Why self-development is important

Photo by  Ben White  on  Unsplash

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

In 2002, when I graduated from university, I believed I was done learning.  I was done reading textbooks, writing papers, and taking tests that would determine if my knowledge was sufficient enough to pass a class.  I was plain done.  Does this sound familiar? Maybe it happened to you too?  Were you excited for the day you graduated because it meant no more “learning?”

This didn’t mean I stopped reading. Oh, I read.  I love to read, but all I would read were mystery, suspense, and romance novels.  Fiction only, please. Stories I could lose myself in that would take me away to another world, another place.  

Then in 2013, I learned about self-development and the importance of investing time in myself. I read my first personal development book, Happy for No Reason.  It opened a new world that made me not only read stories of how people would grow and change their lives but I also learned new techniques to implement into my life.  

Slowly, very slowly, I would read more of these type of books.  And then last year, I attended my first Mindvalley Reunion.  Two jammed pack days where I would learn from top self-development teachers and I would meet people who believed that self-growth is as important as breathing.

It was new and scary.  I thought the need to learn ended when I graduated. And yet, here I was attending an event where I was going to be introduced to new techniques of living and of looking at the world. I came with an open mind and in doing so, I found my mind being pushed out of its comfort zone.  I questioned structures that I have calmly accepted my entire life and I felt a shift happening.  

I went home and was on a transformational high! I was going to make changes in my life and elevate to a newer, better me.  But then reality sunk in.  

I got home and my mind had to absorb the fact that while I learned so much, my external world hadn’t changed all that much.  How was I going to find balance to both?  I ended up enrolling in an online class that taught me to make daily changes in my life so I can be better equipped to meet the goals I have set in my life.

But as months carried on, I found myself falling back into the habits, thoughts, and patterns I lived pre-reunion.  It was a bit of a bummer when you realize that the change you were hoping for, hadn't happened. In fact, you weren't even sure if it would happen.

Then last weekend I attended Mindvalley’s 2018 Reunion.  Another jam-packed weekend of insight and inspiration.  But I noticed something different this time around, I was a little more jaded.  Not as eager to socialize as I was the first time nor to buy into all knowledge that was being presented.  And while I was inspired, I was more of a skeptic, these practices are great now, but I know what will happen when I go home, I’ll go back to my own patterns and habits.

But it’s been a week and here’s what I’ve realized.  There’s a reason why we need to read the books, attend the conferences, and listen to the audios.  Something the skeptic in me accepts and even agrees with.

You never know what will stick.

When I started this self-development learning, one of the first things I tried learning was Law of Attraction.  It was an absolute failure.  I didn’t get it.  I couldn’t comprehend, “intention, attention, no tension.”  I mean really, it didn’t make sense.  And then following the reunion, I suddenly had this desire to learn about it again so I went to google and I started researching and reading.  And for some reason, what confused me before, actually made sense this time around.  Ah-mazing. It took me 5 years to finally understand it.  And this lead me to my second realization, self-development will always be there. It waits for you, for when you're ready. Opportunities to improve my life are abundant, it's up to me to see the possibilities and hold them in my hands.

So why is self-development important?  Because whether we choose to make a change in our lives or not, having the option to grow is important.  And the best way to make that change is to be influenced by what we read, see, hear, and experience in our lives.  The ability to grow is undeniable, whether we decide to make the change or not is our choice.  If you want it, you need to be willing to put the work in for it.  

What was my take away?  Well, I can think what I want and even if my environment doesn’t necessarily support my new way of thinking, if I am persistent in making a daily change, eventually something will change.  Hopefully.

So what am I doing right now?  I've finally decided to learn how to meditate.  I started small with just 5 minutes a day and this morning, I reached Day 20 and I've hit the 10-minute mark.  Also, since I love to read, I spend the first 20-minutes before sleeping reading something that goes towards personal development and then I stop and read a book of fiction until I fall asleep. It's all about the baby steps and my fictional stories make me happy. 

How about you? Do you believe in self-development?  Have you attended a workshop where you learned so much and was eager to implement it into your life?  Were you able to make a change? Share with us below!