What is Personal Development and Why is it Important? (2022)

What is personal development? It's a concept that's often referred to across many niches and especially on this blog - now it's time to officially define it.

What is Personal Development and Why is it Important? (1)

My lifelong love for personal development inspired me to create this site. However, although it’s a subject we address frequently here, a question I’ve never posed directly is:

What is Personal Development?

Let’s explore the answer to that question so we can understand what personal development is and why it’s something that everyone should pay attention to.


Definition of Personal Development

Put simply, personal development refers to any activity you do to improve yourself, in areas that apply to your brain, mind, and heart.

Just stop and think about that for a moment. It’s quite a grand, encompassing idea, isn’t it?

For many people, activities such as reading, listening to audiobooks, journaling, and taking personal development courses come to mind.

However, not everything counts as personal development.

For example, activities such as getting a haircut or going to a doctor's appointment aren't usually considered to be personal development activities, because they're relatively surface-level.

However, ordinary activities can result in personal development.

Take another example: The act of doing intense exercise (i.e. push ups) in itself would not usually be refered to as personal development.

(Video) Why Is Personal Development So Important?

Yet, such exercise could result in a person developing mental fortitude and resilience, which is considered personal development.

On a large scale, what does this mean for me and you?

Well, it means that personal development is a process - a process that's involved in getting you closer to anything you want to achieve in life.

Rather than waiting for life to hand you knowledge, opportunity and success on a silver platter (which it won’t), you can put in the work to a point where those things simply become results of your personal development.

On this blog, I like to relate the concept of personal development to a growing plant.

In fact, another term for personal development is personal growth, and this is fitting because plants teach us a lot about growth.

Take the bamboo plant for example, which is the brand symbol of this website:


The Story of the Chinese Bamboo Plant

What is Personal Development and Why is it Important? (2)

The growth of the Chinesebamboo plant is a natural phenomenon that holds significance to the topics of personal growth and development.

For the first four years of its life, the bamboo plant shows no sign of growth - it remains just a tiny leaf in the soil.

During this time you have to nurture it, constantly watering it, and then in the fifth year a miracle happens - the bamboo plant grows 90 FEET in just six weeks.

From experience I have found that the results of personal development do not always show up immediately. Even after you do your research, read, train your mind, work hard, fail and persevere - it might still take a while to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

But during all that time you’re growing into the person you need to become to achieve your goals.

Then, when you do finally see progress one day, you laugh a little - because the sweetness of success overshadows all the past moments of struggle and doubt - and you realize you wouldn’t change a thing.

That’s the beauty of personal development.

(Video) What is Personal Development?


Why is Personal Development Important

Personal development is important because, to quote Draymond Green, “if you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse”.

But there’s a key motive behind personal development that’s even more inspiring than that - and it’s the idea that personal development puts you in control. When you are actively striving to improve your mindset, your skills, and your life overall, you don’t have to rely on talent or luck.

Instead you work hard and succeed and on purpose.

Personal development bridges the gap between where you are and where you want to be. It’s the vehicle that leads you to your goals. When you commit to personal development, you enter a unique journey of self-discovery and high-impact realizations about life.


The 5 Areas of Personal Development

There are five key areas of personal development that most people’s goals fit into:

  • Health
  • Finances
  • Relationships
  • Spirituality
  • Career

Of course, there are other variations of these categories for personal growth. Let’s look further into each of them.

Health

Health is a key area of personal development because it provides the foundation for peak performance in every aspect of life. Within this area there are further categories such as physical health, mental health and emotional health. At a high level, most people aim to be fit, think clearly, eat well, and sleep well.


Finances

Finances are another area that people work towards improving. Developing financial literacy is an important part of personal development because you make better decisions when you are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to manage money effectively.

Relationships

Close relationships are a source of happiness and fulfillment in life. Most people want to improve their relationships with others, whether it’s family, friends, acquaintances or a romantic relationship. Common topics in this area include improving communication, finding a partner,dealing with relationship anxiety, and maintaining strong friendships.

Spirituality

Spirituality is an area of personal development that focuses on a higher purpose. For people with faith this can include improving one’s relationship with God. This element of personal development can also involve helping others and becoming more at peace with the world.

Career

(Video) Why is personal development important?

Career development is often a key part of personal development for many people. It involves developing talent and potential in order to advance in a career. It can also involve carving out a career for oneself through entrepreneurship and self-employment.


How to Improve Your Personal Development, Starting Today

One of the best ways to improve your personal development is to create a personal development plan. A personal development plan is a blueprint for what you want to achieve in the years to come.

Personal development planning is a process that takes a look at various aspects of life before narrowing down on the specifics of your goal.

It involves a sequence of self-analysis that helps provide direction and a sense of clarity on what you want out of life. The personal development plan template I’ve made available on this site can be used to define both personal and professional goals.


3 Tips for Your Personal Development Journey

1. Don't compare yourself to others

As it says on the can, personal development is a very personal thing. Thus, try not to compare your progress to the progress of others. Stay in your own lane, and stay focused. Celebrate your victories and never give up, even when progress seems slow.

It matters not how slow you go so long as you do not stop.

2. Enjoy the journey

Always remember that personal development is a life-long process. Don’t expect perfection - instead learn to find joy in the continuous process of improving. Enjoy the journey. Smell the roses and all that jazz.

3. The grass grows where you water it

During your life and personal development journey, there will be times when setbacks cause you to doubt yourself and your abilities. Never give in to the inner voices that tell you you’re not good enough - or that people who have found success in an area that’s important to you are in some way superhuman.

Cynicism is toxic to self-improvement. Recognize the power of personal development, and know that the grass is greener where you water it.


