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Posted January 1, 2008

The Power Behind Personal Development

Michael McGrath

A key concept in Personal Development involves accountability or taking full responsibility. In a world where "the blame game" rules supreme, this concept is hard for many to grasp and even harder to implement.

From birth to the present day all of us have been bombarded with negativity. Your parents raised you the best way they could but in many ways this was like "the blind leading the blind". They, as imperfect people, did an imperfect job. Your teachers tried to direct you as best they could with a flawed educational system as imperfect human beings also. Peers, hurting from emotional traumas, ridiculed and belittled you in the playground and beyond. Peer pressure has left you with emotional scars that just won't seem to heal.

There are a thousand reasons that can be given for your present position in life, your outlook and your lack of belief in yourself. However, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", Old Chinese Adage. In personal development that single, and most important, step is accountability or taking full responsibility for your life. To begin your steps and journey on the path to success it is of paramount importance to take accountability for the decisions, actions and thoughts that have lead you to where you currently are. You must stop blaming others for the way you feel, for the state of your life and your circumstances. Whatever has happened to you in the past, both real and imagined, is in the past. Your power is always in the present.

Not matter how hard you try or how much you moan, complain and feel regretful you simple cannot change the past. You must fully accept that it occurred and accept that you are who you are now and you are where you are now because of your own decisions and actions. Eliminate the need to blame others, circumstances or your environment for your problems. Take full responsibility for your life and you will release within you your own infinite potential.

Playing the blame game gets you nowhere and strips you of the ability to move forward. If others are to blame for your current circumstances then how can you hope to change these circumstances? If, on the other hand, it is you who is fully responsible for your life then it is you who can change it! No need to rely on the kind gestures of others or the magnanimous offerings of you peers, you can take control of the situation and direct it as you see fit. No matter how hard you try you cannot control the actions of others for any length of time and you cannot manipulate the world to act in accordance with your wishes. Of course that doesn't mean you can't change your personal world. It just means you can't control the world or its occupants. You must merely direct yourself along the flow of life and pick a river that is running in the direction you want to go.

We are told in numerous religious teachings that we were made in the image and likeness of The Creator. God-force resides within each and everyone of us. This means we have access to infinite resources and infinite power. Your infinite power has expression in the physical world through your decision or intention.

There is a desire within everyone to better their life. This desire takes different forms and has different objectives but we all have it. Many have been carrying these desires their entire lives never getting close to realising them. If we are all connected to the Source of all things, being made in the likeness and image of our Creator, where do you think that desire originates?

You would not be given desires and the yearning to better yourself and your life if it were not possible to achieve same. You were not put here to struggle. You came to overcome challenges and to enjoy the journey of life. You were given the tools to achieve anything you want and those tools reside within you.

Start with ambition! Decide that you can and will reach your goals because you now know that you are responsible for the direction your life takes and no-one else.

Create a vision that will stoke the fires of your enthusiasm. A vision that means something to only you. Something you have always wanted to achieve, be or do. A vision that lights your very soul when you think of it. Set your intention to achieve it. You are responsible. This is your vision for the future. This is the vision of your perfect life.

Now set stepping stone goals. Goals that once achieved have brought you that bit closer to your vision. Always set a goal that will take some effort to achieve but that does not seem so impossible that you will get discouraged and quit.

Write down your vision and your goals. Make statements that reflect positive outcomes as though they have already happened i.e. "I am extremely grateful now that I own my own successful business".

Never frame the statement in negative terms or in a way that reflects the "wanting" of the goal. "Wanting" is a confirmation of lack! When you want something you are telling yourself that you don't have it!

Let's take an example - your vision states that you want harmony in your home. You decide that the area you are living in is having a negative affect on your children due to their peers and environment. You decide that a good stepping stone goal would be to move to a better area. In order to do this you decide you need to find a better job to pay for the house. To find a better job you may need to go to night classes etc. Each goal should build the previous one.

Let's return to the example of the house. You set one of your stepping stone goals to buy a house in a better area, let's call this area "The Keys". You would not state your goal in negative terms i.e., "I don't want to live here anymore" or place your goal in the future, i.e., "I will live in a 5 bedroom house in The Keys". You would phrase it positively and in the present, i.e., "I live in a 5 bedroom house in The Keys".

Be sure to set a reasonable deadline for your goal. One that will make you stretch to achieve it but that is not totally unrealistic. As you progress in your own personal development and begin to access and realise the true power of your intentions and thoughts your deadlines can get closer and your goals will get bigger. For example, "It is [write future date] and I live in a 5 bedroom house in The Keys."

Read this statement twice a day. Morning and night. Visualize your goal and then your vision as being real in the here and now. In order to do this successfully you need to get specific. The more specific your goal is, the faster you will achieve it. What colour are the carpets in those 5 bedrooms? Is the entrance hall tiled? Perhaps you have wooden floors. What size is the garden? Is there a garage?

Now that you have set your goal it is necessary to calculate the best way of achieving it. Don't worry if you can't think of a way of achieving your vision or the path to your goal may be a little hazy at the minute. Taking small steps will lead to other opportunities and a way will be shown to you. However, for now let's assume you know how to get to your goal. Set out small tasks that you can take everyday that will bring you that little bit closer to your objective. Schedule these steps. This is where a "one page to one day" diary is invaluable. These small easy to manage and perform tasks are the concrete on your road to success. Take them everyday and you cannot fail to reach your goal. As you progress your goals will get bigger, your deadlines shorter, your diary fuller, your tasks more adventurous and your life richer!

Copyright © 2007 Michael McGrath
All Rights Reserved

Michael operates Personal Development which tests & reviews personal development products & Self Improvement which tests & reviews self improvement products.


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