When we talk about self growth and personal development, there are numerous questions that arise. What does it mean to engage in personal development? More often than not, people expect results which help them gauge their performance outwardly, forgetting that self growth is something extremely personal, and should be treated that way. The path to self growth and development is one an individual takes himself and for this reason, the first rule of self growth is to look inward, not outward. And naturally, since there are different meanings attached to self growth for each one of us, the route we take towards it will also be different. However, no matter which route one takes in the quest for self growth, be it by making a bucket list of things to do, or learning something new, there are challenges associated with it. We bring you 5 challenges you should undertake if you’re considering a serious recourse to personal development. Have a look:
Live in the Present
We hear it all the time. Every motivational speaker has something to say about living in the present, but the fact remains that it is not the easiest thing to do. For some of us, it might seem an impossible task too owing to our circumstances and way of thinking. Which is why, we present it to you as a challenge. For the next 30 days, focus only on the present. Be cognizant of your surroundings and situations as they are when you face them. And try to create a positive mindset about each situation, not looking at any similarities with the past, or ramifications in the future. To make it simpler, pick out one very routine thing from your schedule, everyday, and think about why you’re thankful for being able to do that activity every day. This exercise comes with time, and may be the most confusing thing you do for a while. But trust it. It can open up your mind to a lot of things we hitherto take for granted or pass off as unimportant.
Do something selfless, each day
This is easy to understand and internalize, because we all believe we are absolutely capable of being selfless if required. But are we? The truth is that we’re surrounded by ego and materialism, and to be able to escape them to do something which does not benefit us in anyway takes courage and effort. Selflessness is not something that comes naturally to all of us, and that’s a bitter fact. However, if one can consciously try and do something selfless each day, for 14 if not 30 days, it can make a huge difference. We say this because by doing something selfless, we learn to be more giving, to be more open to idea of help. In life, what goes around does come around, and if you add positivity to somebody’s life, it will automatically add positivity to yours. There are limitless options, starting from donating money to a charity with a computer, to actually going and spending time with kids at a children’s home.
Try something different everyday
They say opportunities don’t knock on the same door twice. Which is why, if you miss it when it appears you need to go find it yourself. A good way of making up for lost opportunities, and finding new ones is to try new things. And not just new things at that, but different things. The reason we say this is because first experiences are always the ones we remember best, even if there weren’t pleasant. We can try the same thing again and again, but it won’t be like the first time. And first impressions can truly affect the way we think. While trying something new for the next 30 days may require a fair bit of thought, trying something different doesn’t. This is because you can do something you do each day a bit differently, which will be an all new experience in itself. Consider this: for the next 30 days, add a twist to everything routine in your life. If you have domestic help doing housework for you, give her a weekend off and do it yourself. If you drive everyday to work, don’t for one day and take the subway or if you have time at hand, walk. A different spin on everything you do can broaden your perspective, and perhaps even give you a better alternative to that activity. You might meet a very interesting person, or find a great opportunity when you least expect it, only because you decided to do things differently.
As grown-ups, we believe we know the rational and mature answers to everything around us, and don’t feel the need to question. That’s exactly what separates an adult’s thought process, and a child’s thought process. Children love asking questions and it’s their way of learning about the world. But as we grow older, we leave the questioning bent of mind behind and take on newer, bigger problems of life. Even if you believe you know the answer to something, question it. Find a reason to prove conventional thought wrong or flawed, or atleast try. This is not to say that you must completely reject convention and become a non-conformist you questions everything. To question everything in public and dispute ideas is one thing, and to treat it as a mental exercise meant to help you look at things differently, quite another. Treat questioning as a mental quest to find newer perspectives. Our mind is extremely powerful and can weave scenarios and situations in a jiffy. Make use of this ability to imagine.
Create something new
The power of creation is magnanimous. It can make us feel extremely positive about ourselves and even bring our hidden talents out of obscurity. For the next 30 days, assign yourself the task of creating something new. Now this doesn’t have to be the next great invention of the century, it can be something very humble such as an artwork, a new recipe or even a short story if you have a way with words. Let your creativity run wild and put your faculties to innovative use. Constructing something out of scrap metal or wood with the help of a friend, or volunteering to help fix a car, your options are endless. And at the end of it, your creation will leave you feeling productive and satisfied at having doing something you liked doing. It could be for yourself, or for someone close to you, the idea is to grow as a person by learning something new through creation. You’ll want to keep innovating and keep trying new things, which will only add more positivity to your life.