personality development and your masks

1000x Your Personal Development: Live a Remarkable Life

Do you pursue personal development? I dare you to do a simple experiment. For the next seven days, ask a hundred people this question.

I have no idea what percentage of people will say “yes” to you. Everything depends on who these people are.

I tried this experiment with school principals. Many years ago, I had a series of seminars that teaches school principals the discipline of execution. I was expecting to get a lot of yeses from them. So I started asking questions.

“Raise your hand if you believe that personal development is important?” Almost everyone raised a hand.

“Raise your hand if you actively pursue personal development?” About 50 in a hundred raised their hands.

“Who among you regularly read a book about leadership and teaching?” Only three raised their hands.

I continued. I asked about seminars, writing, research, and some other things which I demonstrate that they are actively seeking personal growth.

Even those who believe in the importance of personal development do not pursue it.

But I know one thing.

If you ask successful people, you will surely find that they seek many ways to grow.

Successful people pursue personal development not because they are successful. They are successful because they pursue personal development.

You are one of them.

Personal development is a discipline and a continuing quest to transform yourself to become the best you can be. Some authors call personal development personal mastery, personal excellence, self-improvement, and self-leadership.

Leaders who pursue personal development are not satisfied with the status quo. I call it inspirational dissatisfaction. These leaders believe in daily awesomeness and that they can turn mistakes into mastery.

May this guide help you on your journey.

What Is Personal Development?

Personal development is a collective term that refers both to the process and the activities individuals take to holistically develop themselves. Personal development may include efforts to improve these six areas: physical, economic, social, spiritual, relational, and intellectual growth. It is a lifelong process of becoming your best.

It is common to think of personal development as self-improvement. In self-improvement, you apply ways to improve your knowledge, skills, and attitude. But personal development is not only acquiring all these. Personal development is a journey to self-transformation.

You can transform your life by pursuing personal development. It is not as difficult as most people imagined.

65-year-old Zig told us that personal development is a lifelong pursuit. He said that he has his 10-year personal development plan.

16-year-old Jazz wants to start early to be the person she wants to be. She does not believe that someone needs to be ready to get started. To be prepared is to start when you are not yet an expert.

Age doesn’t matter. What matters is that you decide to keep on growing and become your damnedest best.

God has given you the gifts to be the master of your fate and the captain of your soul.

personal development
Move up. Always.

Six Areas of Personal Development

I have mentioned the six areas people pay attention to when pursuing personal development. I will make a brief explanation of each. Since personal development is a holistic process, I won’t be surprised if there are other areas that I have not considered.


We have different physical goals.

Some people spend hours in a gym each day, while others spend the same number of hours on a couch watching Netflix.

Every morning, some wake up very early for a morning run while some stay in bed until noontime.

Some like to dance. Others do yoga.

Some people want to be thinner. Others want to build Mr. Universe muscles.

People seek ways to feel good. Feeling good, of course, is subjective.

In my book, improvement in the physical area has everything to do with health and wellness. The intention is not only to avoid disease and prolong life but to enjoy it.


This is seldom mentioned. Probably because some think that money has nothing to do with personal development. On the contrary, much of our goals have something to do with the ability to buy our happiness and peace of mind.

Often, people say that they cannot take care of their health and wellness because they don’t have the financial capability to maintain it.

We all want to grow our ability to monetize our assets. We don’t just want to grow healthy, we also want to be wealthy. Wealth and wellness go together.

We need to develop the mindset and abilities to become healthy, wealthy, and happy.

Relational (or Emotional)

Becoming connected with others is a legitimate personal goal. To love and be loved by someone is in our DNA. To belong to a happy family or to form one is a dream that most of us seek.

Above, I said that one goal of personality development is to be able to sell ourselves to others (personal branding). Personal development, on the other hand, is our desire to become part of others.

Our relational goals are often more significant than our social goals.


At the very least, our social goal is to live in harmony with the people in our community. My village is my community. Here I see people, I talk to some of them. I get to interact with some, even in the time of the pandemic, every time I walk my dog.

Some people have online communities. There are communities for online gamers, content writers, book lovers, and so on.

We want to belong.

Some seek higher status in social groups. They find happiness being looked up to in a community. They invest time and other resources to get the status they desire.

In creating your development plan, you may include your networking strategy. You will identify the kind of people you want to be associated with.


You do not have to be religious to be spiritual. At least, that’s how some people say about themselves.

Some people join religions because they want to ensure that they get to a better place after they die. And some even go to the extent of thinking that they’ll be the only people who will be saved. These are their beliefs, which though I don’t agree with, I respect.

