For the past couple of months, I have started calling myself a writer on personal development. If you look back at my old articles, you will find that most of them are related to personal development.
I have always been fascinated by this topic. Well, not always. But ever since the internet and YouTube had started to become a big deal, I like consuming content on the topic of personal development.
Thousands of YouTubers and bloggers make videos on the topic of personal development. I watch and read a lot of those contents. I try and follow their suggestions, routines, practices, exercises, so on and so forth.
Were they helpful at all? Well, yes and no. Some were really helpful. Others, not quite so.
Why I Write about Personal Development
Honestly, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I am fascinated by this topic and I spend most of my time on the internet consuming others’ content on this topic.
My goal has always been to help and inspire the people who read my articles. Even if there is only a single person who can benefit from reading my work, I am okay with that as long as I am making an impact on his or her life.
Coming back to the topic of personal development, I feel like I know more about this stuff than most people I know. How? Firstly, I read a lot of self-help books. Secondly, I have more will-power than most people I know. Thirdly, some of my daily habits are not for everybody. For example, I usually wake up at 5:30 in the morning. My friends think I am crazy. But I’ve always been a morning person. By the time they wake up (which is usually between 7 am to 8 am), I will have completed most of the important tasks of my day. Lastly, I just enjoy learning and writing on this topic.
Is Personal Development Really Worth It?
For the past few days I have been thinking about this – Is personal development really helping me achieve my goals in life or is it just wasting my time on the internet?
Personal development has definitely helped me become a better version of myself. As I said, I have had both good and bad experiences with it. Some of the videos I watch or articles I read online were really helpful. By using the practices suggested in them, I have made a lot of improvements in my life in terms of health, work, career, relationships, and success. However, not everything I read and watch was helpful. Some were total bullshit and a waste of time.
So there’s no definite answer to whether it is really worth it or not. But, here’s what I think – it is a matter of how you take it and how it impacts your life.
A particular content might not have been helpful to me while it might have helped someone else become a better person or it might have helped them with their problems.
Personal Development is Bullsh*t
Okay, this might be a little harsh. But here’s why I think so. I’m sure you have consumed a lot of content on personal development yourself. You watch all these motivational videos on YouTube and a bunch of others that just appear on your social media feeds. You feel pumped up to do shit after watching the videos. Then you forget about it in an hour. And then, you are back to normal again. In this case, personal development is complete bullshit. It only made you feel that you lack something in your life and that you are not good enough.
Personal development doesn’t work that way. You have to TAKE ACTION for it to work. And, most importantly, you must be willing to be persistent. You must make sacrifices and compromise the short-term pleasures to get achieve long-term success.
Action, Inspiration, Motivation
I’ve already written a full article on how action isn’t just the effect of motivation, it’s also the cause of it. This is something called the ‘Do Something’ principle that I picked up from a book called The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck.
Here’s what the ‘do something’ principle is, in brief:
Most of us take action only when we feel motivated. And, we feel motivated when we are inspired. So here’s what we believe to be true:
Inspiration → Motivation → Action
But here’s how you can start achieving more by taking action first, instead of waiting for inspiration or motivation to come to you. In other words, by doing something:
Action → Inspiration → Motivation
Personal development only works if you are willing to work. It only shows you a path that might lead you to where you want to go. Merely consuming personal development content will not make you successful.
As I said before, TAKE ACTION. Start today. Whenever you watch a motivational video or read an inspirational article, make sure you fully commit to it. Take notes if necessary. Follow the practices or suggestions provided in them. Think of ways how you can implement them in your life.
But remember, the most important thing is that make sure you feel good about it. Do more of what makes you feel good. For example, if you don’t feel good waking up at 6 am in the morning, you don’t have to do that. If you wake up at 8 am and still do everything that needs to be done, that’s perfectly fine. This is another reason why I think personal development is not for everyone.
For most people, doing something that makes them feel good is way more impactful than doing what they are told to.
Find what works for you and do it. Don’t believe what others say is a standard way of success. That is their definition of success, not yours. Make your own path to success. Only you can say what works for you. Here’s an example: I work best in the morning and it has helped me achieve my goals. So I would obviously say that if you want to succeed, wake up early and start doing the important things in the morning. I would also write about it on my blog. But, not everybody is a morning person. Maybe they work well at night.
There is no standard way of personal development. You have to know your way to success and do it in spite of what others say about it. In the end, what matters is your success and not what path you took to achieve it, as long as it wasn’t anything illegal or unethical.
Find out your definition of personal development. Follow it. Success will be on your way.