When you hear the term personal development, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? I don’t believe that there is a single unified definition of it. Because people learn and grow in so many ways, I don’t think there should be one. Perhaps one may describe it as becoming healthier and working out more. Others may see it as enhancing their relationships with their spouse, children or significant others. Perhaps, it may mean growing your finances or transitioning into a job or occupation that is more rewarding or satisfying to you.
When I started my personal development journey many years ago, I was in a good space, having the family that I desired, living comfortably from a financial standpoint and doing what I loved as a physician, delivering babies and optimizing women’s health care.
Basically, I was comfortable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but as I started to read more books on personal development, attend more conferences involving it and getting mentored by the top leaders in the country and world, I began to realize that something was missing in my life.
And as I went along my personal development journey, I saw some things within that I didn’t like.
I didn’t like the way I physically looked, having a bad diet and minimal exercise activity.
Mentally, I noticed how quick tempered I was, not having the best conversations with my family, friends and loved ones.
I went to work every day and loved what I did but was starting to lose that passion that I once had long ago.
So, for me, personal development was all about regaining the balance in my life. Being able to have joy and satisfaction in all the key areas of my life. It was an ah-ha moment for me and changed my life for the better. I remember coming back home from my first conference and Yolanda looking at me and wondering what was going on. I changed my attitude, my language, my outlook on life. Totally freaked her out, thinking I had joined some happy cult! Remember that baby?
So since then, I have grown my business coaching others to achieve success, written 3 best selling books, changed my diet and exercise regimen around and completed 2 half iron-man races. It didn’t happen overnight for me but by making a small shift in the way I thought and acted, the daily effects of getting better slowly compounded over time.
Have you ever tried to sit on a 3 legged stool with one of the legs missing? Yeah, you can do it, but would life be much easier if all three were there? Are you the type of person who puts all their energy towards their work and have nothing left to give when you come home to family because you are exhausted? Or perhaps you give all your time to your family but neglect to take care of your own health.
When I think of personal development, I want it to be like sitting on that 3 legged stool, having the balance and not struggling to stay upright. Thus, I balance my own life in 3 main areas, which are my personal life, my social life and my financial life.
Having the balance among all three keeps me focused, not dedicating too much time to one area of my life at the expense of another. For example, I don’t want to be obsessed with growing a business while neglecting my health and family.
When I look at my personal life, this includes things that enhanced me and I break them don into three area, feelings, fitness and fun.
What things am I doing to optimize how I feel about myself. Am I reading books that stimulate my mind? Do I have a diet and exercise regimen to enhance my body? Am I doing things that allow me to laugh, have fun and relieve any stress in my life?
My social life is broken down into 3 areas as well. These are my connections with my higher self, family and following.
Am I maintaining a spiritual connection with a higher power? How is my time with family? Date nights, dinner, family trips? What am I doing with those who follow me on social media? Am I trying to enlighten them through my words or actions?
Finally, the third leg of the stool is my financial life. I describe this as my internal financial worth, my external financial value and my core financial happiness.
What are my strategies to add to my financial bottom line? Am I living just to keep my paycheck or being creative to increase it? How are my contributions to charities or community services? As I receive, what am I giving back? Regarding my core financial happiness, do I love what I do at work. Am I happy and excited to go to work every day?
Some days, I may work more on my business. Others, I work on having fun. You don’t have to concentrate all three legs on the same day but keep a longer term prospective and realize the value and importance of all of them.
That’s how personal development looks to me. Having balance personally, socially and financially. Being grateful for what I have today so I can achieve more in the future. Not making excuses for myself and taking action despite my fears. Surrounding myself with mentors that will guide me, motivate me and support me along my personal path for success.
What does it look like to you? Let me know in the comments below!
Until next time, take care and be well!
Terence Young, MD
a.k.a. The Doctorpreneur