Personal Development Plan...if you don't have one...whose plan are you on?
A personal development plan is your road map to success. The most prosperous investment will be in your own mind. Don't believe those dopey late night commercials that tell you to send in all your gold ;-) There is not much we take with us when we die. Although I am hoping I can figure out how to take my Live Scribe pen, it's just so cool :-) Seriously though, we leave this life with only the stuff we capture in the orb between our two ears. The course of my life is directed by the cockpit of my brain. If I don't overtly feed my mind with the right stuff I can crash and burn. Just like a plane that stops receiving the right coordinates. Left to fly on its own, gravity will slam a plane to the ground in a rolling ball of fire.
Same thing with our minds. With out clear guidance plans our lives end up on auto pilot...and without correction will end up with the nose kissing the granite face of the nearest mountain. Think of a personal development plan as your own personal guidance system. If you don't have a plan for growth...then you won't grow.
Have you heard of the law of entropy? Basically this law states that any element without some form of energy applied, will adopt the properties of the lowest form of energy in the environment where it resides. For example, ice cubes in a glass, if left in a room at 80 degrees...will eventually melt. And the remaining water will become...? That's right, 80 degrees. Or imagine a cup of molten lava (What? You don't have a molten lava dispenser at your house?). That molten lava is going to quickly reduce to room temperature, harden, and become a great paper weight.
Same thing happens with the course of your life. We are constantly engaged in a battle with the law of entropy. If you don't apply some sort of energy to the course of your life, you will end up in the lowest point of the environment where you reside. In society we see these people in ghettos and prison. Sadly this is often a result of having no plan for growth or development.
What is your plan? What do you do to improve your self? If you said "watch TV and play video games" congratulations you are on the fast track to brain-dead. Do you know that brain wave activity slows to nearly a flat line while you are watching TV? In fact the brain wave patterns are similar to those observed in a person under hypnosis. Now consider that most of what you watch on TV is mindless drivel...and wonder less why your thoughts are dominated by preoccupation with personal "stamina" and the curious effects of Mesothelioma.
Create the career of your dreams by investing in yourself first! Don't lock into some outdated career path and ride it into the dirt. I have a number of friends and associates that locked into a "major" in college, got a job with those skill sets...and never upgraded. Those are the first heads to roll in a R.I.P (reduction in personnel). Not to mention the mind numbing boredom of doing the same thing, year after year. "Tedium is the diet of insanity." I just made that up right now...go ahead and quote me on it.
Okay, so here is how to break out of a rut and get started on your personal development plan. Brace yourself for the profundity of it... DO SOME THING DIFFERENT...NOW. Don't go out and set a list of 10 or 20 goals that you won't get accomplished. Pick a single thing that you would like to get started. I will make a suggestion here. If you aren't physically active, do that first. You don't have to go bananas, and sign up for a marathon or a triathlon. Start by walking. Pull yourself up by the knickers and get out there. Start with a walk around the block. Build on that until you can walk up to 5 miles, 4 to 5 times a week. Then jog a block, walk a block, etc for 3 miles, and build up to 5 miles.
Finally get to where you can run 5 miles 4 or 5 times a week. At this point you can start looking at marathon training. Cool thing is that this won't cost you anything...except the cost of running shoes and good socks. Good shoes will make a huge difference. Locate a running store near you. Not an athletic shoe store, but an actual running store. You will know if it is a running store because the help will all be runners themselves.
Why physical activity first? Exercise will provide an immediate sense of well being and esteem. Other immediate benefits will be more energy and better sleep. It takes energy to overcome entropy. Think of this as your starter program. Don't worry about anything else at this point. The sense of well being and energy that come from exercise will give you the motivation to do other things.
If you already have an exercise program, the second suggestion I have is quit watching TV. Or reduce it to only 30 to 60 minutes per day. This will put your personal development plan on steroids. Two reasons: 1)TIME. You will be amazed at how much time you will claim back. 2) Motivation. TV is a brain energy sucking device. The second you turn it on you start getting dumber.
Ever notice how you intend to just watch one thing and next thing you know the whole evening or day is shot? Use the time you reclaim to feed your mind.
Add at least 30 minutes of reading to your daily routine. This should be uplifting, inspiring books.
The third thing I recommend is listening to uplifting audio every day. Listen to these in the car while driving. Listen to them while mowing the lawn or walking around the block. You will be amazed at how this simple step will really improve your life. Go to iTunes and do a search on Podcasts. I suggest you do a search for "Dan Miller" and his business podcast "48 days to the work you love". You can find Zig Zigglar there, and many others.
Keep adding items to your plan one at a time. Now go do it!