Why Personal Growth Matters

Updated: Feb 9

I’d like you to think about the last event you went to, where there was some level of social risk at play, be it a social event, a presentation at work, or simply a conversation with a peer or someone new. Can you think back to what happened in the moment you had to do the talking, you had all eyes focused on you, ears awaiting what you had to say, and brains searching for body language cues. There was surmounting pressure to leave a good impression, say something valuable, to speak insightfully, or at least posit a useful contribution. Now, instead, think of a course, book, podcast or lecture that might’ve helped you get an even better outcome from that situation.

If you were talking to a stranger who was interested in travelling. Think of how much better you would have connected and left a better impression, if you had learnt about travelling, or read a book about great places to travel.

If you were in negotiation with a new business partner, or in an interview for a new job, think of how much better the outcome could have been if you had already read a book on body language, an article on personal branding, or a podcast on how to sell yourself.

Think of your life 20 years from now if you had decided tomorrow to pick up a book on investing, and started to learn how to invest money, or picked up a book on how to improve your health, and took the steps necessary to do so. If you were to compare the two versions of yourself, the one who read the books, or learnt the insights, versus the one who didn’t, you would see two very different people at very different stages of their life, yet the exact same age. Now, using that same logic, think of yourself now in your current set of circumstances, your house, your car, your friends and your job. If, two years ago, you had picked up a few books, listened to a few valuable podcasts, or taken a few courses, would you still be in the exact same position? Could you possibly have a better situation? How would that better situation impact your level of happiness?

Imagine where you would be today if someone gave you a book on how to successfully diet, or how to get through a breakup quickly, how to negotiate, or even how to start a profitable business.

Those small bits of information would have influenced every decision you’ve made up until now. They would have improved the filter that you see life through, impacting every single moment of your life until this moment, which would have resulted in a drastically different life.

Imagine if you had read a book on how to save money, you would’ve probably bought less things you didn’t need, and would currently have a bigger savings account.

Every day we make an estimated 32,000 decisions.

These bits of information learnt all add up, so that we can use them when we’re faced with these decisions, big or small; and very often unconscious decisions. They influence our choices whether we notice or not.

A good analogy I like to use is:

Think of a plane, travelling along the sky at a steady pace in a straight line perfectly across the middle of the equator, now if that plane were to keep travelling straight all the way around the globe it would land perfectly where it began. Yet if it were to adjust its steering by as little as 1 degree just once before it first took off, yet still travelled the same amount of distance, it would actually land 809km away from where it first left off.

This one seemingly insignificant adjustment made such a huge impact over the course of the trip, and this is exactly how a small piece of information can also make a huge impact across the course of your life. Truly, one good book can change the course of your life dramatically.

Now you always have that choice, how can I spend my free time?

Perhaps scrolling through social media is altering your life course for the better, or for the worse. Maybe spending your Saturday night binge-watching TV series is steering you in a better direction. It's up to you to decide, but this decision is what intentional personal growth is all about. Picking your direction, and ensuring you're being nudged toward it by feeding your brain the information that will change your thoughts.

Valuable information changes the way you think, which alters your decisions, which regulates the way you behave, and thus changes your life circumstances.

Small changes alter the course of your life with every small decision, the frequent decisions (habits) are the ones that make the most difference, but they all change the course, whether you notice or not.

So, why not have some control over these changes.

Have some control over the direction you’re steering this plane.

Make time for personal growth, and you will be actively steering the plane (your life) toward the direction you need.

Here’s a map of some of the methods I employ:

Personal Growth Mind-map

Keep optimising,