Have you ever felt stuck, uninspired, dreaming of a better life or business, but with no idea how to get it…or even what it really looks like?
Welcome to the club.
There are two ways to get what you want in life. Let’s back up, actually. There are two ways to figure out what you want in life, which happen to be the same two ways to get it, too. They are: 1. Live your life on autopilot, doing what you’ve always done, waiting for that elusive thing you desire to fall into your lap. 2. Take personal responsibility and intentionally and continually learn and grow into the person you need to be to attract the life you really want. The first way is completely out of your control. The second is completely up to you.
So, if you choose the second way (yes, choose the second way) and decide to grow out of the shell you’re in, there are some very practical things you can do to enhance your personal development.
Why everyone should read for personal development’
You may be surprised by how few people actually read for personal growth. You may be in that group, yourself. “I’m just not a reader.” “I can’t stay focused long enough.” “I get bored too easily.” Any of those sound familiar? The truth is reading requires discipline. That’s where most people get stuck. They’d rather do what’s comfortable, hoping things just happen for them. Starting out is the hardest part, but once it’s built as a habit, the desire to read will increase.
The more you read the clearer you will become on what really interests you. This a crucial step in the whole “follow your dreams” advice. You have to know what your dreams are to begin with. The more you read, the more you learn, and the more you get out of a boxed-in, limited way of thinking. You’ll be open to new opinions and you’ll stretch your mind to grasp new concepts and ideas. You’ll also discover what specific things you are most curious about.
If you ever need to gain clarity on something, write about it. There’s something about writing that helps you understand what’s really swirling around in your head. When you write down your thoughts and ideas, you better understand what you actually mean. It also helps you get those thoughts out of your heard. When you do, new, deeper thoughts start to develop. There is an endless amount of creativity in your own mind. Writing helps you discover that, and get get really clear about what you really want. Ultimately, it will expand your own understanding and most of all, it will help you communicate better.
Writing is another one of those things that many people don’t like to do. “I’m just not good at it.” “I don’t know what to write.” “I’m not inspired enough.” The reasons go on and on. But, like anything else that’s worth doing, it requires discipline. It requires concerted effort on a regular basis to improve. The interesting thing about writing is the more you do it, the more you’ll have to write. Inspiration follows action. If you wait to be inspired, you’ll be waiting a long time. Write anyway and see what happens.
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to get you out of a funk. Getting the body moving and the blood flowing helps to relieve stress, clear the mind, and improve your mood. Not to mention all of things that we already know like improving your physical health, i.e. strength, endurance, body shape, etc. Here’s the catch, and we all know it: exercise is not fun. It requires you to get physically uncomfortable if you want to see real growth.
Most likely, the life you really want will require you to be in great physical shape. You’ll need to have stamina to be successful in the daily grind to making a big dream come true. This is true of growing a business, or taking on any venture of significant size. You don’t want to be out of shape and tired all the time. You need to be the person who can do the things you dream about. You need to be fit, strong, and mentally healthy. Regular exercise gives you all three.
By now, you may have noticed the theme throughout this article, the secret ingredient to personal growth: self-discipline. If you feel stuck, unsure about where to go in life or about what you want, and don’t know what to do, start with these three things. These are things within your control that you can develop starting right now. Don’t focus on what you can’t control. Grow yourself. Become the person who attracts the life you really want.