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Personal development: Human imperfection forces us to grow June 15, 2017

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Personal Development Potential.
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If people were perfect, like some aspects of nature, there would obviously be no need for us to pursue personal growth programs and realize our potential.

Our imperfect nature, as interpreted by Eric Hoffer, creates a need within us to improve ourselves.

The negative of being imperfect creates the positive ambition for greater self-actualization:

“Nature attains perfection, but man never does. There is a perfect ant, a perfect bee, but man is perpetually unfinished…in the attempt to finish himself, man becomes a creator…the incurable unfinishedness keeps man perpetually immature, perpetually capable of learning and growing.” (1)

(1) Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition, Harper & Row, Publishers, 1973

— Dennis Mellersh


Personal growth: A willingness to believe and to learn May 28, 2014

Posted by Dennis Mellersh in Concept of personal development, Personal Development Potential.
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Two significant personality characteristics of people engaged in a program of personal development and growth are:

(1) A willingness to believe that change for the better is possible

(2) A willingness to take the action steps (the work) to implement change

These two emotional and intellectual characteristics are also common to individuals throughout history who have struggled in difficult socio-economic environments and produced significant accomplishments to improve society as a whole.

So, as someone seriously exploring the concept of self-improvement, you are among a select group of believers and doers; you already have a strong sense of identity and a strong bias to action.

Essentially, you are an optimist with a mindset favourable to enabling your self-actualization.

Some critics of the personal development movement contend that personal growth practitioners keep buying self-improvement materials year after year, in a never ending process of seeking new information. The argument being; if personal growth concepts actually work, then why do people need to keep obtaining new information about the process?

This criticism fails to recognize the essential truth that self-betterment is a lifelong and life-oriented learning process, not a short-term problem/solution equation.

The real goal in personal growth is the well-being and growth-attitude generated by the continuous improvement process itself.

You are participating in an educational effort that will pay intellectual and emotional dividends both now and perhaps even more so in the future. And you may end up being much better prepared to deal with the future as it unfolds compared to people not engaged in personal growth.

Here is how the philosopher Eric Hoffer looks at the process of education:

“The central task of education is to implant a will and a facility for learning; it should produce not learned, but learning people. The truly human society is a learning society. Where grandparents, parents, and children are students together…In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.” (1)

(1) Eric Hoffer, Reflections on the Human Condition