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Personal growth: Self-awareness, commitment, limits April 25, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development, Personal Development Potential.
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If we are planning to undertake a program of personal development, we better have a good idea of our true intentions, available energy, and our degree of commitment to this path.

In other words we need to be aware of our limits.

We will need to dig deep internally within our own self-awareness, to know just how much effort we are willing, or are able, to commit to the full development of our self-improvement potential.

Better to establish realistic parameters to our improvement program, and perhaps do it in stages, than to set overly high standards for long-term achievement, only to fall short and then suffer from the resulting discouragement.

In studying the concept of personal development in contemporary materials we will encounter the idea that if we are truly dissatisfied with our current life, we will need to make huge changes if we are to achieve the progress we want.

However, while it may be true that major changes are required, it is generally the case that attempting too much all at once is not likely to lead to success.

The problem of self-deception

It is even more self-destructive if we know that we have circumstances in our lives that will limit how much time and effort we can devote to our program within any given time frame.

It is not true commitment if we know within ourselves that there are limits (exterior or personal) to our commitment to improve.

Thousands of years ago, Confucius commented on our tendency to deceive ourselves:

“Jan Ch’iu * said: ‘It isn’t that I’m not happy with your Way, Master, but I’m just not strong enough.’
‘If someone isn’t strong enough,’ replied the Master, ‘they give up along the Way. But you’d already set your limits in advance.’” (1)

*A Disciple of Confucius and a Minister for the House of Chi

(1) Confucius, The Analects, as translated and interpreted by David Hinton in his book, The Four Chinese Classics

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