What is Personal Development and Why is it Important? (3)

Final Thoughts

So, we’ve uncovered what personal development actually is. Thanks for reading this article - and congratulations - by reading to the end you’ve already demonstrated that you’re serious about developing yourself.

As you go forward in life, continue to reject complacency. Always be looking for new ways to learn, grow and improve. The conscious attention you pay to personal development will reward you for a lifetime.

(Video) Why Personal Development Is Important

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FAQs

What is Personal Development and Why is it Important? ›

Personal development is a phrase that refers to activities designed to improve talents, potential, employability, and even wealth. Any time you are consciously making an effort to improve yourself, you are participating in personal development.

What is personal development explain? ›

Personal development or self improvement consists of activities that develop a person's capabilities and potential, build human capital, facilitate employability, and enhance quality of life and the realization of dreams and aspirations.

Why is personal development important at work? ›

Personal development helps you become aware of your weaknesses, strengths, and abilities. As you understand your negative and positive attitudes and how they affect others, you get to learn how to act more productively and differently, improving your workplace relationships.

What are the examples of personal development? ›

21 Examples of Personal Development Goals for a Better You
  • Embrace Empathy. ...
  • Confidence. ...
  • Listen Actively. ...
  • Make fear your friend. ...
  • Improve your body language. ...
  • Get along with others. ...
  • Get along with yourself. ...
  • Stop procrastinating.

What is a good personal development goal? ›

These could aim at improving your character, enhancing the skill-set, or strengthen your abilities. Individuals try to achieve emotional control, get better at communicating, be able to create boundaries, make tough decisions, and achieve personal satisfaction.

How personal development affect your life? ›

You Will Have Better Relationships

Self-improvement can improve how you build relationships with people and will also allow current relationships to thrive. Being more self-aware will allow you to be more open with people. You will feel much more confident in yourself and be able to let people see you for who you are.

What do you learn in personal development? ›

Some skills that can facilitate personal growth include communication, work ethic, leadership, organization, problem-solving, confidence, and integrity, just to name a few. Once you have started the improvement process, make sure to keep track of how your progress is going.

How do you self develop yourself? ›

8 self-improvement tips to get your life back on track
  1. Set goals for yourself. ...
  2. Surround yourself with people who want to see you do well. ...
  3. Evaluate what isn't working and eliminate those habits. ...
  4. Learn a new activity or skill. ...
  5. Eat healthily and hydrate daily. ...
  6. Have compassion for yourself and others. ...
  7. Clean your space regularly.
Nov 1, 2021

What are the five areas of personal development? ›

5 areas of personal development
  • Mental.
  • Social.
  • Spiritual.
  • Emotional.
  • Physical.
  • Identify areas where you'd like to improve.
  • Work with a coach or mentor to assemble a plan.
  • Structure your personal development goals.
Feb 10, 2022

What is personal development in education? ›

It is a process that involves the entire world of the young person, of which school can play a significant part. Personal development involves knowledge, attitudes, skills, relationships and behaviour that can be utilised in and outside the classroom.

Why is personal development important as you grow up? ›

Successful personal growth is not only about the value to your own life, but value to those around you and the society. Personal growth can help you in all areas of your life. It will help you grow emotionally and psychologically to become a more loving, compassionate, and positive person.

What is another word for personal development? ›

What is another word for personal development?
self-developmentdevelopment
growingmaturing
progresspersonal growth
self-improvementself-help
awakening the giant withinself-guided improvement
9 more rows

What are the 5 main areas of personal development? ›

There are several different topics within the personal development world, but they all seem to fall under five major categories. The categories are mental, social, spiritual, emotional, and physical.

What are the 3 aspects of personal development? ›

Let me give you those:
  • Spiritual. I know when you talk spiritual you can get in an argument most anywhere, but I have a single belief that says humans are not just animals. ...
  • Physical. The mind and the body work together, so we've got to give some attention to both, mind and body. Development of mind and body. ...
  • Mental.
Jun 19, 2016

What is success in personality development? ›

PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT. “Success is a Journey and it is not the destination. Disappointments, Rejections, Unsuccessful. attempts and Criticisms are not failures to the Successful people. Failures are the Part of success.

What do you call improving yourself? ›

Definitions of self-improvement. the act of improving yourself. synonyms: self-reformation. types: auto-suggestion, autosuggestion, self-suggestion.

What is self-development activities? ›

Self-development can be described as many things, but at its core, it is the expansion of self-awareness leading to the understanding of one's self and identity. Through the tools and activities used to support our self-development, we can develop our talents and potential, helping us to reach goals and dreams.

How can I improve myself everyday? ›

Here's a look at some ways to build self-improvement into your daily routine and let go of negative thoughts about yourself.
  1. Cultivate gratitude. ...
  2. Greet everyone you meet. ...
  3. Try a digital detox. ...
  4. Use positive self-talk. ...
  5. Practice random acts of kindness. ...
  6. Eat at least one meal mindfully. ...
  7. Get enough sleep. ...
  8. Breathe consciously.
Apr 24, 2019

What are the 7 skills to increase personal effectiveness? ›

7 Basic Personal Effectiveness Skills
  • Determination. It allows you to focus only on achieving a specific goal without being distracted by less important things or spontaneous desires. ...
  • Self-confidence. ...
  • Persistence. ...
  • Managing stress. ...
  • Problem-solving skills. ...
  • Creativity. ...
  • Generating ideas.

How personal development affect your life? ›

You Will Have Better Relationships

Self-improvement can improve how you build relationships with people and will also allow current relationships to thrive. Being more self-aware will allow you to be more open with people. You will feel much more confident in yourself and be able to let people see you for who you are.

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