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Marilyn Stevens

Need Self Help? Follow This Great Plan


Personal development encompasses activities that are designed to improve awareness and identity and develop talents and potential. Personal development training is meant to, in addition to improving who you are as a total person and increase your enjoyment and happiness with life. This article contains several useful tips about personal development.

A great self help tip that can help you change your life is to surround yourself with positive people. Being around negative people all the time can directly influence your own thinking. You’ll start thinking negatively without being aware of it. Being around positive people will help you think more positively.

Keep lists of your progress daily. When you have completed these lists, don’t be so quick to throw them away. Just because the lists are complete does not mean that you are done with them. Try surrounding yourself with your progress by keeping them and displaying them. This can give you drive and let you know that you can accomplish your goals.

One place, either at home or at work, that should remain clutter-free, is your desk. This is your personal work area, so you need to know where everything is. You need to have organization, such as files and drawers for your important papers and holders for things like pencils, business cards and paper clips.

Acknowledge your successes. We are often our own worst critics, making personal development a behemoth task for many individuals. Instead, focus on your successes, no matter how small they may be. Success adds up into greater things, and acknowledging a job well done is an excellent way to boost your self-esteem and motivation.

Try working in blocks of 10 minutes to get more work done. It’s true that 10 minutes is not an eternity or a great deal of time to accomplish everything, but when used correctly, you can get so much done in that short period of time. After that time is up, take a break and start again.

Make gradual changes. When you want to change, it can be tempting to jump into a new way of life. But many times when you take a big leap like that, you end up falling back into your old ways. Take your time and gradually ease into new things. Chances are,you will adopt the new lifestyle altogether.

Find a hobby and do something that interests you. Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress. If you can find a hobby that includes social interaction you may find yourself living a healthier lifestyle. Any hobby that is relaxing will help you relieve stress and find something to do with your time.

Exercise to improve your body, mood and life. Nothing lifts spirits and awakens minds better than a blood-pumping exercise regimen that also adds tremendous value to a healthy lifestyle. Plus, when you are fit, you will naturally have a lot more confidence, and that will carryover into everything that you do.

Slow down and enjoy your life. You may feel that it’s necessary to live a fast-paced or frantic lifestyle in order to get the things that you want, but you should routinely pause and appreciate the little things and the gifts that you’ve been given. These are the things that make everyday trials and toiling worth the time.

You should always take your time when you make a decision. Many people choose the easiest solution out of sheer laziness. Analyze your options and choose what is best for you, not what is easiest. You probably have bad habits ingrained in your lifestyle: get rid of them and start making the right choices.

Value what is important to you. We have been raised to make compromises, but why should you conform if it makes you unhappy? Break your old habits and follow what really matters to you. If something is really dear to you, organize your lifestyle around it and make compromises in favor of what matters to you.

As was stated in the opening of this article, personal development is all about improving awareness and identity as a way to reach your full potential as a completely developed, well-rounded person. By applying the great advice in this article you will be well on the way to reaching your dreams and becoming the person you want to be.

Getting on the Path

“I say it is useless to waste your life on one path, especially if that path has no heart. Before you embark on it you ask the question: Does this path have a heart?”

The Teachings of Don Juan

When I begin to wallow in the mires of “purpose,” I try to immediately remind myself of that thing we can all count on: death. Our bodies, brains, perceptions, aspirations, memories, senses of hope and nostalgia, and any sense of purpose we acquired along the way, will eventually crumble, vaporize, and vanish into the ether.

No one can refute me on this one. I’m supremely confident in its validity. This paper explicitly expresses that we have NOT chosen nihilism (turn to page one). It is in this spirit that I venture boldly forth into the realm of purpose for all shiny, bushy-tailed, budding college students.

Turn to page 86 of your Cat’s Tale Student Hand Book and you’ll find an attractive and simple outline for discovering your personal mission. It begins as follows: “If you can identify your mission—a plan that defines your personal sense of purpose and meaning in life, who you are and who you want to be—you are far more likely to accomplish what you set out to do.”

As far as I can tell, the college student is supposed to be cultivating his or her potential self; this is to say, that we are told to situate ourselves in the context of the future. Why else would they make me do something so ridiculous as to choose a major?

“Go ahead!” they say, “Choose that sparkling self of the future and begin to mold yourself in its image. Do this. Begin immediately.” This mentality infuriates me, and I often cite its ridiculousness when procrastinating in the face of that ten-page paper.

It’s likely that this paper would explore something I’m really into. I probably really love the professor. Then, in all likelihood the voice of Richard Sugarman will echo in hoarse grandeur through the caves of my brain: “The truth is in finishing.”

I will then groan and scrunch my face, realizing that the only thing I “finished” that day was a turkey sandwich.

There is something in us that seeks permanence, and finds meaning there. Things get sticky when virtually every facet of our identity is destined to perish. If you believe that you will live on through your great works of genius, or even through your progeny, know that in 5 billion years or so, the sun will explode and obliterate the earth.

Even if your only value is personal growth, you certainly can’t tackle it from a temporal standpoint. And the minute you choose to live only in the now, especially in a college dormitory, you can expect total chaos to swiftly follow.

So what the fuck are we supposed to do? If you want to get spiritual, you could begin the search for what will exist in you after all your progeny becomes the swirling stuff of a planetary nebula. Or you could completely let go of traditional ambition and resolve to just be happy.

You could also get really solid, completely surefooted, in your knowingness that the past and the future don’t exist, that all you’ve ever really got is the present moment, and that the thing most likely to bring you that super potent mix of happy is doing the hard shit that you love—and finishing.