There are three kinds of people when it comes to reaching your fullest potential:
1) People who have no idea who they want to become, what they want to do, or where they want to go with their life; and drift
as a result.
2) People who know exactly where they want to go and who they want to become but never do it. Why? Usually because they have
fears that hold them back, they are not willing to pay the price, or they worry about other responsibilities that will go
3) People who know exactly where they want to go and do it. They act every day with passion, focus, and determination.
Failures are nothing more than stepping stones for learning and growth. These are the people who grow to reach their fullest
To grow as a person and reach for your full potential, the best place to start is with identifying your strengths, values, and
passions. There is a connection between reaching your potential and being aware of your passions. And more often than not your
passions will flow from your strengths and values. When you connect with your passions it allows you to act every day from your
heart; it gives you the energy to propel you toward your goals, while overcoming setbacks and failure.
To discover your passions it is important to listen to your heart; pay attention to what you love to do over and over again. Ask
yourself, where can I use my strengths, where can I exercise my values, where can I make a difference, what fulfills me? Being
aware of who you are, fulfilling what you want to do with your life and who you want to become is the most important thing you will
To reach your full potential you must know where you want to go. How do we move from where we are to where we want to go? It is a
process! Consider these ideas I learned from John C. Maxwell from his book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth:
1) Develop an awareness of where your choices and actions are taking you today. Are they taking you in the direction you want
to go? Are they growing you into the person you want to become? If not, make a list of the steps you must take to get to where you
want to go. Think about where and how you can use your strengths, live your values, and pursue your passions.
2) Take action every day in the direction of where you want to go in life. The key is taking the right actions that will move
you forward toward your goals. And it is important to take the right actions every day. A small step in the right direction every
day will eventually become gigantic steps toward reaching your potential.
3) Hold yourself accountable to keep moving forward. Here are two very helpful ideas. First, go public with your goals. When
you tell others what you intend to accomplish it puts pressure on you to perform. Second, every day write down what actions you
took to move you forward toward your goals. The process forces you to take a look at your daily decisions and actions.
4) Attract the right people to you. We all attract people toward us who are like us. When you start growing and moving toward
your passions, you will begin to attract people who are moving in the same direction as you want to go. You will start to attract
people like the person you want to become. When you are focused on pursuing your dreams, you will attract people who are pursuing
similar dreams. This places you in a position to work with and receive support from like-minded people.
5) Be prepared to pay the price. To grow and move forward requires people to change. To face our fears will require change. To
overcome obstacles will require change. To change will require giving up things you enjoy.
6) Don’t wait until you are ready. If you wait until you have enough money, enough education, enough time, enough experience,
or meet the right people, you will never get started; and getting started is the only thing that is important. You must adopt the
attitude you will learn as you go. You must assume the attitude you will learn from your mistakes as you continue to move forward.
You must get started on the journey if you ever hope to reach your full potential.
What Is Personal Growth & Development?
Human development is a lifelong process. People are capable of growing, learning and improving throughout their entire lives, and
the ability to do so has an impact on many areas. Personal growth is necessary both in the workplace and in relationships. There
are various components of personal development, including responsibility, learning, behavior and attitude. Striving to improve
these areas will lead to greater opportunities in the workplace and healthy relationships.
Personal growth and development are relevant to the workplace. Employers want employees who are learning and growing. People who
are becoming more knowledgeable and adept at their positions are more valuable than employees who remain stagnant. An ideal
employee will be capable of handling and understanding more than one position, as this allows for greater flexibility within the
Relationships often require work and effort on behalf of the individuals involved. When a person is able to grow and develop, it
helps to foster healthy relationships. Additionally, having a significant other to offer support can be immensely helpful when one
is looking to develop potential and grow into a more complete person.
One area for personal growth is responsibility
. Being responsible is a trait often identified with adulthood and maturity. The ability to accomplish and take on new
responsibilities is especially important in the workplace. Employers evaluate their employees on how well they do at completing
tasks. Beyond just meeting tasks, employees who seek out additional responsibility are more likely to be rewarded with greater
compensation and the opportunity for better positions. Developing the ability to be responsible helps enable one to grow in her
Humans grow and develop by learning new skills and acquiring additional knowledge.
