Personal development

What is the meaning of life, people say. People say they just want to be happy and settle down. But how often does this happen? Do we enjoy it anyway? I believe there is more to life than comfort and ease. At one stage or another we all have to face suffering. Do we run and hide or do we stand up and fight. The natural adrenaline response gives energy for flight or fight. Sometimes we need to flee, but I would maintain if you don’t want to be looking over your shoulder all your life, it is best to survive to fight another day. Then get stronger so you can defeat whatever is causing the suffering. Or even control it so can be harnessed for your benefit.

Coming to terms with yourself, growing up, wrestling with your demons, emotional healing even, it is all about finding out who you are. Improving on your good points and minimising your bad points. Make the most of yourself and make your mark on the world.

Personal development is a private issue and is something that should only be talked about with a small number of confidants. I do not believe that is about frothy, happy moods that trivialise life, but a deep understanding of yourself and life that brings truth and meaning. Contrast a shallow pop song, soon forgotten, with a life enhancing track from a singer-songwriter life Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell. There is a time for introspection, there is a time for navel gazing and getting to know yourself and how to improve yourself. Time alone to walk in the countryside, physical exercise, reading, listening to music or anything you find helpful.

In knowing yourself and being who you are meant to be, you are taking a long, steady walk out of selfishness and frivolity. Maybe even become independent and capable of making your own decisions. Maybe to lead, or to cope with difficult situations. Maybe to show love, perform, analyse, work or overcome disability or prejudice. Whatever your thing is, just do it. There are no short cuts and it takes hard personal work and there is no-one who can achieve this but yourself. But you must consider others feelings as you do this.

When people are young they want to be happy. As we get older achievement becomes more important. Look at the mother who steps up when she has a baby and rises to the challenge of motherhood. Look at those who have become ill who through suffering have gained the strength to overcome it and maybe help others. Look at those who find themselves in a war zone who must get up and fight adversity just to stay alive and protect those they around them.

This is what life is about making yourself better by challenging adversity on your own or as part of a community. So when you know who you are, you have honed your skills, you have researched your area of expertise and have identified your goal. Just win baby!

Conway-Laird (2016)


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