Recently I was asked to do a promotional video about personal development and how it has helped get me to where I am today. I pondered the request for a moment and laughed to myself at the irony in how barely 24 months ago I thought personal development, self-help, and the paring topics were all cliche and just a little cringe.
Back then, I was really focusing on professional development to get my pay rises, climb the corporate ladder in order to live the lavish, visually appealing lifestyle – a fancy car, beautiful apartment, etc. And to achieve all the things that I thought should matter in life.
It was the moment that I achieved it, that I realized it was actually not fulfilling. In fact, it was the exact opposite. I had tied my identity to seeking the achievement of this success that when I did finally did achieve it I was empty having no idea who I really was! And then being left to ask ‘well, what now’?
The pain of severe emptiness and confusion of having no idea which way to turn caused by achieving a huge goal was a blessing in disguise. These are the events that make a real impact on our life!
As a result, I connected with people that were already living their own amazing lives. It wasn’t amazing through the lens of others. Their lives were amazing because it was in alignment with exactly how they wanted to be living; in accordance with their values, their purpose, creating meaning, gratitude, and fulfillment.
As I spoke to these people, there was a very common theme. What these people shared with me was this concept that success was never in the outcome for them, but rather, they saw the success in the growth. Initially, all I heard was the cliche of ‘success is in the journey’.
When I did start to appreciate and understand what they actually meant, it enabled me to discover; if success is within the growth, then it would mean there is no such thing as failure. Because regardless of the outcome, as long as the learnings are received & growth is happening, success is enviable.
I began to ask myself ‘Who is it that I need to become in order to have the lifestyle that I want to live’? The problem was, I had no idea what kind of lifestyle I wanted to live! How do we ever achieve anything intentional if we don’t even know what it is or how it looks and feels like??
The questions then became:
- How is it that I want to be filling my days?
- Who is it that I want to be spending time with?
- What experiences do I want to have?
- How would I like to feel?
This is the conversation that we all need to be having a lot more of. Being intentional in these areas is so much more important than just asking, how do I afford a new car?
This is what I discovered through personal development. Personal development is what gave me the life that I have now.
As I write this from a beautiful beach in Bali; I am with my friends on a midweek motorbike trip living out my values of inspiration, collaboration, and adventure. Success for me has nothing to do with the location or the beauty that surrounds me but rather having found my values and being able to live in alignment with them!
How well defined is your ideal average day that you are actively pursuing right now?
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