Tony Robins, Tim Ferris, Gary Vaynerchuk, Jordan Peterson, Marie Forleo, Robin Sharma, Tom Bilyeu, Brene Brown…
I see these names everywhere at the moment!
They’re just a few of the famous faces in the $10 billion world of personal development.
Together, they’ve sold hundreds of thousands of books, spoken on stage to vast crowds, and delivered courses to swathes of enthusiastic, high-paying attendees.
Each one offers advice and inspiration to help everyday people do better, be better, and live the best life possible.
And they’ve attained global fame and followings in the process!
You might be wondering: ‘why?’
Why have these people earned celebrity status?
Why has the PD industry grown so big? And, more to the point,
Why is personal development important in the first place?
I think the answer to that final question helps explain the first two.
And so that’s what I want to talk about in this post.
Want to better yourself somehow and wonder whether personal development could have a role to play?
Keep reading for 25 reasons behind the importance of personal development!
What Is Personal Development?
First, though, what actually is personal development?
In a very basic sense, the definition of personal development comes down to a process of bettering yourself and your life circumstances.
Of course, the exact process involved varies.
You could read books, take courses, attend conferences, go to college, listen to podcasts, and so on.
It’s worth mentioning that the content involved varies as well. One person might take a course in a stereotypical self-development topic, such as boosting your confidence.
Someone else might be focused on books about wealth creation, or lifestyle design.
Another person could take music lessons, or do a master’s degree.
Overall, I see personal development as picking up any skills and/or insight that improve your life, while letting go of those that make it worse.
25 Reasons Behind the Importance of Personal Development
I hope that’s provided a better understanding of what personal development is.
With that behind us, let’s move onto the importance of personal development. Why is self-development so important? Here are 25 benefits of personality development that help explain the hype:
1. You Cultivate Newfound Clarity
For me, the primary benefits of personality development come down to clarity.
Every single PD incentive to follow can be pulled back to this one. You cultivate an understanding of your internal and external worlds.
You attain newfound awareness, and you walk away with a clearer picture of who you are, what you’re doing, and where you want to go.
2. You Enjoy a New Sense of Direction
Personal development is about trajectory too.
By taking action and pushing for progress in various aspects of life, you begin to realize what you want from it.
You might discover an interest and aptitude in something you’d never even dreamed about. You realize what you want and get the confidence (more on this later) to pursue it.
3. You Cultivate Focus
Personal development narrows your attention.
Have you ever felt like there are a million things you want to do in life? Picking one feels daunting. You don’t want to limit yourself by choosing one solitary path.
The irony is that you end up taking none of them through crippling indecision.
I love this video from the epic Netflix show Master of None:
That clip, and the quote from the book, sum up what I’m talking about. Sooner or later you’ve got to do something- anything- to ensure you live a semblance of the life you want.
Investing in your personal development can reveal the best road for you at this point in time.
4. You Understand the Life You Want
That point is worth re-emphasizing.
Personal development helps to narrow your focus on what you want from life.
You might not like where you’re at right now. You might feel actively discouraged, disillusioned, and verging on a sense of hopelessness. You might be unable to see a way out or a better way forward.
But your present situation doesn’t have to define your future. Realizing what you want from life in 5, 10, or 20 years’ time is tantamount to setting yourself some goals.
Personal development reveals what could be. You shake yourself from the rut and set yourself on a new and improved path.
5. You Improve Your Current Skillsets
Personal development is an investment in yourself.
You give your time and/or money to improve at one thing or another.
You might have a natural talent for something like art, music, or business. Invest in PD and you get to take it to the next level. You get better at what you’re already good at.
6. You Learn New Skills
And you’ll learn new stuff too!
You’ll be smarter, wiser, and more capable than you were before.
7. You Identify Latent Talents
Sometimes, those new skills will tie in with talents you never knew you had.
You might discover an entrepreneurial mind that you never knew existed. You might pick up an instrument for the first time and realize you’re a total maestro. Maybe you feel inspired to help out in the community and find a philanthropic side to your character.
In other words, you figure out that you’re capable of more.
8. You Develop Greater Self-Awareness All-Round
Remember the clarity I mentioned before?
Well, a big part of that is about inner clarity. Investing in self-development works wonders for your self-awareness.
You’re challenged to take a long hard look in the mirror. By figuring out where you’re at now, you can discover how you want (and need) to improve.
