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Evaluating the programs of personal growth experts April 30, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development, Concept of personal growth.
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As we work on various ways to increase our satisfaction with our life situation, many of us reach a stage where we begin to think more critically or analytically about the concepts and programs offered by those people considered to be experts or authorities in the field of personal development.

If you are at this stage, here are seven questions you might want to consider investigating:

(1) Is the program or basic theory being offered a practical approach to actually improving the areas in your life in which you want to see better results? Or do the suggested principles of the program seem to you to be overly vague and hard to pin down?

(2) Do you agree with the basic principles or underlying assumptions of the improvement program being suggested? Or would you have to “force” yourself to act on these principles without really believing in them?

(3) Do the personal improvement techniques being suggested by the expert depend for success on a faith-based or religious set of operating principles? If so, can you accept these principles?

(4) Does the expert’s public personal life-behaviour history reflect the principles outlined in their theories? If not, can you still follow and try to implement the ideas of this expert, despite this inconsistency?

(5) In the case of personal growth experts discussing mental health from a medical perspective and offering advice, do they have the necessary medical educational credentials to warrant them being considered an authority?

(6) Is the program or plan easy to understand with straightforward implementation steps? Is the program believable in its claims?

(7) Do the theories, concepts, and ideas expressed by the authority/expert mesh with your own value system?

Finally, it can be helpful to find out what other people think of the ideas offered by the expert you are considering following. One of the ways to discover this is by looking for third-party unbiased online reviews, criticism and articles about the expert and their personal growth informational materials.

Personal growth planning: Genuine Progress Indicator April 29, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development, Planning.
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In our ongoing work on our personal growth and development programs we need to be mindful of the dangers of making strong progress in one area of our improvement program only to have our success in that segment of our plan have a negative effect on other components.

For example, if we are trying to achieve a goal of financial betterment, and as part of that we take on three extra part-time jobs for increased income, we could negatively affect another goal, such as spending more quality time with our family.

This goal versus costs dichotomy has become apparent to governmental financial and fiscal planners in their efforts to reconcile apparent growth in gross domestic product (GDP) figures with costs relating to other factors associated with increased GDP.

To figure out impacts, economists devised the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).

An example would be comparing real economic growth in manufacturing in a country versus the associated environmental and energy-production and/or transportation infrastructure costs.
Positives in one area have to be calibrated in relation to the negatives in another associated area, in order to get a true picture of genuine progress.

Similarly in our self-improvement efforts, we need  have our own personalized version of a genuine progress indicator.

We can do this by making sure we are aware of the impacts of achieving success in one area compared with possible losses in another.

An example could be: augmenting our personal  educational goal to acquire new skills by taking and paying for numerous seminars and courses, and comparing the costs of this with the negative financial effects produced in another area of our program, such as building up our savings in order to have a financial safety valve for emergencies.

As with most aspects of developing an effective personal growth program, this dichotomy requires using moderation in achieving any particular goal component within our overall personal growth efforts.