I suppose most people have a general idea of what it refers to.
Very technical definitions turn most people off, since they do not really care what it means, but what it can do for them.
Often the term "Personal Development" is used quite loosely. Then there are various facets of PD such as building specific skills like:
- communicating via public speaking
- conveying ideas clearly through writing
- improving one's character traits to interact with more appeal in the "business world"
- overcoming some personal inhibition - relating to others with an open mind
- learning how to present ideas from an appealing perspective
Material such as how to become rich or how do to things better do not really fall under basic personal development.
These are more in the category of how to sell an idea.
It can be part of the activity one brings into one's personal development, but in themselves, the "how to"s do not actually develop a person, they merely 'add to' their knowledge base.
There might be some side effects in terms of developing character traits, or having more material to draw on in speeches etc.
Can you see anything more here?
The radical view on personal development that came to mind goes something like this:
- What if we were to understand personal development as an unveiling and enhancement of who we are?
- Taking it from the other end. Who are we? -at the core-in depth -at the heart -in essence?
- We have been conditioned by environment, by circumstances, by society, to believe and accept our life situation in a certain way. That conditioning is always at the root of how we function in our relationship with the world (people, ideas, everything).
- Can we unveil, uncover, gain an understanding to see beyond those conditioned limitations that affect our activity and performance in daily life?
- Instead of chasing "cure-all"s, methods, formulas and the 'X' steps to success (which may work for a time, for some), can we see the truth of what our potential actually is?
- If there is a natural ability or talent within us, how will we find it or 'see' it?
- And then, how could we develop or enhance it?
- The discovery and enhancement of who we are!
Are you waiting for someone else to define who you are?
Or, are you ready for the quest of discovering who you are?
- Introspection, self-inquiry, relentless pursuit of the truth of oneself
- These are all key elements of the radical view of personal development.
- And then what will you find?
- "success as the world defines it"?
- or 'making your mark'?
- or to become "a somebody"?
You already are a somebody!
- What do you really know of the powerful depth of being that is you?
- Who will define you?
- Who will discover your true potential?
It will not happen without your insight, without giving yourself over totally to finding out what the truth of yourself is.
What is personal development? Who are you?