Personal Development

Nowadays, people realize the importance of personal development and a strong mindset. Thoughts can create our reality, and the way we speak to ourselves determines our emotions and actions. And this determines our life. 


That's why when you change your mindset, you can change the game. 


Millionaires and successful people emphasize the importance of personal development. But how do you do that? It is not that we need to be successful or a millionaire. It is about finding joy and pleasure in developing ourself. And yes, we will benefit greatly from it (as do people around us).


In this article, you will find 10 (daily) practices for personal development.


What is personal development and how to develop it? 

personal development practices


What is personal development? Personal development means discovering our own abilities, and developing them. This involves everything around our self-awareness: from who we are to what we can do. To develop ourselves personally, we must first explore who we are. What is our identity? What is it that we desire? Based on this, you can purposefully develop the necessary skills. 


Personal development starts from within yourself. Sometimes we need help with this. Because others see something we do not. 


In other cases we want to achieve something ourselves. Because we like it, or because we have a goal in mind. 


Whatever it is: personal development takes place when we improve our skills, knowledge, experience and Mindset to a new height. 


How can we develop ourselves personally?


This can be done as with everything in which we want to become better: purposeful attention through exercises. Personal development can be practiced. With purposeful exercises we can develop personally and make our Mindset stronger. 


These are 10 exercises for personal development.

"Great minds have purposes, others have wishes" - Washington Irving

Personal Development Practice 1. Value your time.


People with personal development and a great mindset make the most out of their days. 


We've all spent hours watching a Netflix show. There is nothing wrong with doing nothing once in a while but it is essential to organize your time instead of procrastinating forever. 


Organizing and valuing your time is necessary to be productive while maintaining your mental health and leaving some time to rest. Personal development is a long-term investment in yourself. Developing a great mindset as well. Of course, we cannot go 100% all the time. Consider it as a journey. But one that requires deliberated practice. 


So, every night before going to bed, you can plan your next day. Write down everything you need to do and set a specific time of the day to do that. Set priorities. Not just work related. Just especially in the areas of relationships and health.  


When you plan your day, you have time for everything. Value your time. Remind yourself about how precious your time is. Consider this: the world exists for billions of years. We only live a tiny fraction of that. There is no time to waste. That is why we need personal development and daily practices for a great mindset. 



Personal Development Practice 2. Consume valuable content


We spend a significant part of our time checking social media and consuming content. But most of the time, it does not add any value to our lives. 


Valuing your time also involves being mindful of the content you consume. If you spend hours checking your phone and scrolling through social media, sharing memes, you may need to consider what you do with your time.


I know. We all have been there some time, but the important thing is to do something about it and make sure you consume valuable content. This applies to both the Internet and the people we (don't) listen to.


Here is a practice you can do: Every time you are on the internet, or you are going to log in on Facebook, ask yourself, "what am I doing? Why am I doing this?". If you don't find an answer, do another thing.


Also, you can consume content from different media, not only the internet. Read books, enjoy art, listen to a conference, etc. But make sure that it is worth consuming and it has real value.




Personal Development Practice 3. Set goals

personal development exercises


Everyone has dreams, but not all of them achieve them. What can make a difference is when those dreams translate into achievable goals.


No matter how big a dream is, anyone can achieve it if they break it down into smaller goals and continue working towards it.


So, set yearly, monthly, weekly and daily goals. Make sure that they are all connected so you reach your final destination. 


Be honest with yourself and set goals that you know you can meet. There is no point in chasing unrealistic goals. However, it is okay to think big. You can do anything you want. Commit to it and you can achieve it.


Also, stay accountable for your goals. A great idea is to set SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-oriented). This way, anyone can easily measure what they are doing every day to meet those objectives.


Consider the goal as an intention. It is not your identity. You enjoy working toward your goal. But if things go against you for a while, that doesn't mean you can't do anything. Rest. Recharge yourself. And pick yourself up the next day.  


Read more about how to achieve goals.


Personal Development Practice 4. Work smarter, not harder


"Better productivity means less human sweat, not more." — Henry Ford

The society we live in teaches us to be busy all the time. When we are not doing anything, we may feel guilty and unproductive.The thing is, that won’t make us any happier nor more productive. We end up anxious, frustrated, and overwhelmed.


And the worst thing is, we may not even be achieving anything by working that hard.


Have you heard about 'fake productivity'? It means engaging in small, mindless tasks that feel productive but get us nowhere.


So, an essential practice to develop a great mindset is to reconsider how you are employing your energy. If you want to get somewhere, you need to be really productive. A strong principle here is the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of the result comes from 20% of the effort put in. If you pay close attention, you'll see the 80/20 rule come back with everything. 



  • The first 20% of the team meeting is the most productive
  • Saving money on the 20% biggest cost yields 80% of the result
  • The 20% best performing stocks or ETFs yield 80% of the profit
  • 80% of all errors are caused by the 20% most common causes


Can you become more effective by doing less? This is not an obvious exercise for personal development. But it is one of the best.



