The thing with personal development that sticks out most to me is how there’s always a trickle-down effect into the number and quality of opportunities that come our way when we seek to better ourselves. Western culture makes it tough to truly better oneself though, as society starts teaching us ways to get hung up and trapped from the minute we learn to speak.
Television, over-relaxing, and other mindless minutiae like commuting and being way to stressed and out of touch with the planet all play a role in curbing our development and keeping us confined to a miserable existence.
Here’s some great tips you can start using right away to start bettering yourself and have more opportunities for growth and change come your way:
Cancel Your Netflix Subscription!
And your cable subscription– and/or the satellite. Stop watching motivation, beauty, and workout videos on YouTube all the time. It’s time to get cracking — the world doesn’t stop turning cause your lazy, unmotivated, and stuck in the status-quo on the bottom of the rung of life. Do things that expand your brain like reading and watching how-tos, documentaries, and training videos.
Learn a new language and you’ll instantly become smarter. It’s easy to say something like “limit television time to 1 hour a night,” but impractical for most of you. Fact is, if you’re addicted to anything on TV (sitcoms, dramas, news, reality television), you’re like a coke head with an 8-ball being dangled in front of them when it comes to television — ie., it’s all or nothing and you’re going to do/watch it all!
Stop lounging/partying on weekends.
Think of all the hours wasted sitting around the house or partying your life away every time you get a break from work or school? It’s way too much to fathom, and, unless you’re a teenager you really need to consider growing up and making more productive use of your free time.
We’ve all mostly been programmed to treat weekends (days off) as a break from the “real world” but every hour spent doing something productive — related to the future you want — can shave years off the time it will take for you to get the success you’re looking for. Opportunities come only when you’re pursuing your goals, and not sitting around thinking about them or worse; getting blottoed at your local dance club or pub.
Same goes for sick days. Just because you’re sick doesn’t mean your brain has stopped working — at least in most cases!
Stop calling it “break time”.
Expanding further on the last point, everyone who wants to create more professional opportunities for themselves needs to stop taking so many darned breaks. When you’re at school or work and “break time” comes around, call it “professional development” time or something similar instead. Forget about what Donald’s Tweeting about, or what the Rock just posted on Instagram.
They’ve already achieved a level of success few out there ever will, and a few minutes spent posting to social isn’t going to change their life in a negative way. You? Can’t make the same promise.
That break time could be spent brainstorming ways to get your next promotion, or figuring out how the heck you’re going to market new skills learned in school when you’re finally done. Think of all the hours that can add up with the average daily “break time” given by employers for an 8 hour day (approximately 1 – 1.5 hours?) It’s staggering what you could learn or figure out in a week — month — year. Chip away at a great book, listen to an insightful Gary Vee or Grant Cardone rant.
Don’t be a brainless commuter.
That means ditching the music and news reels. I almost never listen to music anymore. With a host of amazing podcasts out there to expand my brain, music is limited to workouts only (and sometimes not even then), and the news is for suckers who thrive on and get energy from their negativity biases. That kind of brain junk will only make you a negative Nancy or Ned, and will probably kill potentially good networking opportunities when they come around.
Audiobooks and training apps are cool too (ever hear of Duolingo?) But I can’t emphasise the benefits offered by podcasts enough. Listen to the Joe Rogan Experience for a mixed bag of entertainment and real world education on every topic known to man. Tim Ferriss “deconstructs” the lives and careers of the biggest successes on the planet. Guys like Lewis Howes are right up there when it comes to learning from successful people.
Brown-bag it ya’ll!
Hah! Got ya, if you thought I was talking about your lunchtime again! Brown-bag sessions are when you get like-minded people together to discuss opportunities, theories, knowledge and more to help the collective expand their minds and create opportunities to take their lives and careers to the next level.
Take turns leading the group to learn new skills such as a language or gaining advanced Microsoft Excel skills. Agree on a new insightful book to read every week, where everyone reads and later discusses it at a brown-bag session. Start with these.
Ease anxiety with nature therapy.
In order to think of ways to generate more professional opportunities, you need to have a clear head and a body that’s grounded to Mother Earth. Nature therapy or ecotherapy as it’s often called is a great way to stay grounded and present. Take your shoes off and let your bare feet “ground” on the Earth whenever possible.
It’s a huge movement that involves doing a variety of activities in nature, rather than a stuffy gym or community center. Exercise, garden, meditate, or walk your dog in the woods. You’ll meet other people with similar interests and as with any type of human interaction, you’ll undoubtedly find more opportunities for personal and professional growth along the way.
“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”
Are you ready to change?
Main Image Credit: Paul Ramos/Flickr