Dear Happy Investor, personal growth is a must for those who want to become more successful. The definition of success depends on you. But no matter how you slice it, if you want to become better at something you will have to grow as a person. Personal growth is a learning process, and it is useful to know what you need to pay attention to so you can effectively work towards personal growth.
Below you will find 8 pieces of timeless advice that contribute to personal growth, so you can develop as a person and become (more) successful.
Tip: after reading this article you should also read my article about personal development for even more tips on personal growth! But first, let's look at my 8x timeless advice.
- Self-reflection: know thyself
- Set goals for personal growth
- Take ownership
- Win-Win Thinking
- Open Mindset
- Feedback and asking questions
- Accept others for who they are
Let us begin with 8x timeless advice for personal growth!
1. Self-reflection: know thyself
In order to experience personal growth you will first have to know yourself. It is an old Greek saying “know thyself”. Apart from your interpretations, it is about knowing yourself.
Who are you?
What do you desire?
What is your purpose and passion?
Self-reflection is an absolute must for personal growth. Because look at it this way: how do you want to achieve something if you don't know where you come from? When you know yourself, you know what to expect from yourself.
Let's take passion as an example. Passion is doing what you love. It is something you would like to do even if you do not get paid for it. If you want to experience personal growth, you can do two things. Either you grow in something you have no interest in, or you grow in your passion and get a lot of energy from it. Sounds logical right?
Think long term, and choose to grow in what you love and what energizes you. Because personal growth and becoming successful is a long road of decades.
The above advice makes enormous sense, and yet I see many people choosing for money. For example, they put in a lot of effort to learn a profession that makes them a lot of money, but that they totally hate. Or even worse, people become salary slaves and choose the comfort of a monthly salary. They rent out their soul and passion to a company, and go to work full time in an underprivileged job that costs energy instead of providing energy.
Stop that: think long term, follow your heart, take risks and make work on a plan to succeed in life!
Without setting goals, you will not experience the personal growth you would like. This is because setting goals provides direction. If you're going to climb a mountain, it is useful to know which direction to take.
In short, by setting goals you will experience your personal growth sooner. A tip is to set learning goals. After all, we are talking about personal growth which is primarily a learning process. Let's look at the difference between goal setting and learning goals.
A goal can be anything. Often people choose tangible goals. Think about money or material possession. An example is by setting a goal to grow from $2,500 to $3,500 salary a month within a year. Or to have a large house of 800 m2 within five years. But practice shows that you do not become happier from financial goals.
In fact, research shows that it makes you unhappy. And that makes sense, because not achieving a financial goal can cause frustration and annoyance. It will also come at the expense of your social relationships, whereas social relationships are precisely what make you happier. So what's the alternative?
The alternative is to set learning goals. In doing so, you define how you can become better at something and experience personal growth. For example, set yourself the goal of becoming an expert in your work. You will see that setting learning goals leads to more satisfaction and happiness. And financially? When you become uniquely good at something, the financial rewards will soon follow.
Want to know more? Read my article about how to set goals and achieve them all.
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One of my best pieces of advice for personal growth is to take extreme ownership. Especially in the workplace, your boss will notice personal leadership when you take ownership. This is about taking full ownership of everything that has to do with your goals.
By now you know what you want, and what your goals are. The next step is to take full ownership of that. This means looking only at yourself. How can you influence the achievement of your goal? How can you grow as a person by taking full responsibility for your own personal growth? Do not look outwards, but inwards. The cause lies with you. Not with something or someone else.
Thanks to taking full ownership, you can make tremendous progress in personal growth. In fact, you will take proactive action to achieve your learning goals. This both at work and in your personal life. I can assure you that this behavior becomes highly desirable in the workplace. Now look at the business world. How many of your colleagues just muddle along? Those who never take responsibility and shift the blame to others? And what is the result? The company does not make any progress, and in the worst case the results deteriorate. But when you take full ownership of your role and responsibilities, you will emerge as a personal leader.
