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Personal growth: Confucius – look within for the truth April 24, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal growth.
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By Dennis Mellersh

As wisdom writers both ancient and modern have told us, if we want to engage in universal personal improvement, we should start with ourselves – it is the path to understanding others.

And let us not give advice to others until we have thoroughly examined ourselves and taken steps to correct our own personal shortcomings.

Confucius succinctly reminds of these truths in The Analects:

“A person’s faults are all of a piece. Recognizing your faults is a way of understanding humanity.”*

“Adept Kung was forever comparing and criticizing people. The master said, ‘To have time for such things, Kung must have already perfected himself completely. As for me, I am not so lucky.’” *

* Confucius, The Analects, translated by David Hinton in his book The Four Chinese Classics

Creating a virtual retreat for personal growth planning April 19, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Get Organized.
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By Dennis Mellersh

In working on our personal development programs, particularly when this involves important internal mental work, it would be nice to be able to find some place of peace and quiet where we can focus on our challenges and goals.

I was reminded of this when I was reading a book describing “retreats” that various people had built in the countryside, in secluded places – little cabins and small cottages – where the people who built them could relax, recharge their mental batteries, improve their sense of well-being, work towards their goals, and bolster their creativity.

This might involve being able to meditate, or following particular personal growth goals such as learning to write, or practising glass blowing, doing oil painting or arts and crafts, and other efforts involved in expanding their personal horizons and capabilities.

Although most of us are not able to enjoy the luxury of having a physical retreat such as a cabin in the woods to help us focus on self-improvement, we can nevertheless build a virtual retreat for ourselves.

It is said that in Japan, where very high population density makes privacy difficult, people make a place in their mind where they can retreat, to create mental, spiritual, and emotional privacy.

A virtual retreat that allows us to focus on our internal work and goals can be created, as a start, through two processes:

(1) Establishing the habit of disciplining ourselves to do some work without fail every day on our self-actualization program. Ideally we should set aside a minimum of 30 minutes a day (at the same time if possible) to work on our program.

It’s the daily work habit that brings, step-by-step, the accomplishment we need and want in our growth program. It will be a struggle to “get in the zone” with our program without the consistency of disciplined action every day.

(2) We should also try to have a particular place in our home or elsewhere, such as a coffee shop, where we consistently spend these 30 minutes studying and thinking about our personal development program.

We can then spend parts of the rest of our day in the implementation phases of our program.