Personal Development Practice 5. Rest


Organizing your time also means leaving some time to rest. Rest is necessary because it allows us to recharge and remember what is truly important. Also, taking a break is not only something physical. The mind also needs to rest. For example, someone may spend the whole day in bed watching Netflix, but that doesn't mean they are resting. They didn't allow their mind to rest.


Work smarter but also rest smarter. Disconnect yourself from technology and allow yourself to take a break, for real. Take a short walk. Sit outside for a while and listen to the beautiful sounds of nature. Or just do nothing at all and simply breathe. Breathe in, breathe out.   


Believe it or not, but this will also help you create a more positive mindset. If you are constantly stressed out, it is more difficult to enjoy life is it not. 


Personal Development Practice 6. Spend time alone


We are so filled with information these days that we don’t have any time to listen to our inner voice. It’s like people are so afraid of being alone that they spend all their time surrounded by people. And when they are alone, they distract themselves with mindless tasks, social media, and TV shows. Of course, this is not true for everyone, but everyone recognizes these moments.  


Great minds love spending time alone. That’s because solitude allows us to clear our minds and reflect. 


This is not the same as being lonely. When you are alone a lot with a strong mindset, you are in better company than hanging out with people who don't give you anything. Or worse: who bring you down.   


Meditation, journaling, and walks in nature allow us to get to know ourselves better and see things from another perspective. These are daily exercises for personal development.


Here is a practice to develop a great mindset: each day, try to find some time to be alone, but truly alone. Do not distract yourself with other things, and pay attention to what's happening inside your head. 


“When your mind is quiet, when your mind is in silence, then the new arrives.” ― Samael Aun Weor


Personal Development Practice 7. Wake up early

how to develop great mindset


They say the early bird catches the worm. This is more than just a saying. According to a study from Harvard University, those who wake up early are more proactive, more productive, and anticipate problems. Also, according to another study from the University of Toronto, they are happier.


People with great mindsets generally wake up earlier because they have more energy and more time to be productive.


So, start waking up early, and you'll see the difference.




Personal Development Practice 8. Learn from the past


Having and developing a great mindset means being conscious that you can improve in many aspects. That implies acknowledging mistakes and striving to become a better person.


If you never acknowledge your mistakes, you always want to be right, and you don't do anything to improve, you will stay that way forever. This is the opposite of personal development.  


When you know your strengths and weaknesses, you know how to improve. Being positive does not mean lying to yourself and telling you that everything is perfect with yourself. Loving yourself means striving to be a better person.


Take a look back at your day. Every night, before you go to bed, try to remember everything you did that day. Evaluate your actions, your thoughts, and your feelings objectively. See what you can improve and how you can be better the next day.


Personal Development Practice 9. Pay attention to the way you speak


Many cultures throughout history knew about the importance of words and sounds. Hindus and Buddhists use mantras and chants to elevate their consciousness and meditate. Shamans and indigenous people from the Amazon use “icaros” or magic songs for healing. And Jesus said, "But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person" (Matthew 15:18).


Many modern positive schools have rediscovered the power of words. Positive affirmations are very popular today, and scientific research backs them up.


Simply put, what you say and think can change your reality. 


If you believe you can and tell yourself that you can, you will do it.


If you believe that you can't do something and repeat that idea, you won't do it.


Start to pay attention to the way you speak to yourself and others. 


Here is a practice to develop a great mindset: Say positive affirmations when you wake up in the morning. For example: "I can overcome any obstacle." Leonardo da Vinci used to write down similar phrases in his notebooks.




Personal Development Practice 10. Meditate


If you want to develop a great mindset, you need to learn how to control your mind. However, most of the time our mind controls us. It creates a thought and causes an emotion that affects our actions and mood.


So, it's essential to learn to quiet our minds If we want to stop being slaves of our thoughts. A quiet mind makes you truly free. 


So, practice meditation at least once a day. You will see a huge difference. It allows you to clear your mind and see things from a more objective perspective.


7 Ways to Develop Yourself

personal development tips


There are several ways to develop yourself. I find the following 7 tips to be valuable exercises for personal development. I apply most of these ways daily, and I notice that I grow enormously fast by doing so. 


I strongly believe in daring and doing. Dare to open up. Dare to learn. Adopt a growth mindset!

There is really no shame in not knowing something. Not even at work. In fact, people often appreciate it when you ask him or her for help and try to understand. And the great advantage of this is that you learn an enormous amount and thus experience personal development sooner.


Below you can read the 7 ways to develop yourself. These are also excellent exercises for personal development. 


Ways for self development 1. Being extremely eager to learn


A favorite method for personal development that I firmly believe in is being extremely eager to learn. You've probably come across it on a resume before: someone says they are eager to learn. But when are you eager to learn? 


The fact that you are reading this article is already a positive signal, but if you want to develop yourself really fast then you will have to go next-level. And you do that by being extremely eager to learn.


What I mean by being extremely inquisitive is by always looking for the essence and understanding. You have to open yourself completely by not assuming that you know something 100% sure when it comes to more complex issues. You do this by remaining open minded, and by asking many questions. You ask these questions to understand someone or something. In other words, you are going to investigate the issue. And that is a different approach than asking questions to confirm your own beliefs, or not asking questions at all. In short, ask open questions like the how and why questions and keep learning continuously. 

