Personal growth and development became a significant part of my life after a business partner passed me an audio CD that featured a guy named Jim Rohn. Listening to that training in my car not only fed my dreams and gave me direction, but it was also the birthplace of a philosophy I would go on to develop in my life that is centered around being a lifelong learner. I can remember how it wet my palate, so to speak, and I soon began craving resources and information that could help me grow and develop into a better person.
Several months after my introduction to personal growth and development, I received one of the best compliments I believe anyone could ever give me. An acquaintance at the time (from high school and college), now a close friend (who invited me to stand next to him on his wedding day), said, "Dude, what have you been doing? You're not the Jeremy I knew of in college!" For someone to say you're not the same person they used to know, that's a pretty big deal. That means you're growing and developing; not standing still.
Now that I've been on my personal growth and development journey for nearly 10 years, my passion has grown tremendously for helping others begin theirs. The growth journey looks different for each person, because we all begin at a different place. But if we want to become our best self, we all must first begin .
"If you wish to add more value to the lives of the people around you,
you must decide to become more valuable yourself."
Here's a super simple approach to personal growth:
1. Develop a plan
You may or may not be a big reader, and if you're not, I understand. I only read one book from cover to cover in high school (by requirement). I liked that pace so well, I did the same exact thing in college (by choice). But, when I bought into the idea that leaders are readers, I decided I was going to read the same material that other successful and significant people had read. I put together a simple plan of reading on a regular basis, replacing what I listened to in my car, and attending as many events as I could where I could meet quality people and learn from other leaders.
2. Be consistent
Whatever plan you lay out... whatever pace you set... just be consistent. When I began, I listened to 10-15 minutes of audio a day and I read 5-10 pages of a book a day. How long did that take me? Not long. Who can do that? Anybody. It was the consistency of these actions (easy to do; easy not to do) and the commitment to better myself that helped me develop an appreciation for personal growth. Now, these growth activities are like second nature to me.
3. Apply and share what you learn
It wasn't long before I realized that making a positive difference in the world didn't magically deliciously happen just because I learned a few new things. The goal of personal growth is not to simply become a more knowledgeable, self-aware individual. The goal of personal growth is ultimately to become of better service to others. You do that by studying, practicing, and teaching. Whatever you learn, put it into practice and pass it along to others.
4. Remain a student
We learn best by doing, so as you apply what you learn, you will be able to collect more experiences. As you share what you learn, you will be able to build better relationships. These experiences and relationships will be your greatest teachers. As you grow to appreciate personal growth and development, you will also grow to appreciate the journey. If you believe you can always better your best, you know that in order to do that, you must always remain a humble, hard-working student.
This simple approach helped me grow tremendously. I actually believe I learned more in my first couple of years utilizing this basic personal development plan than I did in over a decade of public education. Will Rogers once said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." And Lou Holtz said, "In this world you're either growing or you're dying, so get in motion and grow."
There are tons of resources that are readily available and easily accessible. Decide who you would like to learn from and get started. In no time, someone will likely say, "You're not the same person I used to know." And if you're growing, that's a good thing!
Love you guys. Let's grow.
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