By: Martin Grunburg]
I want to elaborate a bit on a recent popular podcast episode, “The Best Gift You Can Give.”
Do you know the best gift you can give someone? Is it love? Money? A trip around the world? Knowledge?
I’ve been doing this a lot these days — writing follow-ups to podcast episodes I aired previously.
This provides me with an opportunity to elaborate and perhaps clarify my off-the-cuff ramblings. Now, you’d think I’d do it the other way around — that is write the post FIRST and then do the podcast after — but that’s not how I’ve rolled.
Having said that, here are at least 8 reasons personal development (self-help) is the very best thing you can do for yourself and by extension your loved ones —and as one listener put it, the world!
The Dalai Lama likes to say, “Awareness is like the sun, and when it shines on things they are transformed.” Now, you might argue that things are transformed anyway with or without awareness. This is true, yet one is intentional (and guided) and the other is by default and without intention. Incredibly, you get to choose which! Choosing the former, of course, begins with awareness.
Lao Tzu put it this way: “Knowing others is intelligence and knowing the self is true wisdom.” Plato suggested that, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” Both of these pieces of advice lead us to self-knowledge. “Know Thyself” was an ancient Greek aphorism for good reason.
#3) Strengths & Weaknesses!
Knowing thyself leads us to understand both our strengths and our weaknesses. The “funny” thing is there are “gurus” out there who insist you ought to ignore your weaknesses and just focus on your strengths! Please do not do this. That would be a terrific mistake. There are countless famous and non-famous people who have turned a perceived “weakness” into a strength via awareness and intention. Had I ignored my weakness — an inability to focus (concentrate my efforts) and achieve goals — The Habit Factor (book, app (iOS & Android), methodology) would not exist.
When we begin to really understand both our strengths and weaknesses, we can formulate new ideals (goals) to aim for. Do I need to become more kind? Do I need to become a better listener? How can I better serve my community? Goals formulate when we have awareness and understand our strengths and weaknesses.
Once new ideals are established and goals become fastened, those who follow The Habit Factor® know and understand that the most efficient path to realizing goals is to establish new, positive habits that are aligned with their goal. Therefore, they begin to intentionally focus on those core, recurring behaviors — the habits that will lead them to their new goal and ideals.
Apparently I cannot write or speak about this enough: The Latin root of habit is HABIT•US, meaning: “Condition and/or CHARACTER.” Thus, your condition, at this moment, and your character are the sum total of all your thought and behavior habits to this point. Habit equals Character.
This sounds a bit extreme, I know, but stick with me here: It’s based upon a terrific quote by the late, great Wayne Dyer. He would often say, “True nobility is not about being better than anyone else; true nobility is about being better than you used to be.” And, where is the harm in that?
Finally, such “nobility” bettering ourselves leads us to:
Virtue is the result of long-standing habit! Don’t take it from me, that’s Aristotle! When Ben Franklin decided (note the word: DECIDED!) to intentionally craft his 13 virtues, he didn’t even know it at the time, but he was simply tracking and forging habits — the core, related behaviors (habits) that would ultimately help him yield the wonderful 13 virtues he desired!
So there you have it: 8 great reasons WHY (each leading to the next), the very best gift you can give yourself, your loved ones and the world is the pursuit of your own self-improvement (self-help) and personal development— whatever term floats your boat!
Til next time,