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What is Personal Development?

Stuart Tan (Adam Khoo's business partner)

Stuart Tan (Adam Khoo's business partner)

First, let me put forth my disclaimer here. This is just a simple article addressed to simple laymen sharing what I understand and believe about personal development and what it has done for me and what I have seen how it has helped other people to become successful. It is not meant to be definitive on what personal development is about.

Simply put, personal development is about educating and training a person to bring out the best in an individual to manage one’s life better. There are many personal development training companies that charge exorbitant fees for a training workshop that last just a few hours to a few days. Personally, I have attended a 5-day workshop that cost me $1000. The personal development industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and professional training for personal development does not come cheap. Famous personal development coaches are paid several thousand dollars an hour just to give a speech.

So what does personal development encompass? There are several aspects to personal development training. First of all, personal development can be an umbrella term that refers to any discipline dealing with a person’s inward issues dealing with emotions, personal discipline, personal philosophies, life perspectives, etc. just to name a few. Some other personal development trainings focus on more specific areas such as communicating with others, building and maintaining relationships, time management, financial management, wealth creation, health and fitness, etc.

Why Personal Development?

I believe that as you grew up from a child studying in a school to an adult working at your job, you’ve come across classmates and colleagues who stood out from the crowd in some areas of their life. You may have classmates who excelled in their studies and won awards and scholarships with ease while you struggled just to keep in pace with your academic work. Some peers kept high profiles. They are not only presidents of clubs and societies, but also captains of their respective sports and they still managed to ace their exams. Perhaps it is a colleague who gets along well with almost anybody and a magnet to members of the opposite sex. May be it is another colleague who always tops his sales and is promoted way ahead of everyone else.

It is no secret that these people who are very real in our everyday lives possess talents and qualities that we do not. Things we tend to struggle with seem to come naturally to them. This is because they have skills that we do not possess. Some of these skills are natural to them (talent) while some may be developed.

The classmate of yours who is a scholar certainly possessed study skills and memory skills that most of your classmates and you did not possess. And I believe he was able to read his books much faster than you could. If he managed many other profiles such as presidents or captains, he certainly knew how to manage his time well and possessed leadership skills as well.

How Does Personal Development Work?

The good news is that we may not be as good as these successful people who live among us but we can become as good as they are or even better through personal development. In personal development, we simply analyze the skills that these people possess and we learn to develop these skills for ourselves by imitating them in order to be as good as they are. What were not natural to us, we can always develop through a conscious effort if only we have the determination and desire to achieve followed by massive, consistent actions. Yes, I said, “massive, consistent actions.” You are trying to overcome and undo those habits, personal traits, belief system, emotions and life philosophies that you have been believing and practicing as long as you have lived that have hindered you from being successful. It is not going to change overnight just by reading a book or listening to a message.

Matt Morris, the founder of Success University, was such an example when he immersed himself into the study of Personal Development and rose above his situation of being homeless and in debt to become a self-made millionaire. In his own words, he quoted Tony Robbins saying, “If you want to achieve success, find someone else who has done it, figure out how they did it, do the same thing and you get the same results.”

So does Personal Development really work? The proof in the pudding is in the eating. However, practicing personal development is not just eating a pudding. It is like taking constant medication taken over a period of time in order for the healing to manifest. You do not take your medication for one day and decided that the medicine does not work just because you do not get well immediately. Many of today’s famous personal development coaches were once defeated in life such as Matt Morris, Johnny Wimbrey and Les Brown. In Singapore, there is a man named Adam Khoo who was a total academic failure. In his teens, he attended a workshop on studying skills and together with his determination to prove his personal worth, he became one of the top students in his secondary school and university. He then wrote a book entitled, “I am Gifted, So are You!
” in which he shared the skills he had learned and applied that have turned his failures into success. Adam Khoo firmly believed that what he has achieved through his training and practice, others can too. Today, Adam Khoo has become a young self-made millionaire. Together with his friends, Stuart Tan and Patrick Cheo, they have built Adam Khoo Learning Technologies Group (AKLTG) teaching and training children and teenager who have self-esteem issues and challenged in their academic performance.

Take Action Today!

The ball is in your court. You can choose to take actions and transform your life or you can choose to be cynical, skeptical and critical and live the rest of your life the way it has always been.

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