The personal development ecosystem is huge. When one hears this idea of improving oneself for the first time and decide to do some research, they stumble upon thousands of hundreds of videos in YouTube, countless books, podcasts and even documentaries. At the end of the day, it’s very easy for people to be overwhelmed and quit before even getting started, and the main reason is because they have no clue where to start. This usually gets worse because advice is often contradictory.

Too Much Information, Thanks

One book tells you to let the Universe do its workings, you just have to trust it. A couple of hours later you watch a video about being 100% responsible for what happens in your life and you are the maker of your destiny. So, what can you do of it?

Some people recommend you start breathwork, some yoga or meditation, a couple to get rich so you can travel the world, and a few to retire from life, go live on a cave and get enlightened. So you end up thinking to yourself if those people have a real job or just spend 24 hours a day doing personal development work since it’s impossible to do those habits every day consistently without having your friends and family believing you are in a sect or something?

In the midst of this information overload, the key question is: “how do I get started with Personal Development and what is the best method to improve myself?”

Let me give it a shot.

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The Introductory Guide of Self-Actualization

Step 1. Build a Conceptual Framework

The first step of this journey is to build a conceptual framework of what personal development is: its facets, elements, implications and possible results.

By reading books about different topics, watching videos and listening to podcasts, your mind will start get an idea of what are the possible avenues for improvement and development in your life. Since most of us enter this field because there’s something in particular we want to fix (like losing weight or earing more money) we end up missing the bigger picture of what personal development work is and means.

So by consuming hours of content, we begin to understand that it’s not just about a quick-fix solution, but about creating a powerful, passionate life, a healthy mind and body, developing honest and fulfilling relationships, and much more.

After all, information overload might not be such a bad thing.

Step 2. Create a Vision For Yourself

After you’ve amassed lots of information, advice, and tips, it’s time to create a vision for yourself. Now that you know what’s possible to accomplish if you set your mind to it, you’ll need to take some time and contemplate what do you want out of life, how do you want it to look like 1, 5 and 10 years? How do you want to be feeling? What do you want to be doing? What do you want to accomplish, contribute and create? Remember to take into account all aspects of yourself: body, mind, relationships, finance, health, and more. Whatever comes up for you really.

Here is where most people are stuck at. They don’t take the time to realize that what they’ve read and heard and watched is possible for them too so they don’t take action.

That’s why it’s key for you to take some time to think about your future. Most people never consider what they want out of life, they just follow the herd and do whatever everybody else is doing, mindlessly and automatically.

Just by realizing you have the power to design your life, you’ll have a huge advantage – don’t miss this opportunity.

Step 3. Create a Life Purpose

The third step is to create a life purpose. And notice here that I said “create”, not “discover”.

There’s this cultural narrative that people are inherently born with a purpose to pursue in life and they must find it. The result, unfortunately, is thousands of people living miserably waiting for that “Eureka” moment in which they discover why are they here and what they should be doing.

Fortunately, that’s not true. There’s no secret scripture in heaven specifying what people should be doing with their lives. By realizing that purpose is not discovered but created, it gives us the power to create one right now and not wait for divine inspiration to strike. It puts the ball in our court and pushes us to take responsibility for our lives.

What is it that you like doing, that you wouldn’t mind making a career out of it? How would you like to impact the world and contribute to society? Possibilities are as many as your creativity and willingness to make it work. There are people making a living by playing video games, creating Lego sculptures, travelling the world, tasting beers, donuts or writing cookie fortunes.

So if you dare, be innovative, create a life purpose you can dedicate your time and energy into and make it work – it will be a big source of fulfillment and money. It will be challenging, but it will be for sure worth it.

Step 4. Start a Spiritual Practice

Don’t get discouraged by the word spiritual. What I’m referring here is starting a practice that improves the quality of your mind. This can be contemplation, mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or breathwork.

We are constantly distracted and caught up in our own thinking and emotions that we are barely conscious that we are alive, that we are existing. This internal chatter is more often than not unsupportive, unnecessary, and full of self-doubt. We believe that what happens inside of us has no consequences, it is further from the truth.

What we think and feel is what determines our experience of life and ourselves. So, by starting a spiritual practice, our mind tends to quiet down, our inner dialogue diminishes and our experience becomes much more alive and present.

I would recommend aiming for 5 minutes at first and build the habit up to 30 minutes. With time, you’ll see a huge difference and the results will spread through different aspects of your life.

Step 4. Build Healthy and Supportive Habits

Healthy habits are what keeps us in track and accompanies through our journey. They are the ones that will give us the energy that we need to succeed and accomplish our goals and objectives. They are the building blocks of our day and life.

At this point in your journey, you probably have a couple dozen habits that you can implement. You can check my video about 10 habits that you can implement to get started but some of them include:

  • Journaling
  • Eating healthy
  • Limiting social media consumption
  • Reading
  • Waking up early
  • Cold showers
  • Programing your subconscious mind

And more. Just be sure you are consistent with them so start small and slow and build them up as you progress.

This is For the Long Run!

On a final note, personal development is long, challenging journey – it will take time, effort, money, and emotional labor. You’ll need to change, and change is hard. You’ll have to go out of your comfort zone daily, weekly and yearly and it’s going to get tiring. But you know what,  it will be the most rewarding thing you’ll ever do in your entire life, because this is not about some project, it’s your life we are talking about. And 1% better a day can make a huge difference in 10 years.

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