Whatever we do in life – learn something new, read a good book or article, have an mind-boggling conversation, go through an unusual experience, act on something new – in a way, we are working on our continuous self-development.
But how can we bring a little bit more of intentionality in our self-development – first of all, to make sure we keep on growing, but also to make sure we are growing in directions that are important and meaningful to us?
A great place to start bringing in more intentionality into continuous self-development is through reflection.
Within that reflection we can take many different directions – here is couple of ideas:
1. Take a moment to reflect on what you like about ourselves and which parts would you like to work on improving/developing?
Make a list of skills you wish to develop.
2. Dive into exploring own strengths (through reflection, asking others, surveys… look for more ideas under Pillar 9 of happiness) and make a plan on how could you be using your strengths more on everyday basis.
3. Look into your goals and wishes for the future, and ask yourself “What kind of person do I need to be to get to those goals? What kind of person do I wish to grow into? What do I need to learn/develop for that to become reality? How can I do that?”
Prioritise the list of skills and characteristics that you put down. Choose one of the top three and make a plan how will you work on developing it throughout this month.
4. Sit down in a dreamy mode with a nice cup of tea and list down all the different things we would like to learn. Start from just a brainstorm and a wishlist, no obligations nor commitments and no limitations. Then choose one that appeals to you to start learning now… and make plan of the specific steps in the next couple of weeks to start learning it.
The key to is to take a bit of time to choose what it is that we would like to develop within us – and that can go from two directions, from what it is that we are missing or what it is that we are attracted to.
After that, it is time to get into action mode and create a specific plan on how we are gonna learn this and dive into action.
Connecting it to meaning
Learning and growth is an aspect of our life that often gives us sense of meaning and sense that we are doing something valuable with our life.
The danger in that is, thought, to be “climbing the ladder” of self-improvement, only to realise that “the ladder is leaning towards the wrong wall”.
In other words, it is easy to get tangled into a short sensation of meaning as a consequence of learning, while missing out to also align that learning with our values and what is meaningful to us in life.
In other words – in order to be truly aligned and congruent with the rest of our life, continuous self-development needs to be aligned with our vision for our life and our goals for the future.
To check for that alignment, simply ask yourself “Why is it important for me to learn this?” and “How is this learning/skill/knowledge/ability aligned with my purpose/vision/goals?”.
After that….back to learning and practicing that skill. Enjoy! 🙂
P.S. If you are looking for accountability buddies or source of ideas in that learning process, please, do feel free to share your plan and wishes with our Positive Psychology Tribe 🙂
How about you?
Which of these 4 exercises did you find most valuable?
And which skills, knowledge or abilities would you like to develop next?
Do share in comments – but also to start a conversation in our Positive Psychology Tribe virtual community for meaningful conversations.