by Bonginkosi Solly Sithole
(Pretoria South Africa)
If you want to change the fruits, you will first have to change the roots. If you want to change the visible, you must first change the invisible (Harv Eker, T). I believe that if you want to develop the world or other people next to you, first develop you self.
In many times we live in societies that encourages us to praise successful people than developing ourselves. It has become a normality of some kind, to find many a group of young stars discussing their Heroes and Heroines than how they discuss self-development. We tend to boast on other people’s success than we should with ours, hence will feel as if we are there in the same level with those who already made it.
If my brother is driving a Porsche I tend to brag as if I am the one who drives the porche or owns it. There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self (Ernest Hemingway).
The problem is that we lack focus on our self-development, hence I would like us to focus a lot on the self-development in this chapter. We need to understand what is self-development? Why it is important to develop ourselves?
It must be borne it Mind that Self-development it’s a process and for one to understand it, must understand the Steps involve in the process. Starting from the inputs to the Outcomes. Below I would love for us to discuss the Stages involve in the self-Development.
Step One: Find you self
In order to process a certain material you need to understand what kind of material you are dealing with, where does it come from and how can it get processed. Same applies to a person, who needs to develop oneself. One must know what kind of a person he/she is? Where does he/she comes from? And where is that person going. It is important that we search our self. Have a self-introspection, and define who we are before we even go far about developing our selves.
Gordon B. Hinckle stipulates that you can't build a great building on a weak foundation. You must have a solid foundation if you're going to have a strong superstructure.
The best way to develop yourself is to have the best foundation, and in this regard the best foundation is finding yourself. Most people they let the world to define them and thereafter they believe the definitions of the world as who there are. Finding your self doesn’t need anyone but you alone to make a strong scientific search about who you are.
The characteristics that can guide you to find yourself
• Searching For your spiritual connections
• Knowing your weakness and strengths
• Your company ( who do you spend your time with)
• Finding your beliefs
• Realizing your Goals and Mission towards them
• Finding your motivation
• Searching for your potentials
Step Two: Determine your Positive dreams
Indeed everyone is a dreamer, but what discern dreams, is the polarity in them. People may wonder why are the still in the same level of life and not being developed. The ingenious lies on what types of dreams are you having, negative or positive dreams.
The power of selecting positive dreams from negative dreams is second step of self-development. “There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.” Douglas H. Everett. The moment you dream on defeating people, is the moment you stay in your dreams for the people you plan to fall are busy developing themselves.
The hinder to our Positive dreams this days, is that we want to continue missionize how to betray people so that we can take their positions. Forgetting that we are all born with different talents and attributes therefore we can’t be replaceable or either replace someone. The moment you realize you uniqueness is the moment you receive wisdom to your positive dreaming.
Step Three: Goal setting
After you have identified positive dreams against negative dreams you will then be able to set your goals.
Goal setting is a powerful way of motivating people, and of motivating yourself. And self-motivation is one of the stages involved in Self-development process. Many of us have learned from bosses, seminars, and business articles to set SMART goals. Which means our goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.
There are Five Principles of Goal Setting that I learned From Dr. Edwin Locke's that I will like to share with you below.
5. Task complexity
Goals should be realistic and challenging. This gives an individual a feeling of pride and triumph when he attains them, and sets him up for attainment of next goal. The more challenging the goal, the greater is the reward generally and the more is the passion for achieving it.
Better and appropriate feedback of results directs the employee behavior and contributes to higher performance than absence of feedback. Feedback is a means of gaining reputation, making clarifications and regulating goal difficulties. It helps employees to work with more involvement and leads to greater job satisfaction.
Step Four: Develop your capacities
Developing your capacity is like a practice, if you are football player and every day go to the gym to practice new tactics you get improved every day. Same as when you develop your personal capacity.
I believe the following can help one to develop Self capacity
1. Staring good habits, such as reading, watching motivation videos, and attending conferences, especially in the area where you specialize.
2. Developing new experiences, it is of paramount importance that we move from our comfort zones and experience new things. New experience might involve visiting other countries, provinces and states where things happen differently compared to where you come from.
3. Develop a companionship that allows to grow, especially in the things you concern developing yourself too. For example if you want to be a business man start associating with business people so that you learn, tactics and ways of doing business.
Step Five: application of potentials to achieve goals that will develop you
It is important that we set very principle goals and act over them, than to develop good goals and seat over them. One way to achieve our goals is the application of our potentials with no limits. However this stage needs you to be self-motivate and be highly spiritually oriented. What destroys our potentials at many times is the discouragements that we encounter along the application.
For example people will refer to you background to discourage you in doing something positive. If you mom never went as far as tertiary, you will always be reminded that you parent couldn’t do it and you also possess the same genes of failure in you. To overcome that you’ll need good faith that nothing is impossible which now transfer you back to the issue of strong spiritual orientation.
To apply your potentials up to maximum you need the following characteristics.
1. Positive thinking, be able to visualize the final product of your potential application. Roy T. Bennett in the Light in the Heart writes “Do not let the memories of your past limit the potential of your future. There are no limits to what you can achieve on your journey through life, except in your mind.” Sometimes you don’t do things because it’s simple but because you can see that you after you have made it no one will reverse it. The fact is that when you want keep thinking positive you need to develop a positive think attitude.
2. Mind the gap, the gap is the distance that you open between your application and potentials, some other people relax a lot. When you tired it’s good to rest but don’t relax. Never postponed your goals, time will never wait for you to be empowered. When you really need empowerment, sleeping and relaxing becomes a rumor to you.
3. Stay focused, many people lose focus, instead of developing themselves get employment to develop other people. In your application you need to keep focus, remember that you are using your potentials to develop yourself. Remember that you are withdrawing to a positive balance, because all the potentials, efforts and time you are using are going to credit you.
4. Persistence, I like the words of Calvin Coolidge “nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent”.
In whatever that you do to ensure that you achieve the goals that will develop yourself remember not give up. It is true that sometimes the road look visionless but don’t give up. Continue moving, it doesn’t matter whether you run, walk or crawl but what matters is that at the end you must develop yourself.
Develop your own circle of motivations that will keep you, in the spirit of self-development. You can make the use of motivational talks, videos and movies but remember to stay focused on the instruments you are using to develop yourself.
If there is anything that you are not supposed to do in this world, is being average in the area of your own specialty. Continue developing yourself. The room for average is full. The average person puts only twenty five percent of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than fifty percent of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote hundred percent ( Andrew Carnegie).
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