I am not sure if atheists are not spiritual. They don’t believe in spiritualism. Likely, they are not pursuing the belief in the “Supreme Being”. But a lot of them are spending much time explaining their beliefs.

Maybe, it has something to do with their intellectual goals.

I believe that even if people do not have spiritual and religious goals, they seek to become good persons. Becoming a good person is a goal worth our time.


Most of us who went to school understand that the pursuit of education is intellectual growth. Some of us seek knowledge for knowledge is power. Others seek knowledge for what it brings.

Many of us went to college, not because of knowledge, but because graduating from college would make us look more knowledgeable. We want a good job.

Of course, we have heard of college dropouts who eventually became billionaires.

Intellectual growth is in my personal development plan because it helped me grow in other areas of my life. It is a multiplier and amplifier.

So, I read books and articles each day. I listen to podcasts, and I write a lot. I invest in personal development.

Personality development goes with the awareness that we wear different masks.
We wear masks.

Personality Development

I took personality development when I was in college. We don’t have a personal development course. I wonder why.

Personality development includes the study of our patterns of behavior. You may call it personality styles. The objective is for you to learn about the personalities of those around you so you can adjust how you relate yourself to them.

You look into people’s values and beliefs to understand how they behave. The most that I got from the personality development course is that you can decide what personality (mask) you can wear depending on the situation.

A knowledge of personality development can help you position yourself. You can determine how people will regard you. Nowadays, people in the corporate world prefer to use the term personal branding.

I think personal branding is a good alternative term. Personality development often focuses on the externals.

Personal development is holistic development. It is the core. It is not dependent on understanding the personalities of others, though the latter may help in understanding oneself. Personal development is an end, and personality development or personal branding is a means to an end.

Professional development
We ought to grow professionally.

Professional Development

There is a need to distinguish between professional development and personal development. In some workplaces in the Philippines, they are often interchanged.

Professional development refers to the process and activities professionals undertake to increase their value in the corporate world. This may include understanding how their industry works, developing competencies, and acquiring special skills that will make them distinctive and indispensable.

Professionals are deemed valuable not only because they achieve personal goals. They make themselves indispensable when they are important to the achievement of corporate goals.

Professional development may include leadership development, career development, and personal development.

Personal development, as mentioned above, is holistic. Professional development can be one of your personal goals. You can have many personal goals outside of work.

Imagine a Venn diagram, one circle is personal development and another is professional development. Though personal development is a bigger circle than professional development, some parts do not belong to both circles.

Importance of Personal Development

Personal development is important to all of us. We are meant to grow, like plants, and reach our fullest potential.

Plants need fertile soil, sun, and water to grow. The right combination will make them grow and multiply. If you cultivate the land and trim them, plants will grow according to your desire.

In the same vein, we have to be intentional in our growth. Unlike plants, we can define how we want to live our lives. We can accelerate our growth. We can position ourselves so we can live the lives we desire.

Personal development is important because if we are not intentionally working on ourselves, we may fail to become the person we want to be and become someone we dislike. The worst thing to happen to us is to dislike ourselves.

George Bernard Shaw famously observed that there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch what happens, and those who wonder what happened.

Someone who invests in personal development makes things happen.

Sail your ship.
Sail your ship.

Leadership & Personal Development

Good leaders are very passionate about personal development. Therefore, there must be something about personal development that these leaders know.

Here’s why: Leaders pursue personal development to become effective.

Effective leaders do not pursue personal excellence because they are effective leaders. Instead, they are effective leaders because they pursue personal development.

And why is this important?

This means that you and I do not have to be extra-ordinary to design our destiny.

An ordinary person like Jef Menguin can pursue personal development. And because he pursues it, he will grow better and better each day. One day he will become a new person.


This is true for an average guy like me. This is true for you.

You can become a better person — a better leader — by making one tiny step each day. You can start anytime. You can start next month or next week. You can start today. The choice is yours.

So, how do you do that?

aspects of personal development
Aspects of Personal Development

Why Leaders Pursue Personal Development

Many good people are contented with good enough. They don’t seek personal growth. They have wishes too, but they don’t care enough.

Even if you provide them with the information, it does not mean that they’ll do something.

Spending three hours each day on Facebook will provide volumes of information. But spending time on Facebook or Netflix, or Twitter won’t make us change.

Because we do not need much information. We need inspiration.

Allow me to share with you three insights about personal development.

They are dissatisfied with the status quo.

