Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The No. 1 Thing You Need to Know about Personal Development

Truth-telling time.

You can't change who you are by reading a book.

You can't change the way you act by watching a video.

What matters is what you do. Not what you know.

Books, video clips, quotes, motivational speakers, seminars, CDs and DVDs - all these things may inspire you, spark ideas and give you food for thought.

But the bottom line is this: when the world challenges you, when your life surprises you, what will you do?

Nearly every time, what you'll do is execute your ingrained behavior patterns. This has always been true.

Aristotle: "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

If you want to change the way you hit a golf ball, you have to hit enough balls to ingrain the new pattern. On the course when it counts, it won't work to try to figure it out while standing over the ball. You have to have already ingrained the improved swing through countless repetitions. Practice, practice, practice.

You know this. Everybody knows this. Personal development is no different.

If you want to develop yourself personally, yes, you need to know what to do. But then you need to actually do it countless times. At first, your old habits will override your good intentions. But if you keep at it, eventually you'll have more successes than failures. The new habit will begin to take over. It's not easy, but it's the only way to succeed at personal development.

Yes, by all means, read the books and enjoy the presentations. But be realistic. This is only the introduction, the first step. If you don't do the work, nothing will change. You gotta do the reps. If you think you can achieve personal development any other way, you're fooling yourself.

A resource that will help you do the reps.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2012. Building Personal Strength .


Christine Mann said...

And that's how it REALLY is! I think this qualifies as a kick up side the head, Denny.

Unknown said...

The first line says it all. You can't change who you are by reading a book.
That is why we have blogs. JK