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Part of the trick is to stay with it, after all, you went to school to learn how to learn for 12 years, you may have gone to college to learn specialty skills for 2-5 years or more. The point is you will not understand yourself over night, it will take 90 days just to break into your mind and learn how to operate it and a lifetime to master it. Have you ever taken the time to assess your good and bad points, understood the background to some of your “bad habits”, thought that you are supposed to be wealthy? If not, why not? Everything we do is based on “beliefs”, beliefs are things that we develop over time, some of them are based on fact, some are based on fiction, while others are based on someone else’s beliefs. For example, we know that if you touch a stove-top element when it is hot, you will get burned. Maybe you learned this yourself and experienced the pain or you learned this from someone else that told you.

Not the capital ‘Y’ in You’ above. That is You, and self-belief can keep you there. If you believe that what you are doing each minute of your life is the right thing, then your self-belief should not be in question. Personal development is about developing yourself, improving your worth to yourself and hence being positive in all you do because you know it is right. Ignore others that laugh because you help those less fortunate than yourself. Pity those that smirk when you show compassion to others. On a less philosophical note, stop blaming others for your actions: only you are responsible for what you do. Don’t always seek approval from others – it doesn’t matter what they think, it’s what you think that matters, and if you do something of which you are later ashamed simply to receive approbation, don’t blame those that stimulated you but blame yourself.

The heart of self-development is to strive to be a better person, no matter what the circumstance is. Abraham Lincoln had so many odds against him, suffered so much defeat in his quest for the presidency. But he had a vision, and he had the positive outlook, the values, and the voice to back up his vision. And today, he is remembered as one of the greatest American presidents. Lincoln termed this striving as the quest for self-actualization. For him, self-actualizers are those who have a singleness of mind, who are focused on their goals, despite the odds they face. Self-actualizers to him are those people who have compassion on others and have a general concern for the welfare of the world. Self-actualizers have a purpose to live out, and usually these are lofty goals. You may not see yourself as a self-actualizer, but you do want to develop yourself.

Everybody wants to have more happiness in form of more peace, better relationship, higher income and self-satisfaction. In this connection, knowledge plays a vital role. A person who is more knowledgeable will be in a position to influence others to help him succeed. 1 Reading books: The number one source which individuals adapt for change is through reading books written by experts. Books such as The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Awaken the Giant Within, How to Win Friends & Influence People and many others are very popular self-help books. 2 Audio Learning: Many individuals who are busy and couldn’t devote time to read books regularly are hooked to the idea of listening on go. For example, the time that most of us use in commuting to and from work, or the time that we spend in other routines; can be used to learn new information. 3 Affirmations: Affirmations is a declaration that something is true.

Personal development is simply the improvement of certain life skills that are necessary to promote success and happiness in an individual’s personal life. These personal development skills are the primary building blocks that will shape all the failures or the successes that one has in life. These personal growth skills turn out to be the foundation from which all of one’s accomplishments in life flow from and it are also known to have a direct connection with life success and winning. One major difference between other skills that you have and personal development skills is that you will need to use the latter throughout everyday, whereas you may only need to use your sewing skills 8 to 10 hours each day in the capacity of your job. When you converse with a person, you are using personal growth skills. The food you decide to consume is simply personal development. When you evaluate your feelings, that too is personal development.

The secret to happiness is simple; Love what you do and you will never work a day in your life. Ask yourself, does my work bring me joy? Most people work to pay bills and look forward to the weekend for escape. This is not living, this is survival. It does not have to be this way. Most of us do not obtain what we want because we do not know what we want. In order to find joy we must know what we are looking for and create a personal development plan to follow. Find a quite place and think about the people, places, causes and activities that bring you joy. Write down a list and ask yourself: In what ways can I do these things and make a living at it? Research those topics and ways will begin to reveal themselves to you. Once you have discovered what you love doing, design your life around doing those activities. Your work, play, busy time and down time should be centered on living happy. If your life is not filled with joy, ask yourself “Why Not?” List your activities for a typical day, identify those things you dislike doing and start figuring out how to replace them with things you do. Create a personal development plan to fulfill your dreams! Do not wait for the perfect circumstances to start living your dream. It is not about, “When I start making more money and don’t have to work this job anymore I’ll start my action plan for happiness.” Your plan needs to start now! You must find happiness in your current situation while working to achieve the goals for a joyous future. If you wait to be happy, you never will be.