What is self-development?
The first thing self-development is, is the want to improve. Without the desire to want to improve you will never become better. People will give you all the advice and recommendations of what you should do and read but if you are not ready for this advice it will land on deaf ears.
So first you need to ask yourself, do you want to improve? If so, WHY? Will improving who you are and how you deal with life help you?
When you ask yourself these questions it becomes very clear. Of course it will help you. When has anyone got better at anything and things have got worse? Never.
What are your reservations about self-development?
It sounds like hard work, it sounds boring I haven’t got the time. So firstly if you are having these thoughts you’re probably not ready, but if you are reading this you might be curious, so let me address those points.
- Having an opinion about something that you don’t know much about is definitely something you will want to address.
- If you think learning some skills that will help you improve is hard work then you need this more than you realize.
- By this point, you are probably thinking that I am telling you off for having negative thoughts, and you will be correct! The only thing that is hard work boring and something that I don’t have time for are being around negative people….. Most people would rather find something to moan about than pointing out something that they at least appreciate.
They say when driving if you come across more than two as#holes on your journey you are most likely the as#hole.
Self-development can be fun, no human being alive just become a great human being without learning lessons on their journey and this is one of the lessons you will learn when deciding to jump into your self-development journey.
Before I found my new career I use to be a lift engineer and I was always in a rush, I would rush to get to work, I would rush around at work and I would rush to get home. One of the problems this causes especially when driving is that everyone is in my way. I’m in a rush so I need everyone to get the f##k out of my way! I drove around like that for ten years, I couldn’t understand why people were not pulling away from the traffic lights like Lewis Hamilton the second they went green, I felt like they were inconsiderate, I felt like they need to teach people how to pull away faster when learning to drive.
Let’s pretend that these people in their cars were inconsiderate, oblivious to the fact that the drivers behind them were in a rush. Let’s say that this continues to happen over and over again with hundreds and thousands of inconsiderate drivers holding us up at every light every turning everyday slowly pulling away in their own time, what can we do about them?
We can beep our horns scream through the window or jump out the car and chase them down the street, does that sound like a plan? Does any of that sound like you?
We can’t control any of that but what we can control is the way we personally deal with these situations. You might be thinking BUT when I’m in those situations I’m too angry to think straight, I can’t control myself, I can’t help it and I would say good! because the road is the best place to start learning to become a better person, the best place to learn self-development if you can learn to be a better person on the road you can be a better person anywhere.
Here is an exercise I started to practice when I decided that driving around like a neanderthal wasn’t healthy for me or anyone around me. When driving toward a green light I made a conscious decision not to speed up. If no one was behind me I would sometimes slow down. It wasn’t easy, the urge to suddenly go from 30 miles an hour to 50 was hard to ignore, a green light is like a gift, the thought of being stuck at the red light didn’t bear thinking about. I’m wired to be in a rush, I hate sitting at the red light, it’s boring!! It took me exactly a week and a half of doing this exercise to get over my urge to rush around, at the end of that week and a half I had actually become a much calmer driver on the road. I started wanting the green light to turn red to give me an opportunity to practice relaxing in an environment that in the past had driven me mad.
The main thing I learned when doing that was that I could change my thoughts and behaviour, no one had told me to do that I just thought I needed to address that situation. Our brains control our emotions the good news is we can re-wire them, we can re-program the way we think. It’s not alway easy but it’s definitely worth it. Once you realise you can self teach yourself these things you will start to think what else can I learn and help myself with. The answer is just about anything.
My favorite self-development book is How to Win Friend and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Its a book stacked full of true stories and examples of people changing the way they deal with situations and people.
I would recommend getting the audiobook version and playing it whilst driving around. Use that time to relax sit back and learn how to become a better person from hearing the mistakes and solutions of the great people with in that book.