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Top 10 Personal Development Tips

Updated on February 9, 2013

Personal Development Plans, Professional Development Plans -- A Top 10 List

This article will discuss the importance of personal development and professional development (and how little difference there is between the two). We'll examine personal development plans, review personal development books, and discuss personal development training programs as well.

Following a solid personal development plan will equip you with the necessary tools to live your life to the fullest. You only get one "go round" on this planet so why not make the most of it?

On that note, let's get started.

Self improvement
Self improvement

What Is Personal Development?

Is personal development worth it?

Many people go through life sort of on auto-pilot, following a preprogrammed course without question: go to school, get good grades, go to college, acquire an obscene student loan debt, get a good paying job with job security (which is an oxymoron in today's world), spend the next 65 years in a futile effort to pay off that debt, and then hope you have enough money at the end of it all to where you don't have to work as a Wal-Mart greeter in your golden years. Hope you like the taste of cat food as well.

But chances are if you're reading this, you're going to break the mold! You are likely one of those people that prefers to follow your own path and do things a little differently than what we are conditioned to do. Good for you! You're already on your way.

Personal development is a very broad topic and can encompass anything that involves your growth as a person. It means following a course of continual growth and striving to reach your full potential. When you become a little better in some way than you were the day prior, your life and your circumstances will continuously improve. Personal development is typically achieved by first looking within oneself, altering your thinking, and ultimately changing your behavior as a result.

Since each of us is a unique inidividual, our paths will vary. That having been said, below you will find 10 of the most helpful suggestions for improving one's self. Enjoy the journey!

Sense of urgency
Sense of urgency

10. Sense of Urgency - Avoid Procrastination at All Costs!

Start TODAY! There is no such thing as the perfect time.

The amazing thing is that 100% of people that begin something NOW all get started. Those that wait until tomorrow? Not so much.

For whatever reason, the longer we wait the less likely we will take action. It's just human nature. As time passes, things tend to lose importance in our minds. Sense of urgency will help you get things accomplished, and get them accomplished in a timely fashion.

If it's important, do it now. While the first step is always the most difficult, every step afterwards becomes progressively easier.

One step at a time
One step at a time

9. Make It Manageable

Break big tasks down into small steps

Sometimes large goals or projects can seem unattainable. For example, "repair my credit" may seem like a daunting task. Where would you even begin?

Take large items on your to do list and break them down into small, manageable steps. Using the example above, on Monday take out your credit report and highlight all errors that need to be addressed. On Tuesday contact each creditor and ask that the item be fixed/removed. On Wednesday set up automated payments for your bills so that you develop prompt payment history. And the list goes on.

Take it one step at a time and suddenly that giant mountain doesn't seem so imposing.


8. Read, Read, Read

Learn from others

You know the best way to become successful? Do what successful people do. While making mistakes is not something to be avoided (this is how we learn), you can certainly speed up your self development process by reading about the mistakes others have made and learn the lessons therein.

Make it your personal goal to read at least a book per month. I recommend reading anything written by Seth Godin or Robert Kiyosaki. For a list of further recommended reading books to help open your mind, click here:

Personal Development Books - Buy personal development books

Embrace change
Embrace change

7. Be a Student of Change

Embrace change

Our world is constantly evolving and today at a much more rapid pace than in the past. Change is difficult. It's easier to find a comfort zone and stay there. The problem with this, however, is that the world is going to keep moving forward without you.

Things are changing, regardless of how you feel about it. By becoming a student of change, you'll be able to adapt and stay ahead of the curve. Besides, change is good. If it weren't for change, I'd be sitting in a cave right now.

So learn to welcome change. In today's fast paced world, it's the only constant.

Don't play the blame game
Don't play the blame game

6. Personal Responsibility

Avoid the blame game

This may seem counterintuitive, but accept fault for everything that goes wrong in your life. No, that's not a typo. As hard as this may be to face, the reality is YOU are responsible for where you currently are in life. You have created your circumstances. Your choices and actions have gotten you to where you are today.

There is a great freedom that comes as a result of accepting personal responsibility. As soon as you stop blaming others, you are no longer a victim. You're free to change things in your life for the better. Once you come to the realization that you are where you are as a result of your decisions, this puts you in the driver's seat for the future.

Avoid the blame game at all costs. Accept responsibility for your actions and you'll grow tremendously as a person.

Power of visualization
Power of visualization

5. Visualize Your Goals

Picture yourself where you want to be

As author Rhonda Byrne taught us in the best selling book "The Secret", what you intend will come to be.

