I believe that in order for someone to be successful in their line of work, whether as a business owner or an employee, they need to be committed to growth. While professional growth is necessary to maintain your job skills, personal growth is what allows you to desire and maintain your professional growth.
Unfortunately, people spend more time watching TV than they do on their own personal growth. I recently heard about someone who vowed to read their first book in over 20 years! While novels don’t necessarily constitute personal development, reading does. For me, a monthly novel was what got me started on my own personal development where I now read about a book per week.
But personal development only begins with reading. I think anybody who is serious about their own development should assess their actions each day. They need to desire to be a better husband or wife, a better mother or father, a better business leader or motivator, etc. Without the desire to grow there will be no growth at all.
In his book Developing the Leaders Around You, John Maxwell gives us five Questions on Commitment to Personal Growth:
- Do I have a game plan for personal growth?
- Am I the leader of that plan?
- Am I willing to change to keep growing, even if it means giving up my current position if I am not experiencing growth?
- Is my life an example for others to follow?
- Am I willing to pay the price to become a great leader?
Do you plan for personal growth?
Its been said that if you aim at nothing you hit it every time. Personally, I’d rather fail while attempting something than succeed at doing nothing. In order to grow you need a plan to do so. Are you actively trying to gain knowledge to make yourself a better person or do you just go where the winds take you. A plan is what keeps you on course to your goal. Without a plan for how to get from where you are today to your personal growth goals, you can’t expect to reach your destination.
Are you the leader of your plan?
You’d be surprised by how many people are led rather than leading their own lives. If you have a plan you cannot rely on someone else to follow it for you. That’s the antithesis of personal development. The journey is yours. It’s personal. You cannot expect your spouse or your boss to develop you. Now it’s a good idea to have mentors to guide you, but you have to be the leader of the plan, not them.
Are you willing to change in order to grow?
Change is a necessary component of growth. It’s also one of the very reasons that so few people are willing to develop themselves, they are afraid of change. If you want to grow you have to be willing to take what comes with that. Change isn’t easy and it is often uncomfortable for a time, but the rewards far outweigh the temporary discomfort.
Are you an example for others to follow?
Unfortunately, too many people live their lives not wanting to be role models. Why? What kind of life is that? While I don’t particularly see myself as the best role model, I certainly try to be. One of your greatest desires should be that somebody find something about you that they want to emulate in order to make themselves better!
Are you willing to pay the price?
That’s right, growth and leadership require a price to be paid. Most people think that leadership brings more freedom, but that’s certainly not true. Personal development means giving up more of yourself that you’re initially comfortable with. Less you time and more everybody else time. People who focus only on themselves are selfish. Those that focus on others are true leaders.
In life, you’re either growing or dying. If you’re not putting time into your own personal development then your life, your time, and your efforts are ultimately being wasted. The single best way for you to contribute to those around you is to grow yourself into a better individual.