In my eyes, the day that you cease to learn, improve, change, experiment, or develop yourself is that day that you cease to live.
I understand that this appears to be a pretty damning statement at first. I also understand that I am relatively inexperienced in many walks of life. So I’d like to run through my graduate-level thinking here, along with a couple of the subtleties of the point. I adopted this ‘personal-development’ mentality about 2 years ago and since then, I’ve experienced numerous drastic improvements in my life.
Since it’s kinda a big topic, I’m just going to mention the talking points that are floating around my brain right now. Perhaps I’ll address the rest at a later date. Firstly by ‘personal development’, I mean anything from learning silly little skills like juggling or solving a Rubik’s cube all the way up to refining your personal brand and increasing your confidence (I’m keeping this impersonal btw- not all the examples given here apply to me). All these different things count towards development and a nice mix helps to keep things interesting.
So why is personal development so essential? Because it keeps your brain fresh and sinewy. As humans, we are pretty amazing at learning and adapting, so when we stop doing this, our brains have a chance to become sluggish and flaccid. Not only does this mean you get bored and distracted more easily, but you also come across to others as a somewhat one-dimensional character. I was lucky enough to see such a resurrection from this ‘flaccid’ state in a good friend recently; over the summer holidays, a sad turn of events meant that they suddenly woke up, got out of their cradle of comfort and started doing the stuff that scared them, learning the things they’ve always wanted to do, and changing themselves into the person they wanted to be. Was pretty cool to watch. Then the other night, after a few drinks(!), they told me that in the months following, they made more friends and felt healthier than they ever had before!
I get that this may sound a bit preachy/airy-fairy. But it’s not. Personal development is everything.
If there is something about yourself that you don’t like, change it. Full stop. Period. This probably all stems from that saying “protect number one”. Or whatever it is. Because no one else is going to make you better. No one else will travel the world on your behalf. No one else will make you more popular at school. No one else can learn a new language for you. No one else. Only you.
So go out, and be the change you want to see in yourself.