What is the Definition of Personal Development


A cup of beer on a table

Defining personal development is something that needs to be done from childhood to adulthood. The process may even last through adulthood. The purpose of this activity is to make the individual responsible for their own actions, achievements, and growth. This is how the individual will learn to set goals and create an action plan to achieve those goals. This defines how they will measure their success and determine if they are on the right path to achieving their goals and objectives. It also provides methods and strategies to follow along in order to reach those same goals.

An Overview

A group of people sitting at a table

In order to properly understand what personal development is, one must be able to clearly define what it is not. For example, you cannot be a practitioner of personal development if you engage in activities such as drinking, smoking, gambling, overeating, and so forth. You cannot also be a practitioner of personal growth if you don’t take part in any social interaction with others or if you don’t have healthy relationships. These are necessary for healthy self-realization. So when people speak of personal development they are truly referring to being a socially competent individual who has developed an awareness of his or her own personal worth and who has effective relationships that allow him or her to feel happy and fulfilled.

Personal development therefore, is not just learning to do things but it is also learning to develop new skills. Individuals develop new skills by doing things that they are capable of doing. They do not automatically learn new skills but they learn what they are capable of doing. This is why it is important to be consciously aware of your skills, strengths, weaknesses, talents, abilities, and interests and how you use those skills, talents, strengths, etc. to the fullest extent possible.

Definition of Personal Development

A man riding a snowboard down a snow covered slope

Developing self-awareness is necessary for developing personal growth. There are many resources for this. There are self-help books, personal growth tools, self-help videos, workshop programs, seminars, articles, eBooks, audio books, and more. You can find information online. The Internet is full of valuable resources for self-help. The challenge is to be aware of what you really want to do and to set up a plan for getting there.

The third element is self-management. Self-managing is a combination of planning towards goals with effective interpersonal communication. It also means having control over emotional response. When we make decisions based on our emotions we usually don’t end up as we wanted. People with good interpersonal communication skills can effectively lead a successful personal life.

The fourth element is having a good tool for acquiring a new skill or trait. Personal development goals can only be achieved if there is an effective tool for acquiring the goal. For example, if a person wants to learn to speak Spanish then the person needs to find a language expert who can teach them the language. They need to have a way of acquiring the skill in a systematic and repeatable manner.

Learning needs to be a part of any personal development plan. Students need to know what they are learning. They need to know how to apply what they have learned. The goal of learning is to improve the quality of the learner. Each individual will develop in different ways. If you create an effective action plan for each skill that you want to learn, then you will meet all of your development needs.

Bottom Line

These five elements are all important to consider when creating a personal development plan. By being aware of them and how they work, you can create an effective plan that will enhance your life and professional growth. It takes conscious effort to maintain an awareness of these concepts but once you start paying attention to them, you will be amazed at how quickly your life changes.

Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to our monthly Newsletter