According to personal development legend Jim Rohn, "to have more than you've got, become more than you are." That's where personal growth comes in. Personal development includes activities that help you improve your hard and soft skills, cultivate your talents and tap into your potential so you can improve your overall quality of life. These aren't one-time activities; they involve a commitment you make to continue to learn and grow in every stage of your life. Here's how:
1. Take a class or seminar. Learning doesn't need to stop once you've graduated. Signing up for a class or seminar, either online or in-person, gives you the opportunity to learn and grow outside of the traditional confines of school. Enroll for a workshop or webinar provided by a professional organization you belong to or a personal interest or hobby group you enjoy. Websites such as Coursera, Udemy and Skillshare allow you to learn new skills and improve the ones you have.
2. Read. The most successful people carve time out of their days to read. Not only does reading increase your knowledge, it also improves your memory, vocabulary and focus, while sharpening your analytical skills and reducing stress. Get recommendations from friends or co-workers or check out the best-seller lists from The New York Times or your local bookstore.
3. Watch a video. Many of us spend our evenings relaxing in front of the television. Optimize your time and watch a video from a leading personal development expert, or expert in your field, and you'll not only learn, you'll also become motivated to make lasting positive changes in your life and at work. Also, watch inspirational films that will leave you feeling uplifted and encouraged.
4. Listen to a podcast. Podcasts are a popular way to listen and learn anywhere, whether you're getting ready for work, driving to the office or jogging on the treadmill at the gym. There's a podcast to fit all of your needs and interests, whether you want to keep up on current events, take charge of your finances, take your career to the next level or enhance your spirituality.
5. Join a group of organization that allows you to connect with other like-minded people who are committed to growing personally or professionally. In addition to networking, these organizations also provide opportunities to take work-shops and classes, find a mentor and look for new professional opportunities in your field.
6. Get a mentor. If you want to get ahead in your career, a mentor can help you improve your self-confidence, tap into your potential and find balance in your life. Since they don't have a personal stake in your success, they'll provide unbiased feedback as they share their experiences and offer tips and encouragement to help you thrive. Find a mentor through your professional organization or ask someone in your company or industry who models the traits you'd like to hone and/or has achieved the level of success you'd like to reach.
7. Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community while refining skills and traits, such as teamwork, empathy and communication. In addition to improving existing talents, you may also learn new skills to apply in your line of work. If you're starting a new career or have moved to a new area, volunteering allows you to get experience and expand your network. Serving others not only nurtures positive feelings, it also lowers the risk of depression and reduces stress.