Want to learn more about the concept of Ownership? Then read the book ‘Extreme Ownership' (about the Navy Seals).
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Now that you are going to take full responsibility for your own personal growth, it is time to look at the environment as well. It starts with yourself, but of course you live in a specific environment. And in this environment there are also forces at play that affect your personal growth.
So how do you best deal with this?
My advice for sustainable personal growth is Win-Win thinking. Don't see people/colleagues as competition. Rather see them as a source of inspiration to grow together. To learn from each other. And above all, think Win-Win so that everyone will gain and be happy.
Win-Win thinking means that you think in solutions that benefit everyone. For example, you have your goals, and your colleague also has a goal. Why couldn't you come up with a solution where you achieve your goals together?
Especially when you think in terms of the relationship between seller and customer, there is still a lot of personal growth to be achieved for many people. Both the seller and the customer can think in terms of Win-Win, allowing both parties to achieve their goals. The result is two satisfied parties, and that is the basis for further cooperation. A cooperation that can possibly grow into a partnership of many years. Therefore, always think Win-Win. Because together you achieve more than alone.
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Having an open mindset allows for personal growth. My definition of an open mindset is being open to change and learning. So you maintain an open mindset where you are willing to change based on what you learn.
One of the best examples of this is by stepping out of your comfort zone.
For example, you can set stretch goals for yourself that are outside of your comfort zone. A typical example of something that is outside your comfort zone is something that you don't know or have no experience with.
When I had been employed by my first employer for less than two years, I was already urgently looking for another challenge. Thanks to a good mentor, I got a great opportunity with a big promotion. I liked the fact that it came with a considerable increase in salary, but that was not my reason. I was looking for a big challenge so I could learn a lot and gain experience.
The challenge was very much outside of my comfort zone. It gave me the energy and challenge I needed and allowed me to develop exponentially in terms of personal growth. It just takes more effort and you have to work harder. But better to invest when you're still young, so you can reap the benefits in the years to come!
A particularly effective way of personal growth is by asking questions and seeking feedback. If you remain eager to learn and ask lots of questions, you will also learn a lot. In doing so, don't be afraid that you might ask “dumb” questions. On the contrary, people really appreciate it when you try to understand them. By asking questions you can experience tremendous personal growth. After all, those who think they know may be wrong. And the more you ask, the more you learn.
Asking for feedback is also hugely important for personal growth. Unfortunately, the older and smarter you get, the less feedback you ask for. As a matter of fact, asking for feedback is not pleasant. You get to hear comments that you are not as good at. A tip here is to selectively ask for feedback from people you look up to. Ask feedback from colleagues who are ten years ahead of you and who can also give feedback from an objective point of view. The quality of feedback is at least as important as the quantity. Think about that 😉 .
My best advice for feedback is by looking for a good mentor. The benefits of mentoring are crucial for those who want to experience personal growth. In doing so, choose the right mentor!
Personal growth is not achieved just by experiencing and working. Studying is also necessary to learn from books and home studies. After all, why reinvent the wheel for everything yourself? By reading knowledge books and taking home studies, you learn from the best in the business. To experience everything yourself and to grow by trail-and-error is enormously time and energy-consuming. And if you are unlucky you will make very big mistakes. So instead, it is wise to learn from others.
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As you can see, the above 7 pieces of advice on personal growth are all focused on your own behavior. You have control over your own thinking and your own behavior. No one else is responsible for that but you. But personal growth is not all about yourself. As indicated above, you also act within an environment, and in it you encounter other people. A lot of other people. Therefore my last advice is to accept other people as they are. This will give you a lot of peace: mindfulness. But also it will bring you further. Because when you accept others for who they are, you will look at how you can work together. If you do not accept people as they are, you will try to change them. The latter creates risk of annoyance, frustration, and even argument. I am not claiming that you should not want to change people. Sometimes you can help someone change if they really need to. Think about giving feedback, mentoring and coaching. But fundamentally, a person does have certain needs, ways of thinking and behaviors. When you are partially at peace with these, you will be able to work much more pleasantly with others.