Discover your true intention and make certain your goals are in alignment. Picture yourself achieving this goal. Close your eyes and imagine how it feels to accomplish this goal. Truly allow yourself to experience the emotions associated with the experience. Feel as though it has already happened.

Go through this visualization process daily until your goal has been achieved. Many successful people believe in the power of visualization and have used it throughout their lives to achieve great things.

Overcome your hurdles
Overcome your hurdles

4. Conquer Yourself

The only true obstacles in life are self-imposed

We will always have unforeseen things occur. Roadblocks will come up from time to time. You'll be right on the verge of accomplishing something only to have the rug yanked out from under you at the last moment. Murphy's Law strikes again.

While we cannot always control what happens to us, the one thing we can control is how we react to it. The only true obstacles we have in life are self-imposed. Our true obstacles lie within. If you can conquer yourself, nothing can stop you.

As the saying goes, whether you think you can or you can't--you're right.

Challenge yourself
Challenge yourself

3. Challenge Yourself

Your goals should be just out of reach

Always challenge yourself. Growth comes as a result of adversity. If everything were easy, we would never change or grow.

Your goals should not be impossible, but they should be challenging. Push yourself beyond what you perceive to be your current limitations. Explore new territory. Try out different things that you've never done before. Do something that you're afraid of.

Greatness comes as a result of having to dig deep and discover something that you didn't realize you already had inside of you.

Follow your passion
Follow your passion

2. Follow Your Passion

Do what makes you happy

This is something that we have very, very backwards. Most of us chase money. While money is certainly not a bad thing, money by itself does not bring joy. Money can buy stuff. Stuff can provide temporary fun. But stuff doesn't bring true joy.

Follow your heart. Do what you love. The amazing thing about this is that when you do something that you're passionate about, you'll be successful at it. You'll put it tons of hard work and many, many extra hours and it will never feel like "work" because you're having fun. And as a result, the money will follow.

Find your passion and follow it.

Personal Development on YouTube - Personal development videos

Crossing the finish line
Crossing the finish line

1. Don't Let Anything Stop You

Never quit, never give up

Throughout your journey, there will be ups and downs. It is a given that there will be slow points and setbacks. These things will occur. In those moments of doubt or despair, DO NOT GIVE UP. Know in your heart that no matter how difficult things may become, no matter how low you may feel, ultimately there is nothing that will stop you. Life can throw whatever it wants at you and you will not quit, you will not falter until you win.

Keep in mind that personal development is a lifelong journey. There is no ending. It's all about the experiences and lessons learned.

So since there really is no finish line, make sure you enjoy the ride!

Which personal development tip is the best?

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Comments - Have you ever read a personal development book? Is personal development important to you?

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    • JessicaLVine LM profile image

      JessicaLVine LM 4 years ago

      This is a great lens. Very helpful and I agree with each of the tips!

    • profile image

      lauxeck 4 years ago

      Awesome lens!!! now there's only two things I'd add, first is when choosing which one is the best "all the above" because I think personal development is your actual learning curve over life. Second is to add "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill, simply amazing. One thing i found to be absolutely powerful is to have a big community embracing the same vision and mission, especially business related. Taking that into account I'd love to share the training that changed my way to deal with life, a company that changed my values for the better, absolutely serious. I feel like sharing it because of its powerful vision thank you! -Rodolpho

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      SuccessfulPG 4 years ago

      Yes, I've read loads of PD books. And yes PD is VERY important to me - it's my life. This is a great top 10 list btw.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      ya of cource.... a great points to change one's life :)

    • TheTopSuccessCo profile image

      TheTopSuccessCo 4 years ago

      Outstanding points!

    • profile image

      Lee-Anne 5 years ago

      I absolutely love Think and Grow Rich. Really awesome book and a must read for any entrepreneur. I run a home based business where our core product is a 1 year home study course, 1/3 of a masters in Personal Leadership Development Masters Degree. Fabulous course. Really changes a lot in my life. LOVING personal development!!

    • profile image

      improvemyself 5 years ago

      Never quit! My personal favorite :D

    • TedBong profile image

      TedBong 5 years ago

      Yes, it's definitely important! After all, improvement doesn't just happen by accident, it's a conscious effort.

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      I've read some and I try to apply what I learned from those books.

    • profile image

      mockingbird999 7 years ago

      I've read a couple. I like Dale Carnegie's books. Nice tips. Nice lens.