I’d love to have the knowledge, skills and experience to write you an article on a subject from personal development. The article can be arguably written by everybody, since everybody does personal development in a way or another and has some basic experience with that. Yet I leave this task for people who either have a background in Psychology-related fields (whoops, I actually do have a Master’s Degree in Communication and Public Relations) and to those who read about psychology-related issues on a daily basis (I don’t really do that). But I told you that everyone has some experiences in the field. I would like to present you my tips & tricks, my way of doing things in personal development area – it’s only basic life experiences with that. Hopefully, you’ll be able to gain value out of my experiences. Below, I’ve picked up some basic skills on personal development that interest me. The topics vary from assertiveness, going through goal setting and procrastination. There are 19 topics I talk about. I’d love to find out that following this blog post they interest you too.
What are the topics in this blog post about?
5. Continuing education;
6. Continuing professional development;
9. Goal setting;
10. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs;
11. Mastering habits;
14. No pain, no gain;
15. Problem solving;
17. Time management;
18. Waking up early;
19. Wealth (Money).
Here goes my blog post on each of these subjects:
- Assertiveness – In the “Fight Club” movie (see Fight Club movie page on IMDb) some characters have a task of staring up a fight with someone. In their words, starting a fight was difficult, because people would go to a lot of trouble rather than go fighting. So up to a point, it’s easy being assertive. But in Romania being assertive is more than that. It’s considered a bit aggressive just to express an objective point of view. Thus, being assertive is aggressive in itself. So people, with this confusion in mind, are thinking they’re aggressive when expressing opinions. And if this is the case, they are actually becoming aggressive, passing by the assertive solution. What is the solution, after all? I found that it’s best to be assertive no matter what. Never go to the aggressive state, but other than that – be assertive (even if it is perceived as agressive). You should express what you think in an assertive and non-aggressive manner;
- Balance – Oh, the magic word, the never-given solution. What is balance in life? How does one find it? Just to be 9 hours at work probably means that job gets most of your life. Just having a part-time job means that life has more importance than your career. What’s the middle path and how can one pick it in such a way that the balance is maintained (so that the middle path doesn’t become an extreme solution by itself)? These are all questions for which I fail to have an answer. My solution is a bit extreme: only put emphasis on health. Below this, do everything on being happy. Below or equal to this, put everything on getting things done. So, as long as I’m healthy, I can have fun with my friends or by myself or have a productive work. This is balance to me: health first, results or fun afterwards. I’m sure that this is not the middle way. But it is my balance and I’m so happy with it;
- Career – I guess the most important thing about a career is related with your goals in life. If you wish to gather a large sum of money (by tremendous efforts) until you’re, let’s say, 40, and afterwards you wish to retire, then you might consider an alternative. How about gathering that a less-than-large sum of money until you’re 60, but all of those years when you’re gathering money you have all the fun of your life? How does this sound – going to work and feeling you’re alive? Loving what you do? And also how does it feel it doesn’t take to be 40 to be able to have a relaxed way of doing things? This is my approach to career and I love it. Also, when reaching 40 and retiring, are you sure you’ll feel fine not doing a thing at all, for all day long?
- Consciousness – I’ve found in my personal experience that sleeping well (not too much, not too few, about 8 hours) is great for being conscious. I’ve also found that after a few days of bad sleeping and one day of good night’s sleep, after that final day you’re even less alert than in the days of not sleeping well. I also found that with age consciousness, for me at least, increases;
- Continuing education – In 2005 I graduated my Faculty. Did I stop there? No, I went on to do my Masters’ Degree. I graduated in the spring of 2008 (I’ve given my graduation paper its full importance). Will I stop here? I don’t think so. I plan to do yet another Masters’ Degree, in Informatics. Will I stop after that? Probably not. I intend to take classes even after I graduate this. After faculty, every class I took was payed. Why do I do that? I consider wisdom the greatest wealth a person can have. I also fail to see what better alternatives I have for studying. What can I do anything better than study?
