To see my four-month-old son in his exploration phase got me thinking about why our hunger for exploration fades. Are we just too used to the world or do we give up and stay loyal to our comfort zones? Maybe we’re just caught up in the ‘must do’s’ of life and neglect the ‘want to’s’. As our brains, skin and lungs start to die from the age of 20, most of us are already on a physical downhill. So is it not then worth it to take personal development – in our personal capacities and work domains – seriously?
‘Personal growth’ is defined as development activities that:
- Improve awareness,
- Develop talents and potential,
- Build human capital and facilitate employability,
- Enhance quality of life, and
- Contribute to the realisation of dreams and aspirations.
For me, the purpose of personal growth really is to enhance the quality of our lives and aspire to our dreams.
Is our personal growth in fast-forward mode?
From visiting the library and maybe reading one or two books a week, our access to numerous articles and information is now just a click of a button away.
We are so pressured to stay competitive that we enroll for short courses, ‘quick fixes’ and so-called MBAs that can be ‘done’ in six months but the shorter the period, the less the course is worth. Development takes time. Unfortunately, what we don’t have is time as time is money.
Nevertheless, is the information overload and pressured ‘no-time-for-anything’ pace taking away the experiences of life? Our world is easily becoming 2D instead of 3D.
Be the explorer until death
We need to take up the role of the explorer in our lives. To explore really means to take risks, break habits and to even walk in the dark and embrace change. In every phase of life, the same expedition might reveal something different.
Let others explore
As much as I urge you to be the explorer, I also urge you to let others explore. For example, it would be no use to my son’s development if I constantly moved the toy closer for him to reach instead of him pushing himself to crawl. But how much more the satisfaction will be when he does crawl and mommy didn’t help. It’s also only fair to say that no journey is without mistakes so don’t take away or spoil another’s first experience of anything.
Build on your strengths
Personal growth should be oiled in both the personal and work worlds. Most businesses today constantly seem to focus on employee’s development areas. Instead of making development areas a priority, businesses should bolster employees’ strengths and help, for example, their top engineer to become the best in the industry, South Africa and the world. This means that you need to ‘oil’ your employees’ strengths.
So what is the ‘oil’?
Relationships with people in your life will definitely contribute to personal growth. But are those relationships – with your family and even those at work – healthy?
Maybe it would even help to have a mentor and to also be a mentor. The journey from being a mentor and being mentored may have significant impact on your life’s journey.
Time off, hobbies and change will encourage personal growth
I am a specialist in the learning and development industry, people development really is my passion. I urge every one of you to keep growing in every facet of your life! The key to real personal growth is patience as personal growth is a gradual spontaneous process. Be careful of missing out on your own journey.
This article first appeared on HR Pulse.