Not enough time for personal development? We are all busy, with constant change, high expectations, multiple commitments and competing priorities. We work hard, so many tasks to be achieved in a day, our ‘to do’ lists groan under the weight of our expectations. We learn as we go, we do what we need to – yet there is never enough time to read, to reflect and to make long term plans – between life, work and family commitments our lives are just too busy!
John Lennon sang, “Life is what happens to you, while you’re busy making other plans” one of the paradoxes of life is that life is what happens to you, with or without a plan! You can maintain the status quo and don’t plan at all. It’s a choice! Just go with the flow and live that busy ‘never enough time’ life or address those nagging ‘there has to be a better way‘ thoughts and take time to plan, reflect and consider your direction. What is it you really want to achieve? With a plan you get to be the driver, you get to design your future.
What is your Personal Development Plan (PDP) plan? Is it relevant? What does it look like? Does your plan support ‘what you do’ and does it incorporate the why? Does it contain your own unique individualised aspects for personal growth and development? How ‘comfortable’ is your PDP? Is it achievable through effort and will it truly stretch and challenge your personal growth?
Our Comfort Zones are the places we ‘comfortably’ inhabit, they are uniquely ours, designed by us and embraced by us. Expanding our Comfort Zones takes effort, its takes a step or a leap out of our comfort zones to achieve growth. Experiencing the huge area outside of our comfort zone can range from mild discomfort to the extremely difficult.
Is your ‘busyness’ within your comfort zone? In our day to day interactions our “How are you?” queries are so often responded to with comments like “I’m busy, I’m flat-out, I’m really busy, things are crazy” or words that effect. These days, it seems that everyone is so very busy, we’ve all got a great deal going on, there are so many things competing for our attention.
When did you last step out of your comfort zone?
When did you take a step that gave you the heart in mouth, butterflies in the stomach, or the nervous risk of failure feeling?
Is your ‘busyness’ crowding out your growth?
Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing each day that scares you”. Eleanor was a leader who campaigned for the rights of workers, women, children, the oppressed and the poor. I imagine that in her role as First Lady to the US President, Eleanor had many opportunities to do things that scared her and, as it is for all of us, the lure of taking the ‘safe’ option would have been strong. Doing her ‘one scary thing’ each day achieved significant results and left a powerful legacy.
Stepping out of our comfort zones is an exercise that is good for us, by stepping out we develop personally and gain confidence. Doing something new that is a challenge builds our capacity for change and growth. If that action or change is difficult and scares us, the more meaningful it will be. Neuroscience tells us that learning new things and taking new action is good for our brains and builds our neuroplasticity. When we do or learn something new we build new neural pathways and our brains become more active and alert. Taking new actions and learning new things is exercise for our brains.
Reflecting on your own growth, personal development and comfort zone challenges what will you change in your PDP? How will you expand your comfort zone? Some questions you may like to reflect upon to assist your planning;
What is my vision?
What do I want to do more of?
What do I want to do less of?
What will I do that scares me?
How will I ‘live’ (be accountable to) my plan?
What will success look like?
A plan provides an anchor, a foundation for growth and development, a place for deliberate attention to things that matter most, important investment in a future that you get to create. Your plan can be complex or simple, it is your construct, to be worked on, reviewed and tweaked as needed, it provides you with your unique road map to making a difference.
Happy…… ‘making a difference’!