Some examples of good open questions are: How did this happen? Why do you think so? How do you know this? Help me understand how this works?


In addition to being extremely studious by getting to the bottom of things and understanding, you can also be disciplined in your learning for even greater effect. By the latter I mean that you consistently try to learn new things every day. In doing so, you set yourself the goal of learning new things every day. You can do this by, for example, planning one of the following ways of personal development on a daily basis. Reserve time for self-development. And eventually it will become behavior.



Ways to self-development 2. Know yourself, development for meaning


An excellent way to develop yourself is with self-reflection. After all, how can you really develop yourself if you do not know yourself well. Know your stronger points, and also your weaker points. Thus my advice is to develop the less strong points to an acceptable or "sufficient" level, but to specialize in your strong points. Because it is your qualities, the things you are really good at, that make you unique. And anyone who is unique is very valuable. Moreover, you can delegate or outsource lesser qualities.


Another important point in self-reflection is to ask yourself what is the purpose and usefulness (of life). 


What do you want to achieve? What are you passionate about, and what gives you energy? Indeed, personal development should also be effective. And you can only be effective if you know what your purpose is. Wouldn't it be very useful to work on the goals that especially benefit you? The goals you enjoy working on, where you get energy and passion? Often that is where your strength lies. That is only real meaning to life. A good start to find out is to ask yourself the following question: What if I die, what do I want people to remember me by?


What is your purpose in life?


Ask yourself this question as a motive for personal development


Ways for self-development 3. The great value of mentoring


Mentoring is a very good way to develop yourself. One of the biggest benefits you get with a good mentor is a safe, confidential learning environment. When you feel safe and at ease, you dare to open yourself up and this allows you to learn more. Besides that, mentoring has a lot of benefits. In another blog I tell you all about mentoring. In that article you can read about the benefits, how to find a good mentor, the characteristics of a good mentor and also how to get the most out of mentoring in terms of personal development.



Ways for self development 4. Networking


Another tip for personal development is to visit trade shows, networking events and/or online webinars. By attending trade shows and other networking events, you will speak to many different people. By getting in touch with smart people with different backgrounds, you can learn a tremendous amount. Moreover, building a network is very crucial. Point of fact, people are emotional creatures, and if people have to choose, they usually choose the familiar. In terms of persons, this means that you first look around in your environment to collaborate with someone you know, for example, or someone you like. 


For example, are you looking for a new person for your company? Then you are biased in advance if you let someone apply who you know well and like. It just so happens that our brains are not always so rational. Take advantage of this: by knowing (or getting to know) many people you simply get more knowledge and more opportunities.


In online webinars you will not speak with many other people, but you can learn a lot about certain topic. By following several webinars you can easily and quickly develop yourself in the interest of the goal you want to achieve.


Ways for self-development 5. Environment


To develop yourself it is important that you find yourself in an environment that challenges you to grow. Here you do have influence. So create an environment that facilitates learning. Think of materials, but also of people. Make conscious choices about who you hang out with: do you hang out with people who challenge you, or with people who bring you down?


A few helpful tips:

  • Make sure you have a supply of books at home.
  • Set up a workroom where there are only learning materials, and keep your phone and other distractions out of this room.
  • Invest time in people who will also invest time in you.
  • Form a discussion group with intelligent people who, like you, are passionate about a particular topic. You can sit down with this group once a week or a month, to talk about new insights related to that topic.


Ways for self-development 6. Take a study or course


There can be different reasons as to why you want to develop yourself. This could be because you want to, or because you want to gain an advantage from it. Think about getting a higher income, a promotion, or whatever. If you wish to gain such an advantage, then it is advisable to develop yourself by taking a certified study or course. As crooked as it may be, a certified piece of paper has (usually) more value to a company than a non-certified piece of paper.

Now, there are some advantages to taking a course of study at a university, for example. Consider not only the piece of paper, but also the group projects, learning to work with others, access to library, and having a fun learning time. It's never too late to develop yourself through a degree program, and it has become more accessible than ever with good agencies.


Ways to self-development 7. Devour knowledge books as if it were your evening meal


Acquiring knowledge is very important for self-development. Reading knowledge books certainly contributes to this. Because by acquiring as much knowledge as possible, you will gain new insights. Eventually you will literally become more intelligent, and that has many advantages.

For example, did you know that by reading a lot, your brain is trained? That by reading a lot of knowledge books, and thinking about them, that you actually grow certain parts of your brain? For example, there was a well-known study done on this among cab drivers from London. It a 5-year study on brain capacity of cab drivers found that their brains have grown larger thanks to training. The conclusion is that their memory area is larger than average, and that the (navigation) training is the cause of this.


And so it goes for everything: spend your time wisely by working on yourself. Sport regularly (both strength and condition), read a lot, research something if you do not understand it, and so on. And help yourself by adjusting your environment accordingly. So get fitness equipment at home, buy books and sell your television. Give yourself a hand, but the basis starts with wanting. Do you really want to develop yourself? The above personal development tips can help you do so.


Combine these ways of self-development with the daily exercises for personal development. After that you will be unstoppable!

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