One way for a person to develop is to further his education. Education is a valued commodity in the business world, and
institutions of higher learning provide ample opportunity for an individual to grow. Colleges and universities promote critical
thinking. By using this resource, an employee can take steps towards developing his career.
By developing and growing, one's attitude can change for the better.
Self-confidence will be improved with the acquisition of new skills and knowledge. The more one comes to respect herself, the more
respect she can, in turn, offer others. An improved attitude can lead to further growth and development and help one achieve her
full potential. The better an attitude one has, the more she is able to accomplish. Employers will notice those workers who have
great attitudes and get a lot done. Employees like that are the ones who become promoted and reap greater financial benefit.
Personal growth is a process that produces personal change and progress. And it starts from within you. Personal development will
happen when you make a firm decision to...
Improve your awareness
Work on your attitude
Believe in yourself and your potential
Develop your skills
Set your goals
Begin with the end in mind
How to Create Your Personal Development Plan
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don't much care where –” said Alice.
“Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
Do you know where you're going? Where do you see yourself in a year, five years – and perhaps ten years down the road? In the years
where I have planned out what I wanted to accomplish, I invariably achieved what I set out to do – and it has consistently been
more than in the years when I didn't plan.
So from my personal experience, it's true – if you don't know where you want to get to, it doesn't matter which way you go.
Do you have hopes and dreams you're chasing? If you do, but aren't sure which way to go – perhaps a personal development plan will
help you figure that out, and help you get there.
Why Put Together a Personal Development Plan?
“He who fails to plan is planning to fail.”
You may have previously read this discussion on writing down your goals, where I point to research showing that it has a measurable
effect, increasing the likelihood of success. In addition to the research, three big reasons I like having a personal development
Clarity. Knowing what I am trying to accomplish gives me a clear idea of what I'm working on.
Define The Why. Oftentimes, along the way I'll come across tasks and situation that I simply don't enjoy doing. Having a personal
development plan shows me why I'm doing what I'm doing.
My Compass. I'm a very driven, ambitious person – but if I don't have a plan of what I'm trying to accomplish, I end up expending
energy in many different directions. A personal development plan keeps me headed towards consistent goals.
What Do I Put In A Personal Development Plan?
“Success requires a wel-articulated goal. It is not a product of wishful thinking.”
– 7 Simple Steps
The answers to this question are varied. For me, the broad answer is this: I write down what I want, and I write down how I plan to
That's the overarching purpose, but I'll give you some specific examples of what to include in your personal development plan as
well. Some of these items I added after recommendations from my mentors. One thing to note though is there are no hard and fast
rules – your personal development plan is all about you, and what you want to accomplish.
Personal Development Plan Example Sections
Your Life Purpose. What were you born to do? What is the meaning of your life? Unsurprisingly, this is the first module in my free
course, Personal Development 101.
Your Dreams. Those far reaching thoughts and hopes that inspire you to action.
Short, Medium and Long Term Goals. Some people like weekly, monthly, others like yearly and beyond. I like to have a mix of them,
but at any given time I like to have at least some goals I can accomplish in the span of a few months. This lets me see that I have
measurable progress towards my goals.
■Your Beliefs and Values. What do you stand for? And perhaps, what do you wish your actions showed you stand for?
■Your Ideal Self. I like to write down “Ideal Sid.” I have a description of the type of person I want to be – the way I act
around people, the way I spend my days, and I have some specific things such as how ideal Sid responds to criticism, how ideal Sid
deals with negative people, and how ideal Sid deals with failure. I don't always act the way I idealize I should, but it gives me
something to shoot for – and most often, this section is not accomplishment or achievement driven. It's mostly about my
interactions with people.
■Mistakes and Lessons. Very often I'll make mistakes along the way. I don't write them down to beat myself up over them – I
write them down because we learn so much from our mistakes.
■Success and Milestones. Just as I note my mistakes, I also celebrate my successes.
