Warren Buffet said it best: "Investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents; nobody can tax it or take it away from you. They can run up huge deficits and the dollar can become worth far less. You can have all kinds of things happen. But if you've got talent yourself, and you've maximised your talent, you've got a tremendous asset that can return ten-fold." - Welcome to the world of personal development!
Quite possibly the most important thing I've learned over the past 5 years is the value of personal development. I used to have a very fixed mindset: I was born with my strengths and weaknesses, my particular character, skills and intelligence, and life was about doing my best with what I have got. Once I began to realise that this wasn't the case, that I could capitalise on my strengths, minimise my weaknesses, and develop my character, skills and intelligence...well, then everything changed for me.
I feel it's such a huge part of my life now, the balance of gratitude and self-determination afforded to me by my consistent education (and re-education) on a variety of topics, and for that reason I am passionate about paying it forward and introducing others to this incredible world! So here's my beginner's guide to getting started with personal development:
If you're going to start somewhere, you may as well start with something free, right? And YouTube would be one of my recommendations here. Around 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every day, and in amongst the cat videos and people falling over there is a wealth of educational and personal development content. My best tip to get started would be to check out these top-dogs: Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, Jim Rohn, TED, and Darren Hardy, and then go from there.
Another free option, podcasts are even more convenient than YouTube as you can listen on your phone when you're doing other things. Pop your earphones in while you're cleaning or cooking, or maybe stream to your car stereo on your commute to work. If you haven't used podcasts before then start by getting hold of the app and having a little explore. Personally I love the Castbox app, and some podcasts I recommend are The Tim Ferriss Show, The Minimalists, plus once again Tony Robbins, Robin Sharma, and TED. Also, you can check out mine if you like!
For a low investment, these options are the bomb. You can start for as little as a couple of quid by looking in your local charity shops, or buying second-hand on Amazon. If you prefer to keep your reading material more portable then using the Kindle app on your phone/tablet (or a Kindle itself) allows you to store all your e-books without taking up the space of a full library. Also, e-books tend to be lower investment than new paperbacks, or you could even get a Kindle Unlimited subscription for £7.99 per month. If you prefer to listen to your books, Audible is a great option. For £7.99 per month you can get your account up and running, and every month you get a free credit to buy an audiobook of your choice. Often, the audiobooks can retail at upwards of £20, so for £7.99 you're getting a great deal. Like podcasts, you can listen to these anywhere and really make the most of your time! Check out the personal development department at Amazon.co.uk. The first ever personal development book I read was '7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness' by Jim Rohn, and it's still one of my favourites!
There are a wealth of societies and communities out there with a commitment to self-improvement, some are online and some are in person, some are free and some are paid subscription. The key is to find the right one for you! I am a member of a personal development group for personal trainers, Lift The Bar, and I'm also looking at setting up a free community for health and fitness support in the coming months.
I recently attended the Business & Investor Summit in London, and this is a prime example of a phenomenal investment in personal growth. I only invested £69 in my ticket, and I came away with a huge amount of information and understanding on areas I was already trying to improve and also some which I had absolutely no experience in prior to this event. In two days I took 74 pages of notes, and was able to implement some of what I learned within a few days of returning from the event. Check out Success Resources and see what other events they put on, and another recommendation would be The Best You Expo which I will be attending in London in February 2018. There will probably be many smaller events near you, so have a search around and see what you can find. You might be surprised what's going on!
Coaches and mentors
At the highest level of financial commitment and personal accountability is personal coaching and mentoring. There are incredible coaches all over the world, in all different areas of personal development. There are coaches for business, for relationships, for fitness, for lifestyle, for happiness...for anything! Like with any of these options it's important to pick the right coach for you, so make sure you watch their videos, read their blogs or books, sign up to their mailing lists, listen to their podcasts, attend their events, or anything else which will help you discern if they are the right fit. A great coach will also decide whether you are the right fit for them as a client! There are coaches at all levels, so there will be an option for any budget, but remember that when talking one-to-one coaching cheap work is rarely good and good work is rarely cheap! Expect to invest a good amount of money into coaching and that way you'll get a better return on that investment. To find out more about the coaching I do, click here.
So there's a simple beginner's guide to getting started with personal development, but now the biggest part is down to you: TAKE ACTION!