Personal discovery is what leads to personal growth

“My goal is to help you be the best version of yourself.”

I have heard many speakers say this as their mission for your growth. I have said it. Full transparency — I do not like this maxim. What does it mean anyway? How do I know what the best version of me is?

Then I heard Pastor Steven Furtick, from Elevation Church, say, “Personal development is just the path to self-discovery.”

This I agree with.

According to Wikipedia, “personal development” consists of activities that develop a person’s capabilities and potential. These activities might include:

• Reading a book to learn a new skill.

• Listening to successful people share their life tips and tricks.

• Learn how to speak a new language or play an instrument.

• Master a hobby that is different than your day job.

Decades ago, I was introduced to personal development when I purchased a book at the Denver airport while traveling for work. A witty book title caught my eye: “Thinking for a Change,” by John C. Maxwell.

I did not consider myself a reader, but I took a chance and bought the book anyway. One week later, I returned home with a fully read copy. For the past 20 years, I have consumed numerous development books by various authors.

My friend, Nicole, is a school teacher who helps young people increase their literacy. While on vacation, she toured a lavender farm, which sparked creativity in her and her husband to construct a new hobby as lavender farmers. By connecting with other lavender farmers, Nicole is learning how to produce healthy lavender products with her harvests.

Both of these examples are helping us discover our paths in life. I have found that I connect with content that challenges me to think, feel and act differently. This approach is empowering for me and the clients that I serve.

Nicole is finding a relaxing hobby that is turning into a successful business. We would have never found this “version of ourselves” if we did not take the personal development challenge.

The difference between personal development and formal education is our desire to want to learn. No one is making me personally develop or assigning homework to complete by a deadline date. That makes this learning more exciting and empowering. We will grow at our own desired pace.

What are you interested in that might not match your degree? It might be something to develop. It might be your path to self-discovery. It might lead you to a better version of you.

Personal development is the path to self-discovery. By discovering myself I have learned who I want to be, what I want to do and what my best version looks like.