Exploring Your Passions Through Personal Development

When you think of Personal Development (PD) books- what comes to mind? Is it those silly infomercials or radio ads? The section of Barnes & Noble you will never walk down because it is titled Self- Help? For me, Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul. 10-15 years ago, yes I have a few of these because at that time family thought they were great holiday gifts for some odd reasons and they have been sitting on a bookshelf/ or in a box piled under other stuff in the basement ever since.  

28 years later, my perception of PD books has changed drastically and it is all because of my interest to grow. Recently, I took my passion and interest in fitness and became a health and fitness coach. Part of being a coach is Personal Development. Making sure you are spending at least 30 minutes a day, reading a PD book, listening to a webinar or podcast, reading a blog- anything that will help you individually grow to be the best self you can be. Since starting this journey, I've gained such insight that what I have read I am able to utilize it both for coaching and for my job at The Provident Bank Foundation.

“The magic comes from becoming the person you need to be in order to attract the people or results you wish to meet or achieve." - Darren Hardy

What really got me going was the first book I read- "The Compound Effect" by Darren Hardy. Wow, just wow, the takeaways from this book as just endless. Most of the focus of this book is defining your WHY. Everything you do (your HOWS) will be meaningless until your WHYS are powerful enough. What does Hardy mean by your WHY? What drives you? What gives you those butterflies of excitement in life? What are your passions? Hardy gets real about looking, well making you (the reader) dig deep into your mind and really think about your life goals and how these goals will help you become the person you want to be, not who you need to be. To do this, you need to change behaviors, attitude and create new (positive) habits, and stop your poor habits and behaviors. Hardy shares to DREAM BIG, RISK BIG. Every choice, decision and action you have made got you to where you are today- but every choice, decision and make tomorrow can and will get you to your next step. This is all part of The Compound Effect.  The Compound Effect is the principle of reaping huge rewards from a series of small, smart choices.

“On the other side of your fear is your freedom." - Jen Sincero

“You Are A Badass- How To Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living An Awesome Life”. I have been dying to read this book forever, and so happy to share my thoughts on it, because well the book itself is badass! Like Hardy, Sincero questions the you (the reader) on your why, but in a very different way. She gets personal, and as the reader you really relate to her. Each chapter is full of personal endeavors in life from personal battles to traveling the world, each one relvelent and inspiring. In one chapter, Sincero makes a statement or quote that really resonated with me:

“You are perfect. To think anything less is as pointless as a river thinking that it's got too many curves or that it moves too slowly or that its rapids are too rapid. Says who? You're on a journey with no defined beginning, middle or end. There are no twists and turns. There is just being. And your job is to be as you as you can be."

So yeah - my family and parents my whole life have told me I'm perfect. But have you ever really said these words to yourself? I said these to myself for the first time the other night, ha I actually inspired myself. I “dare” you to do it. Try it, it might inspire you too!

One thing of the many things I took away from the book is fear. Fear holds so many of us back from actually achieving or being the person we want to be. Why? Because society will judge us? Maybe- but life is way too short to let fear hold us back from our dreams. At 28 or 21, stop letting yourself get in your own way. Give yourself the permission and the means to be who you are- regardless of what anybody else thinks or believes is possible.

So what’s next? For me I have “I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl” by Alexis Jones waiting for me on my nightstand. For you- think of some of these questions I shared from the books: What is your Why? What is holding you back? Stop looking back on yesterday and make today your day to dream big!