Jul 292007

One of the key problems I’ve noticed in people who’re into personal development is trying to run before they can walk. That is to say: they try to tackle issues or deal with things which they aren’t nearly ready for. Here’s an example:

A little while ago, Steve Pavlina wrote a short series of articles on Polarization into Lightworking or Darkworking, and soon after, the forums were abuzz with questions about which way to polarize by people who had not even clarified what their life values are. Or perhaps they simply did not choose critical thinking or thinking for themselves as a value, instead preferring to let other people tell them how to make their decisions. As could be expected, the amount of times those terms are used has dropped drastically as more time has passed since the article was first published.

I believe that there is a sort of natural progression in personal development. Essentially, you walk before you can run.

Unfortunately, by its very nature, the internet is not setup as a series of steps so that you can tell what’s walking and what’s running. If you go back and look at Steve Pavlina‘s archives, you’ll find articles for every level of personal developer in every area. From the beginner to the advanced; from spirituality to better time management, but not necessarily organized as such. I certainly believe his article on courage and series on self-discipline is especially foundational for the other areas of personal development. So, if you’ve you been reading his site for a while, I would strongly recommend going back to read those articles and ask yourself how you’re doing on courage and self-discipline. If you’re new to the site, you might get some tips on improving those by reading those articles.

This means two things for the PDer:

1. Have a focus and find ways to encourage that focus. Focus on developing goals and remind yourself of them a lot. It’s easy to go off track from your goals. I have a short list of current short-term(monthly) goals that I read right after I get up to keep them in the forefront of my mind.

2. It might be best to ignore stuff from other levels or areas of personal development, as you choose to focus on reading stuff that’s about your chosen area for a short time period (say 30-90 days). Chosen spirituality as a focus for the next ninety days? Start meditating and reading about meditation, instead of jumping into the stuff about chakras and how to open the seventh one now. Ignore the articles on time management and productivity; you can catch up on them later. You can pick time management and personal effectiveness next month. I highly recommend switching these things up so one area doesn’t get boring.

Patience is still a virtue, even if you’re talking about being part of god.

Main Points:

  • Patience is a virtue.
  • Manage your own journey in personal development with goals and triage. Remind yourself of your goals often however you need to.
  • Walk before you can run.
  • Enjoy life!

Γƒβ€šΓ‚Β Thanks to Mark of The Winding Path for his help making this entry better. πŸ™‚

  5 Responses to “Stop! Don’t Read This Now!”

  1. Re: 2. Wouldn’t it be beneficial to exploit the effects of synergy in your personal development? Ignoring areas outside your area of focus means you’d miss out on the benefits of combining some practices. E.g., meditation could help you more clearly identify your main values etc., and you could use that to clarify your goals and planning when tackling time management.

  2. You are right, everything is very much interrelated. We divide things up for the sake of cognitive ease, not because that’s the way things are. The problem that I’ve noticed is that people try to do too many things too quickly. I’m not suggesting that one should not do other things, in fact, I highly recommend variety. I am suggesting a short term focus on one aspect, at least for a little bit. After that focused growth, you can move on to something else, improve that to a point of stability and go to something else. I was perhaps not clear enough when I originally wrote this, so i may update that blog entry at some point.

    Thank you for your comment. πŸ™‚

  3. Yeah I think that’d be a good point to highlight, especially since, in this apparently fast-paced world, few people would see 90 days as short term πŸ˜‰

  4. Better? Thanks for the feedback, you also gave me another idea for a post.

  5. *thumbs up* πŸ˜€

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