The meaning of self-development differs from one person to another. The dictionary definition may help you understand how experts see it. But you ought to make your definition and live your life today.
Self-development skills, on the other hand, are easier to define. Self-development skills refer to the ability of the person to achieve personal development goals. Develop skills that make will it easier and faster for your to succeed.
What does self-development mean to you?
I have asked this question many times and always get different answers. There are similarities, but the endpoint is often different.
When I ask a hundred people, it is likely that most of them won’t be able to give an answer. Most people don’t think about it.
But there are those who can manage to give answers. And as I have mentioned they tend to differ. But you can at least identify similar answers. Let me share the two most popular answers to this question.
Become the ideal person.
Mary, who is teaching catechism, said that self-development is to be Christ-like. One who is born-again is no longer the same person. That person must grow himself into the person that she wants to be.
I asked her how to do that. She said that we only need to follow the teachings of Christ, which we can find in the Bible and the teachings of the Catholic Church.
For many, self-development means molding themselves after a person they admire. Many want to be Christ-like in their ways. Others are seeking enlightenment through the teachings of Buddha. And some follow the footsteps of cult leaders.
And this definition includes those trying to become the idealized version of the persons they admire. And sometimes, this leads to wrong results. For example, have you heard of people who spend time and money to be copycats of someone else?
When starting my career as a motivational speaker, I wanted to become the X of the Philippines. X refers to the name of the person I admire. Becoming like somebody was my version of self-development.
Reach highest potential.
Another popular definition of self-development is to reach your highest potential. I learned this when I was in school. I still hear teachers talk about self-development as the activities you do to reach your highest potential.
That’s easy to understand in the context of people who rate everything you do. Very few get a grade of 100. Most of us get the average. And as we move up, even at work, most of us are just average.
Self-development, in this context, is a lifelong process. Yes, self-development, we learned, is a lifelong process to reach our highest potential. But I have yet to hear someone say he has already earned his fullest potential.
Becoming your damndest best as a lifelong process is a good excuse for not becoming the best today. We have a lifetime to do it. But what does it really mean? It is like running towards an endpoint that keeps moving a kilometer ahead of you.
Reaching full potential is an unreachable long-life process.
Think about that.
What is self-development to me?
Whoever I was when I was young, I barely remember. Our past is like a dream. We have stories of how it was, but many details have already left us.
What I know is that self-development happens to us even without our notice. We become the person we are today because of our circumstances and choices. Most of which we no longer remember.
I am evolving.
Self-development is evolution. Most of us adapt ourselves to the changing times. We evolve. Some of us evolved without their notice. Others evolved deliberately through study and practice, akin to what athletes do to be in perfect shape.
I can transform.
Self-development is self-transformation. For example, I want to become an excellent businessperson and a good boss. I want to be a loving husband and father. I want to make a difference in the world. And I can do this by becoming that person today.
Self-development is not a destination. It is what we experience today. And we can decide how we want to live today.
Yes, we ought to aspire to become our damnedest best. But we don’t have to imagine a lifetime to do that. No one knows how long a person will live.
What we have is today. And today, we will do our best. Today, we can better our best. We can practice personal excellence each day.
Build self-development skills.
Self-development skills help leaders succeed. Leaders who focus on personal mastery or self-growth find it easier to lead others.
Before you pay attention to helping others, take care of yourself first.
Self-development in various aspects magnifies when we do it for the sake of others. I encourage you to discover these six aspects of self-development again and find out how you can work on each. In the comment section, you can also share your ideas on the best ways to improve yourself.
In Successful People Seek Personal Development, I shared the three reasons people pursue self-improvement.
Success and self-development.
I have mentioned the importance of self-development in our professional life. Successful people continue to seek self-development.
I am convinced that they are successful because of self-development. Self-development breeds success. So, the best time to start self-development is when you feel you are not yet successful.
And when is the best time to stop it?
I will give you a hint. I learned a principle from Vic S.
The moment you stop growing, you stop dying.
Self-development is your vitamin. It gives life. It will continuously energize us. And when you feel that you don’t have any enthusiasm for life and living, self-development will bring you there.
Self-development connect us to other humans. That’s the paradox. When we improve ourselves, we become more connected with others. And when we join with others, we become truly alive.
You can say that self-development is our intention to live life to the fullest.
Self-development Success Tips
This hero guide has given you the big strokes in personal development. I shared with you the simple steps to personal development. If you missed that, you could jump to that section now.
I have also shared a few strategies for personal development. You don’t need many strategies. You only need one or two that will work for you. Be clear about your strategy when you engage in a personal development or leadership project.
While you are here, let me share with you practical self-development tips.
I have written dozens of self-development tips. The best way to find them is to go to 50 Self-Improvement Tips. Each tip will lead you to a link that will teach you how to develop yourself.
But before you read them, think of three persons who can benefit from what you learn.