- Continuing professional development – Each morning from Monday to Friday I take the subway to work. In the evening I take the subway from work. Sometimes I sit down, sometimes I stand up. Sometimes the subway is close to being empty, some other times it’s very crowded. No matter what, I always read in the subway – mostly newspapers and sometimes magazines and books. I can actually read in every mass transportation vehicle – train, bus, van. Why do I do this? I’m doing my best to recover some of the so-called wasted time of travelling and I actually do something in that time;
- Courage – I don’t think that courage is not having any fear at all. Rather than that, it’s overcoming the fears and doing things you wouldn’t normally do. Going against the current – now that takes guts!
- Fulfillment – I fill fulfilled by doing the things I want. I love my job, my personal life, my health. I love helping others. I love human interaction. I consider being happy as one of the most important things in life. Carpe diem! is not a Christian quote, since it makes you not think on what is after your body dies, but it does put some emphasis on giving 100% of what you can give;
- Goal setting – Some see their lives many years ahead. I admit only being able to see it for the next six months in some details and only for about two years in vague details. Thus, my goals mostly refer to a few days ahead, and rarely do they pass a future month. I think I should write them down, but I fail to do this at this moment. My goals also change a lot, influenced by the things I read;
- Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – I’ve seen a presentation by Sir John Whitmore in Coaching ’08 conference. He said that the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for most individuals has changed in recent past – more and more people have higher needs now than in the present. Today it’s not a matter of surviving for most people, it’s merely a question of satisfying greater and greater needs. I can’t say if he’s right or wrong – my needs have always been high and I don’t remember periods of time of not having something to eat;
- Mastering habits – I greatly use reminders and To do lists for mastering habits. Those help me a lot in setting some patterns which I later try to follow again and again. Google Calendar has a SMS notification service that works also in Romania. I use it alot;
- Momentum – I think that the biggest problem for losing momentum while surfing online is email. If you have an email notification service (so you instantly find out when you have new email) the problem is even worse. I try to read my emails more and more rarely and only read the very important ones when they arrive. Sometimes I fail to do that;
- Motivation – Life is all about motivation. Life is more than a third work (and yet another third sleep). Third of your time is free time and most likely you are motivated to spend it just fine. But how about the motivation for work? It is more than one third of your life, are you motivated into what you do? I am and I hope this can be seen. This is the key in life – be motivated to have a wonderful life all the time, not only when you’re with friends and family;
- No pain, no gain – I’ve heard it again and again in different wordings: in order to succeed you have to be uncomfortable with a state of discomfort. It’s the only solution for life. I will not present you what I’m dissatisfied with. I will only state that to a lot of people my life has a remarkable similarity to failure – I don’t eat tasty foods, I don’t do a job that is a hugely financially rewarding, I do actions for free that would make people go “Why would you do that?”, I put my body into physical efforts that at least for the short term are not easy to bear. And yet I’m ultimately happy, enjoying every second of life, and to me the stuff I eat, the job I have, the free actions I do, the sports I do – they’re all great;
- Problem solving – A trainer called Jim BAGNOLA used to say “We’re professional problem solvers”. I couldn’t agree more with him. This is life: to solve problems in such a way that you learn from this experience and you become better at this. I’ve had so many problems (not more than others, of course), that this has to be true: I truly am a professional problem solver;
- Procrastination – Putting a task for doing later is not procrastination. It’s just that you set a specific time for the task, time which is not this very instant. But postponing a task once you’ve set it – now that’s procrastination. You have to do the task when you said you’d do it. Sure, you can have exceptions, but once exceptions become part of your routine, that’s called procrastination. Procastrination does have a good part: it helps me be ultimately motivated to do a lot of things at once and get results. Perhaps having a lot of time is the sure path to being late;
- Time management – To me the best time management method is cutting things you do. You can choose to do only some things, and put very little emphasis on other things. Also, focus on the 20% that bring you 80% of the results (by Vilfredo Pareto principle – you can read the Wikipedia article on the Pareto principle for this matter);
- Waking up early – From what I’ve read, a not-so-bad schedule for sleeping is 22 to 6. It’s also good to sleep at about the same hour each evening. It’s nice to weak up without an alarm clock. When you’ve done all that, you may have a good waking schedule;
- Wealth (Money) – Is money important? Definitely. Are money more important than how you feel in the present time and how healthy you are? Definitely not! So, putting a good priority on the present day and not on the future, while maintaining or improving your health status is a good solution to successfully manage the money-life balance.
Did some of this leave a mark on you? You can also leave a mark on my blog by commenting below! Thanks for visiting this blog post.