Dissatisfaction makes good leaders pursue personal development.

I was born to an impoverished family. My father was a construction worker; my mother was a laundrywoman. Both did not have regular jobs. When I was young, on some occasions, we only managed to eat once a day — even on holidays.

For many of us in the slums, life was predictable. Most of us would grow old like most of our parents: poor and powerless.

You got the idea.

Listen. Not everyone who was born into poverty will leave it. Sure, people complain a lot. Many believe that the fault is in the stars — or in the politicians who bought their votes.

People who pursue personal development are dissatisfied with their situations. No power on earth could make them stay with the status quo.

At the age of nine, I saw the future for me. I would drop out of school. I would marry at a young age, be a drug addict, or would have died young. My future was predictable.

At age twelve, I decided to change the course of my destiny. I was both dissatisfied and inspired.

I did not like what I saw. And I was inspired to create the life I desired.

People cry every time I tell my story. But they do not need to cry for me. One does not have to be poor to be miserable. It is a misery to wallow in mediocrity.

Inspirational dissatisfaction makes us move to change our life.

I don’t know you — but I know that there are situations that you want to change in life.

It might be that you want to find a cure for cancer — and you are looking for opportunities to get people to support you.

It might be that you are sick and tired of politicians. Yet, you believe that you can serve people better by getting yourself elected to office.

It might be that you see ugly squared buildings everywhere. And you want to inspire creativity and artistry.

It might be that you have a decent job and you receive a decent salary. But you have unused talents and big dreams. And you do not want to wait any longer. You want to make things happen now.

You can.

You can.

You can.

Do you need to be intelligent?

You do not have to be intelligent to pursue personal development.

Sometimes, being intelligent is an obstacle. Intelligent people talk to themselves too much. That’s not the problem. The problem is that they believe in themselves.

Logic paralyzes them. Limiting world views imprison them.

They don’t take risks. They strive to place themselves in “good” situations. They play same-same, slow and safe.

This world was not changed by intelligent people. People who are inspirationally dissatisfied change the world.

Personal development is a heart decision.

Remember, logic does not move people. Emotion does.

Pause for a moment. Think about all the things in your life that you are very dissatisfied with. Write your answers. I will wait for you.

Are you done?

Over the years, I have delivered hundreds of speeches and run dozens of workshops on personal excellence. Today, I usually focus on six topics that interest my clients most:

How to Create a Sense of Urgency
How to Encourage Accountability
How to Inspire Initiative at Work
How to Cultivate Malasakit in the Workplace
How to Become Happy and Productive
How to Start Your Tiny Positive Habits

Each time I deliver, I grow. I remind myself not to be complacent, not to be okay with good enough.

I seek to spread awesomeness. My aim is not to become the best because there is always someone better than us. What I seek is to do my damnedest best always.

Personal excellence is a constant reinvention of self. And when you invite me, I will tell you the same thing. Nothing less.

Then I will tell you what you can do when inspired dissatisfaction moved you.

Personal development helps you discover your superpowers.
Personal Development: Discover Your Ability to Fly

They are inspired to create a new future.

You want what’s best.

I also have tried tools and techniques in personal development.

Visualization. Affirmation. Mantra. Productivity apps. Life hacks.

These tools are interesting. But for the most part, these tools can help you move like a headless chicken.

Because a person who has a purpose does not have to visualize and imagine the unreal. They do not need to convince themselves every day. They do not have to paint pictures of fantastic days.

They don’t only imagine, they do their damndest best.

For Salespeople

If you are a salesman, grow your knowledge about your profession. Understand how people buy. Have complete and unequal expertise about your products and services.

Find everything there is that will make you the trusted advisor of your clients.

Be an awesome salesperson.

For Managers

If you are a manager, grow your knowledge about your business. Master what everyone knows about your industry.

Find out what managers do in other sectors. Study performance psychology and learn what motivates people.

Learn management principles and strategies.

Find out the simplest and best ways to make things happen.

Attend seminars on leadership. Buy books on training and coaching, and mentoring. Find ways to stand out. Stay ahead.

Be an awesome manager.

For Teachers

If you are a teacher, distinguish yourself. Be the best resource for your students.

You cannot give them what you do not have.

Read books. Study teaching strategies. Practice active learning approaches, then create your own approach.

Make the most of your time.

Encourage your students.

Join Toastmasters and communicate better. You can impact the world. Impact the world faster, cheaper, simpler, and better.

Be an awesome teacher.

For Priests

If you are a priest, master your catechism.

