It’s a grand phrase – personal development- and if you ask people are they interested in it, pretty well all will say yes. If you then ask them “when was the last time they did anything about it”, the answers will either be relating to courses their companies have sent them on, or nothing at all.
The amount of people who actually DO anything about their own personal development is, sadly, a small number.
Why is that? Surely it must be important to people. Well, apparently it isn’t!
Let’s look at some of the possible reasons why this is so.
Firstly, we live in a society where many believe they have a right to xyz. We have a right to free healthcare, we have a right to benefits, we have a right to housing, we have a right to work, we have a right to safety, etc etc.
Essentially, the society in which we live actively encourages us NOT to take responsibility for ourselves because, if all else fails, the society in which we live will make sure we are ok. We live at the effect side of life and society and begin to rely on someone else to take care of us.
Unfortunately this way of thinking can spread across our lives and we can have the mind-set that everything is someone else problem or everything we experience in life is a result of someone elses actions. At this point in people’s thinking when they think about personal development, they look for someone else to invest in it for them.
The problem is, is that personal development is YOUR responsibility. It is not the government’s responsibility, or your company’s responsibility, to invest in YOUR personal development. Of course it would be nice if they did so, but why should they? If you are not prepared to invest yourself, why should they?
I recently had a conversation with a lady who appeared to be very interested in our NLP courses. After 45 minutes on the phone discussing how an NLP Practitioner course would help her with all the issues that she wanted to change in her life, we discussed how much her investment would be. She went away to have a think. A week later we received an email from her saying that she would not be going ahead, she had decided to spend the money on a holiday! A holiday lasts 2 weeks, personal development lasts a lifetime! Obviously, personal development was not high on her list of priorities or values and that is fine so long as there are no regrets later on in life. Will she still have the same issues after her holiday – yes, of course and that is obviously not important to her.
The other reason why people do not take their own personal development seriously is because they get wrapped up in day to day life and do not look into the future. Are they as happy as they could be now? Probably not. Do they have things that they wish to change in their life? Probably. Do they do anything about that? Usually no! Why?
Simply because day to day life gets in the way and one day they will wake up and their life will be gone.
The thing is, we only get one shot at life. We are born with no plan and we decide our own fate. We decide our track in life. No-one else decides that for you. You are where you are today as a result of thousands of decisions that you have made, based on your values and past experiences and the results you are getting today, are likely to be the results that you get in the future UNLESS you change something or do something different.
For many people they go through life doing ‘the right thing’ according to society. They become a mum or dad, they go to work to provide for their kids and, once again, they wake up one day and look back at their lives and can pat themselves on the back for raising the children so well . . .and that’s about it. What could they have done to create a greater purpose to their lives?
I have written about legacy before and it is a great thing to stop for a moment and ask yourself, what will be your legacy. What will they write on your tomb stone? What great achievements will they refer to . . .or will they write something like what’s on the tombstone below.
Remember, the life clock is ticking. . . tick, tock. Do something to improve your life every day because one day the egg timer will run out of sand!