This Is Where Many Fail Before They Even Begin
You want the benefits of personal development and growth. You want to be doing better in your business, you want to be worry free, healthy and enjoying family life and financial freedom.
Chances are when you are asked what you would be willing to do to reach these goals you might say, “Whatever I have to.”
If only it was that simple. Wanting something, knowing you should be doing something and actually finding yourself doing what it takes to get the results you want, are miles apart.
You have other stuff to do. You have the bills to pay and “dropping that ball” isn’t an option. You say “I know I should be doing such and such, and I will, but not today as I have important emails I need to get back to.”
The good news is there is a way to live a happy and balanced life through personal development.
Before I explain about this so called “good news”, I firstly want to point out the first fatal stumbling block.
I use the word ‘fatal’ because that is what it is. If you don’t get this one sorted, you aren’t going on this journey.
The Big Challenge
Your first challenge is to “NOT Practice Contempt Prior to Investigation.”
Contempt means “the feeling that a person or a thing is worthless or beneath consideration.”
Contempt is when you make a judgment on something – anything – before taking time to learn, to try or understand it fully.
You see this behavior in kids when their self concept is rigid, especially when it comes to trying a new vegetable or food. The kid says, “I don’t like that,” before he tries it.
Measure Your Own Personal Development
Look back at your childhood for a moment. Was there a food you wouldn’t eat back then, that you really enjoy today? For me it’s mushrooms. I hated mushrooms as a kid, I love them now.
Check out this logic.
When we were kids we would say, “I don’t like that food,” before trying it.
Our belief is, “I don’t like that.” This belief is called our self structure. Self structure is how we look out at the world. It means we see the world in terms of the truths we hold.
In this example, the kid’s truth is, “I don’t like that food,” and because of this truth, the kid avoids and doesn’t eat that food.
This decision is based, not on whether the kid may actually like the food, but rather on a rigid uninvestigated truth. The false truth the kid holds is, “I don’t like that food.”
One day the kid tries the food. At first he is not sure because it is a strange and new taste. It’s not as yucky as he first thought – but the texture is strange and unfamiliar. A few mushroom sauces later, a few pizzas topped with mushrooms down the line and the kid is saying, “I like mushrooms.”
The mushrooms never changed – the kid’s “truth” changed because he investigated.
This shows your truths are not fixed forever, if you challenge a truth it can change. Contempt prior to investigation means the self structure is too rigid, too set in its ways to be open to the possibility of a new truth.
A Skeptics View
I am a skeptic, which means I want to see proof before I blindly follow something. Being skeptical is fine – but when that skepticism becomes contempt, then it closes my opportunity to learn and grow.
“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
― Albert Einstein
My skepticism kept me blind for years. I remember looking at Buddhists and thinking what a load of old…
Grown men and woman shaving off their hair, going vegetarian and walking around in orange robes in the name of growth.
That was my contempt prior to investigation. My mind was closed and that ended that conversation.
Today I hold a different truth and enjoy many growth practices in my own life that are rooted in the Buddhist philosophy.
The Buddhist philosophy didn’t change or become more aligned with my self structure.
The change was only possible within me.
What does it take to Grow?
Personal growth means being open to learning new things. It means examining, questioning and testing within your own life.
It’s tough at times and it can be painful. I guess it’s like going to the gym. You go, you exercise muscles that haven’t worked in a while and it burns. Afterwards you feel sore and tender but if this process is repeated over time, you get fitter and enjoy the rewards.
In closing, I want to remind you that professional and personal growth are a journey, not a destination. You are not on your way to a magical place in the future called “Personal Development.”
Growth is happening all the time, including right now.
The fact that you are here, now, reading this, is by nature Growth.
Growth is less about stuff you do; it’s more about who you are as a person.