I think self-awareness is crucial to a happy life. It’s empowering. You realize who you are, how you walk through life, and what you need to be happy.
Every single one of those discoveries stands to make your life better.
9. Your Business Stands to Gain
Personal development is a big deal for businesses too.
By investing in its employees, the company benefits as a whole. People become better leaders and team-players.
More than anything else, though, they’ll appreciate the investment you’re making in them. Employees will return the favour in terms of improved work ethic and commitment.
Throw in their new skills and abilities and you’re onto a winner.
10. You (Can) Earn More Income
Almost everybody stands to gain from having more money in the bank.
It’s not about living an extravagant life. It’s about financial freedom. More money means less stress and more opportunity to live a fulfilling life.
Personal development is often used by people to better their financial situation.
You might learn how to start your own business, improve your current one, or pluck up the courage to ask your boss for a raise, and/or restore your levels of motivation at work.
Each and every one of those developments can lead to higher levels of income.
11. You Become a Meaningful Specific (Not a Wandering Generality)
This is a big one for me.
It’s all too easy to be a wandering generality in life, rather than a meaningful specific (terms I’ve taken straight from Seth Godin).
You do the same things everybody else does. You follow the pack with your eyes glued to the floor instead of up to the stars.
Personal development is about breaking the trend, maximizing your potential, and separating the wheat from the chaff. You play to your strengths, develop your talents, and cultivate your very own space in this world.
12. You Become More Resilient
I see resilience as a secret sauce to success.
Without it, I don’t know how anybody could weather the storms that inevitably come along the way.
Lack resilience, and you turn and run at the first sign of trouble. Maybe you save yourself the trouble of even potentially failing by failing to try in the first place.
Personal development builds you up. It re-enforces your foundations and sets your eyes on the prize. You become ambitious and bold, which gives you the mental fortitude needed to go 12 rounds with you and your future.
13. You Get the Motivational Ball Rolling
Personal development can be the catalyst you need to get up and running.
It flicks a switch, strikes the match, and gives you a kick up the butt.
Motivation’s a funny thing. It’s there one moment and gone the next. It’s drive that stands the test of time.
But there’s no denying the power of motivation. Your entire being can turn on a dime and see you push toward bettering yourself. And personal development can be the spark that makes it happen.
14. You Avoid Becoming Stuck/Stagnant
It’s impossible to feel motivated and lethargic at the same time.
To be motivated is to be pulled by your shoestrings into a better future. You feel ready to take on the world and do anything necessary to achieve your goals.
There’s no feeling stuck when you’re motivated by what you’re doing.
Personal development sets you on an upward path. Progress is built into its very core. Any longstanding feelings of being stagnant dissipate by virtue of the investment you make.
15. You Become More Confident
Life is easy when you’re confident.
You don’t question yourself, worry about your place in the world, or concern yourself with things as immaterial as the opinions of others.
You’re relaxed, comfortable, and self-assured. And the world takes notice. People treat you differently, look to you for answers, and reward you with their esteem.
That, in turn, increases your confidence even further.
It’s no wonder that a big part of personal development seems focused on giving people a confidence boost. Entire conferences and courses run on the actual topic.
But confidence is also a natural by-product of the general process involved.
You’re working to better yourself! You’re taking steps to see progress and cultivate new skills. And, on top of that, you’re actually seeing improvements in different areas of life.
There’s nothing quite like progress to help you walk a little taller.
16. You Feel More Satisfied
When was the last time you felt satisfied with life?
It’s sad to realize how few people actively enjoy the lives they live. They’re caught in the rat race, going through the motions, and feel unable to make a change.
They might be bored, frustrated, bitter, or even apathetic.
Satisfaction comes when your needs are met.
You’re satisfied when you’ve eaten an incredible meal, been loved by the man/woman of your dreams, or been on vacation with your closest loved ones.
Progress is as powerful a need as any other; personal development unlocks the door to it and life satisfaction follows.
17. You Feel Proud of Yourself
Pride gets a bad rep sometimes.
But there’s nothing wrong with being proud of yourself. You deserve to celebrate your achievements (so long as you’re humble enough to accept your defeats).
You could have felt stuck in a rut for as long as you can remember.
Personal development pushes you, arse over tit, out of it. You’re seeing progress, feeling more confident, and enjoying boundless energy and motivation as a result.
A sense of pride comes with it.
18. You Feel More Committed to a Task/Responsibility
Commitment to anything is difficult.
