I love personal development. I love to find new ways to challenge myself to be better. I love to increase my knowledge and by implication, ability to influence the world. I love to stretch my creative capacities to press out the finest juices of creativity. If you’re reading this, I bet you do too.
For a long time, I thought personal development was mostly about developing my knowledge, skills and capacities. I thought it was about knowing how to do things better. However, as I began to dig deep into it, I found that there was something that had to go ahead before I would be able to optimally develop my knowledge and skills. It is like an inertia that I need to first overcome before any real results can be seen: ME!
I needed to know myself to be able to understand the best ways that bring optimal delivery in other parts of personal development. I found that the need for self-awareness was so pervasive in true personal development that it ranged from little things like knowing the best time in the day I can read a book and get the best of it, to larger issues like how the multidimensional facets of me (interests, capacities, relationships, etc) affect my choices of the best career path to choose.
I then realized I had been doing it all wrong trying to get knowledge and skill development to make me who I am, when the right way should have been getting to know who I am so as to find the best way to develop my knowledge and skills.
It suddenly made sense why it is called PERSONAL development. It is personal. It can’t be the exact same for different persons. It has to be personal. Personal development means it is development of a unique persona. And since I can’t develop something I don’t know, I need to get to know myself so as to know the best ways to develop myself.
I can’t overstate how revolutionary this simple understanding has been for me. I have rapidly increased in my development because I have been investing in knowing myself. For example, I read 23 books in a year after a previous year of reading just 6 books because I paid more attention to myself to understand the kind of books that piqued my interest and the best way to reading them that will actually help me finish them. I finished the first draft of my book in about 6 months despite my 2 full-time jobs with a packed schedule after over 3 years of dilly-dallying about it because I invested in understanding the best time and conditions someone like myself needed to ace that goal.
Self-awareness is a superpower. It is a mighty key in your hands to unlock your creative best. If you truly want to get better, pay attention to yourself first! Get in touch with yourself. Amazing treasures await you!
Written by Oluwatoyin Ajilore.