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How Can Personal Development Change Your Life?

how personal development changes lives

For the sake of your personal development, let’s do a little visualizing and see what kind of personal insight we can gain. Take a minute and close your eyes as you think about your ideal scenario for your life. To make things interesting, allow yourself to abandon all limitations.

If you could create your version of a deeply satisfying, enjoyable, meaningful, empowering life experience, what would it look like? What would it feel like? Who else would be there? Where would you live? What kind of activities would you spend your time on? What kind of physical, emotional, and financial space would you be in?

Go ahead and fill in all the details until the picture looks and feels just right. In fact, don’t open your eyes until you are really clear on all the details and can actually feel yourself in the picture.

Hold that beautiful vision in your mind

How does that visualized life compare with your current reality? Is it close? Are you moving toward it, or is the difference like night and day? Guess what, it really doesn’t matter because life is not a destination, it’s a journey. The important thing is that we are traveling in the direction we want to go and enjoying ourselves along the way.

The vision is important because it defines our personal development path and gives us something to move toward, not because life starts when we get there. Life is what happens along the way and that’s where we need to have that deeply satisfying, enjoyable, meaningful, empowering life experience.

How do we do that?

This is where personal development comes in. Why do you think the whole concept of personal development and self-improvement is so popular these days? It’s because our path defines our personal development process. Amazingly, most people don’t fully appreciate the life altering paradigm shift that happens as a result of pursuing our own personal development vision of a truly meaningful life.

There seems to be a natural tendency to focus on the external results that come from things like improving our communication skills or learning to effectively set and achieve goals. Don’t get me wrong, those things are certainly valuable, but there is more, much more! Striving to stay on our personal development path, and live up to a higher standard always creates greater value in our personal life and the lives of those around us.

The personal development shift

Personal development has a profound effect on every single aspect of our life.  As we grow on a personal level, we begin to feel more passionate about life in general. We are naturally more motivated because learning and growing adds motivation and a sense of excitement.

Personal development provides us with both the incentive and the means to become the best possible version of ourselves.  Instead of becoming more self-focused, personal development expands our frame of reference to include the people around us.  As our world expands, so does our awareness of the possibilities and opportunities around us. This possibility mindset fills us with an attitude of eager anticipation as we look forward to each new day.

Forget ordinary, go for extraordinary!

Contrast this with a lifestyle that seems endlessly repetitive. A mere existence, made up of a mundane routine with nothing much to look forward to except getting through the day, the week, the year.  Learning gets replaced with mindless entertainment as a person’s world grows smaller and smaller.  That’s what happens to people who abandon their personal development vision.

We all started out believing that a better life is possible.  At some point in our lives, we all dreamed of accomplishing great things and living a life of value and purpose.  Unfortunately, it is far too easy to allow the demands and frustrations of daily living to dampen those hopes and squash those dreams.  When this happens we begin to settle for just getting by. Without a personal development vision, life can be so demanding that it leaves you feeling trapped on an endless merry-go-round that never leads anywhere.

Never abandon your beautiful personal development vision!

The truth is, we all have the capacity to take charge of our lives and to make our dreams come true.  Yes, this requires that we learn new life skills and change our beliefs about what is possible, but what could be more exciting than that?

Personal development is a doorway to a life that is both exciting and fulfilling – A life that is full of endless opportunities and amazing possibilities.  Don’t allow your life to become an endurance contest; you deserve much more than that.

Growing as a person creates opportunities to reclaim your dreams, transform your life and make a valuable contribution to the world around you. So hang onto your personal development vision no matter what and view each day as an opportunity to move in that direction. See life as an adventure in personal development and remember, life is not a destination, it’s a journey.

How does your personal development vision make you feel?
Do you feel like you are moving in the right direction?
The lines are open!

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29 Comments

  1. Jon July 2, 2010 Reply

    Like Russell Simmons says: Freeze your vision in your mind and keep it with you at all times.

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Hey Kid, that’s I good way to put it. Keeping that vision close reminds our nervous system where we want to go.

  2. Sandra Hendricks July 2, 2010 Reply

    This is a very good post Jonathan. Personal development is far more than meets the mind. It is about an inner association that genuinely does make life fruitful and helps us see the value in ourselves, as well as other people.

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Hi Sandra, like so many other things, in personal development there is a tendency to see the surface and not grasp the depth. I think we are conditioned to put greater emphasis on certain kinds of results and just blow past the details. So often though, the real beauty and meaning is in the details.

  3. Marko July 2, 2010 Reply

    I think that we should look at personal development from the two sides. First, it is the vision, objectives, intentions and so on. To me personally it’s helped a lot, I have written plans, projects and so on.

    However, on the other hand, personal development is what we do at the present time. Also, our beliefs, values, etc. has a huge impact. All this makes a huge area of personal development that will help mankind to become better and better.

    I would add one more thing… Without a clear vision, there is no enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm, there is no strength for development. No strength, no determination and confidence. All that makes life what we want…
    A great post Jonathan, Cheers….

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Hey Marko, I like this: “Without a clear vision, there is no enthusiasm. Without enthusiasm, there is no strength for development.” When I read that I immediately thought of how people often struggle with motivation (enthusiasm). Could we trace a lack of motivation back to a lack of clear vision? Many times it’s either that or a vision that is not revisited often enough.

  4. Dia July 2, 2010 Reply

    Nice post Jonathan! Personal development is about improving ourselves all the times in all areas in life. If we are not improving ourselves constantly, then we are not growing. Thanks for sharing Jonathan!