It’s impossible to stay motivated forever.
In the same way, commitment ebbs and flows, just like the tide on a beach. Sooner or later, the tide might go so far out that you can’t even see it!
I think this is partly because you can’t help but feel hopeful when you invest in your PD.
Where you became demoralized and despondent about some prior task/purpose, you look to the future with fresh eyes.
You know that it’s possible and experience a new wave of motivation to keep at it.
19. You Regain Interest in a Topic/Area of Life
It restores levels of interest in exactly the same way.
Be it work, relationships, art, theatre, college, a novel, a personal fitness goal- anything! Personal development can remind you why you wanted to pursue something in the first place.
You start to see things differently, remember what the initial flurry of activity was all about, and rediscover the drive to persevere with it.
20. You Improve Personal Relationships
Self-awareness. Confidence. Energy. Pride. Self-worth.
You see a boost in them all as you start investing in your personal development. These powerful positive attributes start trickling down into each and every aspect of life.
Like your relationships.
You’ll be more interesting to others and interested in them too. You’ll be more fun to be around. You’ll have stories to tell, a sense of humour to show off, and a general zest for life that naturally pulls people in.
21. You Meet Inspiring People
It’s inspiring to be around people who invest in their personal development.
The courses and conferences you attend are full of other individuals like you- who want to be better, do better, and become more fulfilled in life.
They want to improve, realize they don’t have all the answers and go out of their way to do something about it.
Being around people like that is infectious. It rubs off on you too.
You’ll find yourself carried away by their example; you’ll see people further along the road to progress and want some of what they got.
You don’t have to be there in-person either. Can’t afford these courses/conferences/books, and so on? Leverage the endless free content out there.
Watch YouTube videos of the people I mentioned in the intro. Immerse yourself in their lessons and their example.
Learn from them, digest their insights, and you literally change your neurochemistry- all from the comfort of home. You cultivate a new and improved version of yourself at no cost whatsoever.
22. You Become a Leader and Role Model
Personal development isn’t just about you.
Investing in yourself has a direct impact on other people as well.
Just as you might be inspired by others on a similar path, many will look to you as a source of inspiration and encouragement.
It’s hard not to be impressed by someone who’s made the decision to do things differently and better themselves somehow.
You see what they’ve achieved and who they’ve become.
In the process, you might find yourself stepping into more leadership positions. You attain the skills and self-belief to climb the ladders in your life and assume the new responsibility with aplomb.
23. You Leave Your Comfort Zone
Comfort zones are crippling.
It’s like being in bed.
It’s lovely and cozy and hard to get out of in the morning. But literally nothing happens if you stay there the whole time.
Personal development gives you a kick and rolls you out of bed.
Forcing yourself out of your comfort zone is the real secret to progress. You have to lean into fear and challenge yourself to be better. You have to struggle, suffer and come through the other side.
And that’s scary. It creates a chance to fail and feel your flaws. Previously, when you were safely tucked up in bed, you could reside in blissful ignorance.
24. You See Doors Start to Open
With comfort zones behind you, doors in front begin to open.
Fate has a way of rewarding your efforts. Sooner or later you’ll get a stroke of luck from the hard work you’ve put into bettering yourself.
Maybe you meet an influential person and have the confidence to talk with them. Maybe you’re renewed commitment at work impresses your boss. Maybe you start standing up for yourself and finally leave that abusive partner once and for all.
Doors come in all shapes and sizes. Putting in work will give you the master key.
25. You Feel a Sense of Purpose
Personal development leads to a hugely gratifying surge in motivation.
And it feels epic.
You feel invigorated by life and get a burst of energy to take forward into it. You narrow your focus on a particular prize, fantasising about what it’ll be like to attain one day.
In other words, you attain a new sense of purpose.
Nothing compares to having meaning and purpose in life. They’re two essential ingredients in the secret recipe for happiness and contentment.
Why Is Personal Development Important?
It feels like more people than ever before are investing in their personal development.
I mean, the industry seems to get bigger every year. Entire brands and businesses have sprung up to cater to the demand.
And, having invested heaps of time (and a bit of money) into my own personal development, I get it. But, for people on the outside, I could see how it might seem strange, confusing, or even pointless.
Why is personal development important enough to warrant such investments of time and resources?
Hopefully, the 25 reasons/incentives in this post help provide an answer.
Got any thoughts or related questions on personal development? Leave me a comment below!