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Following an individual path in personal growth June 5, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
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In our efforts to choose a program of self-improvement, it can be tempting to follow the most recommended systems, to choose what is popular, to pick what is “trending” right now.

This can be a mistake.

Because what the crowd likes or dislikes will not necessarily be the right choice for you.

If you read and/or participate in self-help forums and discussion groups, for example, you will soon discover that some personal growth systems are liked by many; and conversely other programs are equally disliked or not recommended.

But should you let this influence you?

One of the key points of seriously pursuing personal development is to build our own self-confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness.

To choose the popular and to avoid the unpopular, without analyzing what best suits our own development needs, will not assist our growth. Rather, it puts the choice of the path we will follow into the hands of others.

Moreover, there is often a momentum in popular liking or disliking; a momentum in which serious analysis is missing.

Choosing a program because it is popular or avoiding one that is unpopular without analyzing either of them could be detrimental to your progress.

The ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius had this to say about the extremes of approval and disapproval:

“When everyone hates a person, you should investigate thoroughly. And when everyone loves a person, you should also investigate thoroughly.” (1)

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

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