Practice what you preach for impact.

Study what people want and need. Give it to them, or at least show them how to get it.

Every week, every day, you have opportunities to change people’s lives. Prepare them not only for heaven. Equip them for a better life here on earth.

Model the way. Work, work, work like St Paul. Work, work, work like Jesus the Carpenter.

Don’t be contented with what people give you. Be the giver.

Be an awesome priest.

For Speakers

If you are a speaker, study people.

We are not in the speaking business; we are in the business of helping people.

Our success is not dependent on our platform skills or marketing campaigns. Our success is anchored on our ability to provide the best help to our clients.

Don’t just make them laugh. Give them concrete solutions.

Attend seminars. Watch other speakers. Read books. Study everything that your clients need to know.

Show them pure and unadulterated intellectual firepower. Be their most trusted advisor.

Be an awesome speaker.

Personal development is the pursuit of awesomeness. You want to become your best.

Awesomeness is a lifestyle. You have to choose it. Because if you don’t pick awesomeness, personal development will not make sense.

But if you want to become your best, you won’t need motivational quotes to move you. Instead, people will quote you because you infect people with your enthusiasm and energy.

People who pursue personal development spread awesomeness. They grow their knowledge about their profession and their vocation. They blaze the trail. They help others become successful.

They learn from their mistakes.

Personal development insight: Leaders from your mistakes.
Learn from your mistakes.

I am not yet done.

What I will tell you next is of great importance that you have to read them word for word:

Your mistakes will show you the road to mastery. So, make more mistakes.

In short, create your OWN formula for success.

I have made more mistakes than most people can imagine. However, each mistake taught me valuable lessons.

If you continue reading my articles, you will understand.

Your mistakes will give you valuable education, which no speaker can provide you. I share my stories because I want you to remember yours — and learn what I have done with my experience.

You can create your own formula and turn your mistakes into mastery.

Pursue personal development so you can become the person you really want to be.

Invest in Personal Development

Someone posted on Facebook that for the last three years, he invested 125,000 dollars in personal development. Comments were mixed. Most thought that he overpaid people to tell him what he already knew. Others said that the mere fact that he has to brag about how much he spent, his investment did not help him.

The only reason that I cannot spend 125,000 dollars on personal development is that I am not a multimillionaire. 

Remember, Lady Gaga offered half a million dollars for the return of her two stolen dogs. People pay money for what matters to them. 

I do not quarrel with people who will spend a million dollars on personal development. And I believe that’s the point of the FB post.

I learned about personal development when I was in first-year high school. 

I will tell you how my learning journey began.

I just came out from the Annex of Antipolo Municipal High School. I was on my way to ML Quezon Avenue when I noticed a garage sale.  

I saw old books which were 5 and 10 pesos. I even got some books for two pesos each. 

I bought eight books that include 

  • On Writing Well by William Zinsser, 
  • Elements of Style by William Strunk, 
  • Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, 
  • On Selling (I forgot the author),
  • a book on world history, 
  • one on homeopathy (only because it sounds interesting), 
  • one on speaking with confidence, and 
  • How to Make Friends and Influence People by Carnegie. 

My mother was surprised when I brought home two plastic bags filled with books. When she asked me how I got them all, I told her that I used my tricycle allowance.

I spent most of my one-week allowance on these books. That meant that I had to stay away from the canteen during recess time. 

I also have to walk on my way home for five consecutive days (2.4 kilometers). I bargained my one-week allowance for ideas that impact my thinking until today. Yes, the money wasn’t huge. But it was all I had.

No price is too high for personal development. It multiplies every peso you invest in.


empty book

Start now. Act before you are ready.

For me to write that book that I finished in 14 days meant that I had to sit down and write for six hours. I decided that the researching part was over. All I need is to go all in and help people. The best step to write a book is not trying to write but to write. Daily. In the number of hours you want. Until you get done.
featured 6

Stop Wishing and Start Doing

Motivation and ability fail people. Not only that they need to develop skills of achievement, but they must also develop achievement habits. Stop wishing and start winning.
your starting line is today

Start Something Today

I do not know you. But I think you can start one small action today that will help you build yourself. Let us brainstorm. I think you can start…
dreams come true

Make your dreams come true.

At a young age, I learned how to look for ways to earn some money so we could keep our bodies and souls together. Poverty is painful, and it often dulls the mind. I was eleven. We were living in slums.
take the first step

Urgent dreams.

A journey to a thousand miles begins in a single step. That’s according to a dead but wise Chinese philosopher.

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