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Hi Dia, I think that many of us share the same passion for personal growth. There is something so rewarding about knowing that we are in the process of becoming better versions of ourselves.

  5. John Rocheleau July 2, 2010 Reply

    Jonathan,

    Your heading, “Never abandon your beautiful vision!” says it all.

    Every effort must have a goal, and your “beautiful vision” of yourself is something that each of us can trace back to childhood. We are born with this vision. It is the essential substance of our true development.

    As you say, we should never lose it. And for those that are not certain what that vision is, realizing their personal vision is the first step to any true and worthy personal development.

    Cheers,
    John

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Greetings John, great to have you here. It’s ironic how we encourage young ones to dream big with reference to what they want to be when they grow up. Then when they get a little older they are told to conform to the same reality as everyone else. In other words, stop being such a dreamer. What a cultural disservice this is. I shutter to think where I would be if not for my vision. You can’t live a dream life without a dream!

  6. Sandra Lee July 2, 2010 Reply

    Jonathan, I will copy this visualization on a sticky to remind myself to visualize my perfect life experience again and again. It is so simply but goes directly to the heart of the matter! There’s no question that I am on a beautiful path but I easily see using this visualization to enhance it further. Thank you so much.

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Hi Sandra, they say that we become what we focus on. Sounds oversimplified, I know, but think about it from a slightly different perspective. Could we ever expect to become what we neglect to focus on?

      While holding our vision doesn’t automatically change our reality, it does change our direction, course of action, focus, expectations, and interests. In other words, it give us an entirely different perspective and motive. That combination will eventually change our reality.

  7. Very useful post, Jonathan. Thank you!

    Personal development occurs in the moment. In any moment we can choose – past conditioning or higher vision, fear or freedom. When we allow our full potential to have space for expression, we reclaim our dreams and our true selves for the benefit of all.

    Your post offers a great service by inspiring us to live lives of integrity.

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      What a beautiful comment Gail. You packed so much truth into so few words. I love it. I think that we sometimes forget that everything in life occurs in the moment. The past is history, we get to choose how or if that matters. The future is a dream that we are imagining and shaping. But life happens in the here and now. Right now is where we actually do the living.

  8. irtiza104 July 3, 2010 Reply

    Hi Jonathan,

    Personal development or self improvement is really important for building a stronger, better and more confident personality. I really believe that it helps us to feel better about ourselves…

    best wishes
    irtiza104

    • Jonathan January 13, 2011 Reply

      Hi Irtiza, It certainly does. Life keeps on moving and changing, we need to grow and develop along with it.

  9. Robin Easton July 3, 2010 Reply

    Dear Jonathan!! This writing here just gave me goosebumps reading it is so powerful and very “tell-it-like-it-is” writing, which I just LOVE!!! You wrote:

    “Contrast this with a lifestyle that seems endlessly repetitive. A mere existence, made up of a mundane routine with nothing much to look forward to except getting through the day, the week, the year. Learning gets replaced with mindless entertainment as a person’s world grows smaller and smaller. That’s what happens to people who abandon their vision.”

    Yes, that is why learning, risk taking, exploration of both ourselves and Life is so “vital to our vitality”, our sanity, our passion, our health, our creativity, our longevity and so much more.

    Bless you for spelling it honestly out like this. It makes people feel, which allows them more opportunity to choose and grow.

    Hugs to you my friend,
    Robin

    • Jonathan July 3, 2010 Reply

      Hello Robin, it bothers me that society is structured to strip away peoples dreams while claiming to do the exact opposite. Dreams are like gardens, they need to be cultivated and nurtured. They need to be assigned value and shown respect or they get trampled down in the name of being realistic.

      Every great discovery and invention has been the result of someone refusing to abandon their vision. The greatest potential of each individual human resides in our vision. We can all choose to unlock that potential and grow into the best possible version of ourselves. The possibilities are enormous, but very few are truly aware of it. I guess I was hoping to stimulate some awareness.

      Thanks for being here Robin, it means more than you know. Hugs and gratitude.

  10. Frank July 8, 2010 Reply

    As I stop and think about my “vision” I get excited about the possibilities if I can maintain my effort and course. Although I have an idea of where I want to go I think the trouble is making sure I stay on the right path. Is there an easy way out? I have found there isn’t. You have to keep working hard until you get where you want to go.

    • Jonathan July 8, 2010 Reply

      Hi Frank, the more real your vision is the easier it is to stay on course. Of course we do need to keep working at it, but holding the vision close makes the process more natural and reduces resistance.

  11. Paul November 6, 2012 Reply

    Hi Jonathan, awesome post. A GREAT reminder!

    I love how the universe works. Today I was on a work training call and we went through a very very similar visualisation. While browsing the net today I came across your post, without even trying to look. Your post strengthens and reminds me of how powerful this type of visualisation is. A simple exercise with such profound effects on how we see ourselves now and how we see our future selves.

    I love how each day is a new beginning and each step we take in that day is stepping into a new now. With each step we can choose to step into a new frame of mind or step into anything that we choose.

    Thank you, have a great day!

    Cheers,
    Paul

  12. Michael Shuchter December 16, 2013 Reply

    I love the line “forget ordinary, go for extraordinary.” I think that is such an important reminder, as most people I encounter see themselves as less than they really are and as a result, live their lives small. In my practice working with business people, I have to constantly remind them to start with a vision of ‘ideal’ for their business or their careers, before introducing limitations.

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