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Self-awareness has limited value without actual change May 14, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth, Goal Setting and Realization.
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In the work we do on our personal growth and development, there are two basic principles that need to be at work:

(1) Identifying the areas within our personal emotions, attitudes, and knowledge-base that require improvement

(2) Taking action in the identified areas to make actual changes for the betterment of our lives

Sometimes however we can become preoccupied with simply identifying what needs improvement, but we take insufficient action or no action.

We do further and further research about increasing self-knowledge; and we identify techniques for creating change, but we fail to take the important step of acting and creating actual change within ourselves.

It’s an easy pattern to fall into. And it’s one of the anomalies of the concept of personal growth.

We want to make sure in our self-improvement efforts that we “do it  right”, and so we continue reading more and more, but procrastinate about taking the action steps to take us forward with goals we would like to achieve.

And truthfully, a personal growth program without action steps is really not a program at all. It is simply enhanced self-awareness without self-actualization.

Confucius alluded to this more than 2,000 years ago:

The Master said:

“Worthy admonitions cannot fail to inspire us, but what matters is changing ourselves. Reverent advice cannot fail to encourage us, but what matters is acting on it – Encouraged without acting, inspired without changing.” (1)

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

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