We all want to improve ourselves and have a better life. Sometimes we need a conscious effort on our part in order to make it happen. This is what we call self-help, self-growth, personal development, self-improvement or any other term associated with progress of oneself. The question is what are the ways of improving yourself or where do you start. There are a number of ways to serve as your personal development routine that you can practice in developing any aspect of your life that you wish to focus on. These activities are so basic that you practically do them every day but you have to wrap a personal development flavor into them.
Most of what you have learned in your life you acquired it through reading. This is because reading is one of the very first aptitudes we develop in childhood. But after all those years spent in school, many people have stop reading. When was the last time you have read a book? I’m referring to practical books like how to’s and guides which you read to gain more information about life and the world. Fiction books are great if you are a reader that seeks entertainment rather than understanding and we will not delve on them here. You should develop a reading habit that fits your schedule. Set aside an hour or two every day to read a book after your school or work depending on your circumstance. Start by reading something that interests you. There are thousands of self-help books in Amazon. It even has its own category under Advice & How-to/Self-Help. Or if you don’t like reading ebooks and prefer the old fashion way of reading an actual book, I’m sure your local bookstore has a portion named Self-help. For further reading on the importance of reading, check Steven Aitchison’s blog post here.
This is much like reading a book but instead of reading it you get to listen to it through an audiobook format. Ideal if you are on the go or if you feel that reading a book would be inconvenient. You can listen while in the house doing some mundane chores. While you drive to work, commute to work or go someplace. While you work out in a gym or even while standing in line or waiting for a queue. You can turn these activities into worthwhile personal development. A good mp3 player, a headset or a headphone and an informative audiobook completes the experience.
After all the reading and listening you have done, take time to review what you have learned. The best test if you really have learned what you have read is to try to explain it on your own words. While or after reading, try to make some notes, write a summary or a review of the important points you have learned and how you can apply them in real life. That’s why they are called practical books because you have to act the things you have learned and writing them down enriches the process. Don’t hesitate to write anything on the book itself that you are reading or if you prefer digital, any note taking software should suffice.
You don’t just stop on writing what you have learned; you may also talk about it. People love to seek advice from other people. If you find a friend who is in need of some encouragement, you can share your readings and learnings. While you are in a conversation or when a situation permits, you can always share tips and pieces of advice you have accumulated in your personal development journey. This routine further solidifies your knowledge since you are able to speak your mind and have a rise of confidence within yourself. Who knows you can become a personal development speaker someday.
Some say self-help doesn’t work. Well that is partly true. It doesn’t work for people who lacks commitment, doesn’t have the drive, or too busy to even think about it. For you to be able to make it work, you have to incorporate it into your daily life. Build habits around it and establish routines until such time that personal development becomes part of you. Engage yourself to learning through reading, listening, writing and speaking.
How about you?
Do you believe in self-help?