When we think about the word success, what comes to kind, often people will say it means being happy. Sure, what else, experience tell me that is usually one or two of the following:
Owning your own home
Driving the car of your dreams
Having a healthy and loving relationship
Having the carrier that you enjoy and gives you a sense of self-worth
Great, however, you can have all of the above and more and yet still feel very unhappy and or unfilled in life generally.
So, what then is success?
The simple truth is that it means different things to different people and changes as we grow, and our circumstances change.
The one constant that all the research shows is essential for having a sense of personal or professional success is GROWTH. We have to continue to grow, to develop new knowledge, learn new skills and be open to concepts and ideas that may even have seems alien at other points in our lives.
As I am fond of saying, “personal development is the foundation stone of all success”.
Its often said, “you are what you eat”, we all know that healthy food helps to maintain a healthy body.
Remember, this holds even more wisdom when you consider what you feed your mind and soul, i.e., “you are what you think”. What are you feeding your mind?
This really is the seed of the miracle of personal development, reading personal development material, listening to upbuilding and thought-provoking audio books or enrolling on courses that help us expand our skills and knowledge unlock our true potential and enables the sort of growth that leads to success in all it forms.
In my role as a coach and as the founder of the UK College of Personal Development I am often asked what or even how to start with a personal development plan or schedule.
I always start with the same response, START. Pick up a book, get an audio book, use the internet to look at local courses or even some online courses.
My personal favourites that I will sometimes suggest as starter books are, Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Dale Carnegie etc. For those with an interest in something deeper, Robert Dilts, I confess to be a fan of his work, some core NLP research and also some great applied models in leadership, heath and general personal and business growth.
The key is to make a start, some authors will love, other not so much… dip in and see what a good fit for you and your current situation. This will change over time. Of course, the thing is to apply what you learn, this is the challenge for most of us which leads me to my final recommendation, have a coach.
A coach (Life Coach, Business Coach etc) is one of the most powerful activities you can engage with to accelerate your personal and professional growth. If not a coach, seek out a mentor, someone you know will challenge you as well as passing on some of the experience and knowledge.
I started writing this article with the notion of how to develop success, in the 25 years I have been involved in the personal development industry, working in both large corporates, small SMEs and start ups as well as running my own business interests I can honestly say that investing in your personal development will bring rewards, both now and in the longer term.