In an ever-faster world, with always more information, thanks to social media, always having to be happy without the keys of happiness, and all the socials rules that we should follow, it’s normal to be lost. In this context, a new practice appeared: the personal development
Personal development is the notion to develop yourself, nothing harder than that. It’s used to analyze your operation system, it follows your habits, your emotions, your way of think, and helps you to work on it and become the best version of yourself. It teaches you to accept who you are, with benevolence. A lot of different disciplines have been mixed to create personal development. This combination will improve your self-knowledge and your quality of life, but also reveal your potential and talents to realize your dreams if you accept the responsibility of your life.
The personal development appeared around the XVIIIth century. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin already wrote books with tips and “recipes” about life and business management. They started to integrate personal development as a notion in 1936 with Dale Carnegie’s books. He wrote about understanding humans to improve and develop sales of companies, and then marketing.
Around 1943, Abraham Maslow’s work has been interested in human’s needs and created the Maslow’s Pyramid*. It classifies human’s necessities by priorities. According to his theory, the highest need is “self-actualization”. Carl Gustav Jung, Alfred Adler, Eric Berne, and Émile Coué de La Châtaigneraie, who were therapist, pharmacist, or psychologist in the XXth century published many worked which integrated later in personal development. It’s the foundation of the used notions in this practice.
[*This pyramid used to help marketing services to sell any products to anyone. Nowadays, it’s reconsidered a lot. Indeed, as explained P. Mouillot in his article on the online newspaper TheConversation (link in sources), in theory, no one should create a love relationship without feeding himself first or being part of a social group without caring, first, about his own security. Except that, in reality, this classification cannot operate. With the actual events, we can observe that this pyramid can, more or less, work.]
In personal development, we can find notions like psychology, philosophy, sport, dietetic, … Usually, a coach certified in this practice has as the motto “a healthy mindset in a healthy body”. Personal development is based primarily on positive psychology. Exercises on gratitude, stress management, … are then proposed. But, as Mark Manson explains in his book “The subtle art of not giving a fuck” published in 2016, “wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience”. If we only want positive experiences, we will be disappointed more easily because it is not possible to have only positive experiences. So, if we accept that there are positives and negatives in our lives, then we will learn to manage our lives like that and not take a negative experience as a failure, but as a source of learning.
They often offer free podcasts and communicate a lot on their social networks. It is also possible to access paid services such as personalized coaching or holistic retreats.
Personal development, through self-exercises, helps to analyze our past experiences whether positive or negative, and to use them as a learning force. Accepting one’s emotions is also a big part of personal development: according to coaches, accepting one’s emotions rather than repressing them allows us to use them as a marker of daily life, to gauge the events that run through our lives and our days. Through this use, self-acceptance and the alinement of our inner self allow us to gain confidence and thus to realize the projects that are important to us.
On listening platforms such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube, SoundCloud, or Deezer, you can find them in all languages. Feel free to vary the podcast channels to vary the content.
Personal development is eventually about finding out who we are, like googling the story of our idol.
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