being said, universal areas of development exist where we can focus our energy while on our growth journeys. An honest assessment into where we presently stand in each of these areas provides insight on where we can grow, and requirements for future success. Here are five areas of opportunity to consider for your ongoing personal development.
1. Physical Development
Physical development includes all the ways our bodies perform internally and externally. Of course diet and exercise are common considerations, but even more nuanced factors such as surrounding environment, and even personal hygiene affect our overall physical development.
Regular physical development & maintenance is as much beneficial as it is preventative in nature. Consider brushing your teeth as an example. The simple protocol of brushing twice daily promotes clean and healthy teeth and prevents gum disease; a condition that causes dramatically adverse affects on overall health if left unchecked.
Extrapolating the promote/prevent dynamics of physical development to their fullest extent makes the importance of physical development and maintenance immediately clear. On top of that, physical development impacts other areas of overall of long term personal development.
2. Mental Development
This one is all about the accumulation and application of knowledge. As a result, we can also include the fulfillment of curiosity and experimentation as part of one’s mental development. Ultimately, we should desire wisdom which can be summarily defined as the result of combining knowledge and experience.
Mental development is almost a permanently ongoing process, taking place in varying degrees. Academic learning is more research more based while professional learning requires constant sharpening and updating of specific skillsets and abilities. Going a step further, daily and lifelong learning exposes you to both relevant and randomized knowledge as your experience carries you along.
Two opposing, but equally important factors emphasize the importance of ongoing mental development is important. There’s always something to learn, and there’s always something you forget. The moments of not knowing or remembering something we ought to have knowledge of likely remind us of these facts more often than we’d like to admit.
3. Relational Development
Of all arenas in the personal development space, the ability to establish meaningful connections with others may be most important. As the timeless saying goes “your network is your net worth”, and the declaration as stated do the implications of the expression less justice than deserved. The relationships you cultivate have the potential to help you overcome challenges in every other area of development.
With very few exceptions, building and leveraging impactful relationships will advance your efforts and aspirations significantly faster than going it alone. While difficult to cultivate, and easy to betray, trust and confidence are two intangibles that are worth their weight in gold when actively managed and maintained.
It’s no mystery that throughout all aspects of life, people are significantly more likely to spend resources of all kinds on individuals and entities they know and trust. While money may be the most obvious example, this extends to other meaningful resources including time and material assets as well as knowledge and expertise.
Three things are painfully obvious relying solely on our own efforts:
- We don’t know it all
- we can’t do it all
- we don’t have it all
Filling our personal gaps in these areas is where the value of relational development is most noticeable. On the grandest scales, humanity’s greatest achievements materialized on the efforts of those who banded together toward a common goal.
4. Spiritual Development
Depending on who you ask, you’ll get varying answers what spiritual development means, so we’ll use the definition below as an operating standard to be as inclusive as possible.
“Ongoing efforts to master one’s inner self, and move toward a form of ultimate fulfillment while being guided by a foundation of core beliefs.”
Development by this definition involves constant assessing and sharpening of identity traits such as personality, practices, convictions and consciousness against definitive and conceptual ideals of conduct and outlook. The interaction molds ongoing conduct, and views of ourselves as well as the world around us as strides are made toward the ideal result.
Spiritual development is not void of a healthy share of discomfort. Since faith is generally a central construct in this area, expect bouts of skepticism as questions about belief systems and methodologies arise during the journey. This same skepticism also often causes life altering shifts in approaches to spiritual development.
Nonetheless, common end goals are noticed from journeys regardless of faith. Greater desires for universally acceptable traits such as selflessness, peace, community, and unity are normally the result from successfully walking the path of spiritual development.
5. Emotional Development
The ability to accept, process and respond to your emotions and those of others is more important than ever. The great news is advancements in therapy techniques, and the movement toward progressive social standards make this easier and more acceptable to do now than even a decade ago.
Emotional development requires consistent refining of both introspective processes and external expression. While true that we experience impulses from factors beyond our control, how we perceive and respond to those factors is within our abilities to effectively manage.
Emotional awareness and intelligence come with long term benefits in foundational aspects of life such as communication, human interaction and mental health. Generally positive outlooks both internally and externally, higher degrees of sympathy and empathy, and a higher degree of overall self control come with a solid foundation of emotional development.
At its peak, emotional development gives us the ability to understand, connect, and be at peace with ourselves and others. While honest self-assessment, and motivation are generally required, you can expect a generally happier life experience in return.
Throughout the personal development journey, you’ll notice the five areas of opportunity play directly into each other. This dynamic proves itself to be paramount because as with any single entity made up of many smaller pieces, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
#HARDWORKEASYLIVING – Do HWEL For Yourself
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