Personal Development Plan Template for Goals
One of the areas many people struggle with is setting goals. That is a whole other article in and of itself on how to effectively
set goals, but lets talk specifically in the context of a personal development plan. How can you get a good overview of the
direction you want your life to head? Once you've settled on your life purpose and your big dreams, you should sketch out some
goals in the most important areas in your life, at regular intervals. I like to go ten years out, but three or gives years is great
too. A very simple personal development plan template for goals might look like this:
Goal Area One Year Three Year Five Year Ten Year
For each box, answer these questions:
What specifically do I want to accomplish?
Who can help me?
How do I get there? (What actions do I need to take?)
Personal Development Planning Tools
In addition to the information above, consider other tools to help you with your personal development
Events. Especially for career and education goals, are there seminars you can attend? Conferences? Meetups where people similar to
Classes/Books/Educational material. Sometimes the first step is finding the resources we need. You may want to start by checking
out some of my personal development product reviews.
Mentors and Supporters. Who can you reach out to that can help you with your goals? For many of my personal goals, I've formed
individual mastermind groups towards a specific purpose. I also have a lot of favorite blogs I read that inspire me. In addition to
this one, you might enjoy:
Litemind – Exploring ways to use our minds efficiently
The Skool Of Life
Change Your Thoughts – Change Your Life
Advanced Life Skill
Free Personal Development Planning Course
If you're looking to dip your toes in, and want a pre-laid out set of exercises to help you with your personal development plan, I
recommend signing up for my free personal development course, personal development 101. It includes a series of instructions,
exercises and worksheets, most of which take less than 15 minutes each to do. You'll learn a lot about yourself, your life purpose,
your dreams – and can immediately start seeing results in your life.
For a very thorough treatment of a step by step plan for personal development, you can check out my review of 7 Simple Steps – A
Life Transformation Guide. It approaches personal development from the perspective of who you are, your internal values, and leads
you step by step forward to create a plan for the outcomes and success you desire.
My Secret For Personal Growth and Change: How To Change Yourself
The First Question: Do I Want To?
More important than anything else is considering what my goals are, and the expected end result of a particular project is. If this
is not something I desire, then why am I doing it? For this reason, before I spend my time on anything, I ask myself:
“Do I want to make this change?”
Some of the things to consider when I am asking myself this question are:
Is this the direction I want my life to go?
Are the activities involved the way I want to spend my time?
Are the end results consequences I desire?
The Second Question: Can I?
Before embarking on a serious life change, it has to be something I truly believe I can do – or I'm already set up for failure. So
once I've decided I want something, the next question to myself is always:
Regardless of whether other people think I can accomplish something or not, it's important for me to believe I can.
Can I make this change?”
Here I am asking myself:
Do I have the ability to make this change?
Do I have the necessary tools to make this change?
Do I have the time available to make this change?
Do I have the support I need to make this change?
I must be able to completely, unconditionally answer this question with a “Yes.” If I say “no”, then I dig deeper:
Why don't I believe I can do this?
Is there something about the situation I can change so I can accomplish this?
Who can help me?
What sacrifices can I make, and what commitments can I break to make this goal feasible?
Regardless of whether other people think I can accomplish something or not, it's important for me to believe I can. If the answer
to this question (“Can I?”) is yes, I then need to consider:
The Third Question: Will I?
“Will I make this change?”
This question sounds similar to the first, but it's more a question of personal determination:
Am I willing to make the sacrifices needed to make this change?
Am I willing to work without encouragement or glory to make this change?
Am I willing to endure long enough to see results from this change?
If I have the personal determination to accomplish my goal and make the change, then there is only one thing left for me to
The Fourth, and Final, Question: When?
The final question is:
“When will I make this change? If I can answer the first three questions truthfully with a resounding yes, then there is only one
logical answer to this final quesiton:
If this change is something I want, something I can do, and something I will do – then there is no point in delaying it. There is
no point in putting it off until tomorrow – I must take steps today towards it. Other people may disagree (and if you do, please
share in the comments) – however my personal view is if I am truly willing to make the commitment and sacrifices needed, and my
desire is strong enough – then there is no excuse for procrastinating another moment.