Self-development is one of the greatest and most uplifting things that you could ever devote your time and energy to.
Everyone has different strengths and weaknesses in life, and has to deal with differing individual circumstances. You won’t necessarily always be able to come out on top if you compare yourself to other people, but what you can do is to always become a better version of yourself than you were in the past.
Of course, self-development is the kind of thing that you should commit to and make work of over the course of a lifetime – rather than just going through bursts of effort here and there, interspersed with long periods of complacency.
Here are a few tips for practicing sustainable self-development.
Don’t try to do too much at once
When it comes to self-development, the old saying “it’s a marathon, not a sprint” certainly holds true.
In the heat of the moment, you might feel excited and worked up enough to want to tackle a dozen or more different challenges at once. Maybe you want to get in the best shape of your life, while simultaneously publishing a novel, becoming an experienced singer, learning how to paint, travelling the world, and learning how to do computer coding.
Ultimately, though, if you try to overload yourself up front, you are simply going to burn out before you begin, and will likely end up achieving very little, too.
Of course, you need to figure out how to strike the right balance between doing too much and too little – but just be aware that it’s better to take small but consistent steps forward than it is to become stagnant because you have too much on your plate.
Keep an experimental and inquisitive mindset
There are many things that might help you along your path of self-development. It might be the case that this test can help you empathize with other people, for example. Or, it could be that trying a regular health practice such as intermittent fasting could have a serious positive effect on your life.
Ultimately, though, you only know how a certain practice will affect you once you’ve explored it directly, with an inquisitive and experimental mindset.
The thing about self-development is that it really does require you to maintain that experimental and inquisitive mindset, in order to make any real progress. Rather than becoming frustrated when things don’t work out (which will likely often be the case,) you need to be able to get in the mindset of someone who is curiously trying to find more “data points,” in order to make better decisions next time.
Come up with effective ways to refresh your motivation and enthusiasm
A journey of self-development is sometimes bound to be disheartening – especially when things don’t seem to be going your way, and when you are confronted by more challenges than you might have originally anticipated, or wanted.
It’s important, however, that you never “give up” or allow yourself to get too caught up in your own frustrations and ruminations.
Come up with effective ways to refresh your motivation and enthusiasm on a regular basis. Watch uplifting movies. Keep a list of motivational quotes you can reflect on. Listen to energetic songs. Have a group of friends who you can draw motivation from.
For your self-development journey to be sustainable, you need to be able to keep bringing yourself back onto the path time and time again.