When it comes to personal development, what approach do you favor? Do you like to rush right in and shake things up, or do you prefer to ease into it at a slower pace?
Both of these approaches to personal development can produce good results. However, understanding and using the one that actually works for you can greatly increase those results. Let’s take a closer look at these two techniques.
The Personal Development Tortoise
This is usually the choice of those who are uncomfortable with change. They like the sense of security that comes from making small, calculated adjustments in a measured way. Rather than disrupting the orderliness of their world, they change one thing at a time and then evaluate.
If you reflect on the story of the tortoise and the hare, you will recall that this approach won the race. There are definite advantages to “slow and steady,” and in some situations this can be the most reasonable approach to personal development.
For example, if you are out of shape and you want to take up running, it wouldn’t be very wise to run ten miles your first day. Slow and steady is obviously the better choice. And this same principal applies to many areas of life. So we should never underestimate the power of “slow and steady” when it comes to making meaningful progress in your personal development.
The Personal development Hare
For those who are more comfortable with radical change, this will often be the preferred approach. It’s a way of really shaking things up. This approach involves a giant personal development pattern interrupt. Instead of trying to maintain orderliness, this method approaches personal development with a more adventurous spirit.
Changing our established response patterns often requires this type of planned disruption. When attempting to break out of familiar or customary behavior, we may need to introduce a number of new elements into the picture to avoid responding “as usual.”
Don’t automatically assume that this approach is more haphazard or reckless. In reality, both approaches require preparation and forethought to be successful. It is always in our best interest to be adaptable enough to use whichever approach is likely be most effective in any given set of circumstances.
What personal development approach works best?
As you can probably tell from reading my articles, I’m into simple steps with the power to quickly transform your life. I like fast results where possible, but I am also after those long term benefits that come only with time. In other words, I use a combined approach to personal development whenever I can.
We have already established that both approaches have their strong points. Where possible, I use a system that allows me to enjoy the best of both worlds. Using this approach has allowed me to successfully transform many areas of my life in the shortest possible time, without sacrificing long term results. Here’s how I do it.
The interval approach to personal development
If you have ever used interval fitness training, then you know that it involves moving from one thing to another. That’s the approach I like to use with personal development in almost any aspect of life. If the situation allows for it, I will use some kind of disruptive approach to produce rapid change. Then I will adopt a more “steady as she goes” approach while I get my bearings.
Once I have adapted to my new level of change, I look for my next opportunity to make another quantum leap. To illustrate, if I were walking toward a predetermined destination, this is what I would do. I would run for awhile, then I would switch to walking just long enough to catch my breath and asses my progress. When I was ready, I would go back to running, followed by more walking.
The beauty of this approach is that my forward momentum never stops. I simply go from rapid progress to steady progress, and repeat.
The benefits of rapid personal development
Anytime you can experience fast results, it will encourage you to keep moving forward. I don’t care whether you are starting a new business, trying to lose weight, or mastering some new life skill. The faster you see results from your efforts, the more likely you are to keep going.
Meaningful results are usually cumulative and require consistent effort. Anything that helps you hang in there for the long haul is going to raise your chances of success. Seeing positive results after a short period of focused effort can provide all the motivation you need to make it to the next milestone. This process is progressive, and is fueled by positive feedback in the form of continued results.
Personal development by design
Whatever your approach to personal development, your preparation and forethought will have a direct influence on your results. So, before you take any action at all, I encourage you to design a tentative plan of action. I say tentative because you will need the flexibility to make adjustments as you progress.
5 questions to ask when designing a personal development plan:
1) What exactly do you want to change? You may have a good idea of what you want to change, but what will personal development in that area look like? If you want to get in better shape physically, for example, you need to specify what that means. If it means losing weight, then how much? If it means increasing your skill level in some activity, then how will you measure it?
2) How long will this transformation take? Having a specific time frame will motivate you to take action. You need to assign a time limit to the personal development process. The only transformation that takes place without your input is aging, everything else happens by design. Give yourself the advantage that comes from creating a time frame and your results will increase exponentially.
3) How important is this transformation to you personally? We all have a variety of things demanding our attention. As a consequence, most of us operate on a priority system. In other words, we do whatever is most important at the time. To experience meaningful personal development in some important area of your life, you will need to assign it a high priority.
4) Why are you doing it? I always say that a person can do anything if they have a good enough reason. So, what’s your reason? Make sure you understand why this specific step in your personal development is important to you. Without a good reason you might give up when you encounter obstacles. Get clear on your reasons “why” before you start.
5) What approach are you going to use? Are you going to be a tortoise, a hare, or some combination of the two? If you are looking for rapid change then how will you accomplish that? Even if you are using the “slow and steady” approach, you will still need a way to measure your progress against your time frame. If you choose intervals, what are they going to be.
Get some help if you need it
One of the main reasons why people are unable to transform different areas of their lives, is they simply don’t understand the personal development process. Positive transformations do not happen by accident, they happen by design. Life skills are involved, and these are not the kind of skills we were taught in school.
Personal development life skills are not difficult, but they are highly specialized. If you don’t know these skills, then it can seem almost impossible to change the things you want to change. That’s why I created Find Your TRUE SELF, it is a step by step life transformation guide. It’s easy to follow and produces remarkable results.
The important point here is this; if you need to learn these life skills so you can transform various areas of your life, then take the time to do so. Either get a coach or find a reputable source of reliable personal development information and learn the life skills you need to create the life you want. Please don’t settle for ordinary, because you really can have extraordinary.
What’s your favorite personal development technique? How successful are your personal development efforts?
The lines are open!
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