There is much more to learning than just gaining knowledge. Unfortunately, a lot of people stop at that point when they finish their schooling and don’t value what learning is really all about, which is where personal development often comes in later in life.   The real value from it comes from application of knowledge and what is done with it and how it impacts a person or others.  This is why learning itself is only a portion of what makes up personal development and exactly why I’ve developed such a passion for the subject, since it can have such an impact on contribution to a better life for oneself and to others!

Personal development and realizing how impacting its cycle can be has become a huge proponent in my life to take on whatever challenges I face and apply my knowledge  in order to let it shape me and things in my life.  You can do the same and allow yourself to change through a learning or personal development cycle.  It takes a long time to understand the cycle through trial and error and its much more effective to have models for things that can be utilized to gain the most from it.  The same is true with the personal development cycle if you understand the whole cycle to be able to recognize it, and all then enable it to occur, you can take on new challenges and shifts in your life much more easily.  I have always loved change and learning new things, so this has become much more of a passion for me, but the cycle can build that passion for anyone who recognizes the value in changing themselves for the better.   Without it, you can easily fall to becoming very conditioned by people around you who are afraid of change and don’t think they can learn things well and you can easily become complacent and stuck within a very small comfort zone.

Make a Choice to Learn Something New

The first step is to make the decision and choose to learn something new.  This is a mental step and is to overcome the internal barrier that often holds us back.  This is more than it sound like as it is so easy to drop into a complacent life without venturing into new activities, learning new things or allowing change to be faced.  Often the security people have in the consistent lifestyle keeps them locked into that and they are afraid to change it as it seems to threaten that security.  The best way out of this is to know that change can bring about even more good things and a more enjoyable life, not less.  Especially in the realm of personal development as most things in it are about improving life, yourself or others and so the change that will occur will almost always result in bringing about more lasting happiness in life.  Who can argue against that just for a little short term work or risk to achieve it?  If you want to develop yourself, you must decide that you are ready and willing and commit yourself to making it happen!

Take Action to Learn

A choice on it’s own still has to backed up by action.  Goal setting, positive thinking, the law of attraction; whatever methods you use or are familiar with to motivate you, you still must put those thoughts and ideas into action for them to ever become reality.  One of the hardest things in learning something new is just how to start or to take that initial step or action.  The biggest reason for this is that people often make it more difficult than they need to.  Break the problem or goal down into simple steps.  Do some brainstorming to write down all the little steps and pieces that would have to occur to help get started.  For example, instead of looking at learning a new language, you might list a bunch of simple steps that could get you started, such as:

  • Research which languages you might want to learn
  • Find some online resources for home security (adt reviews)
  • Talk to some friends to find out who you know that speaks that language already
  • Research some books, courses.
  • Change your computer’s interface or a favorite program (that you already know well) into that language
  • Create a month by month break down of your goals (set subgoals)
  • Identify some small but important milestone to reach (learn 50 verbs or the sound of the alphabet in a new language)
Obviously there are many simple first steps that can be taken and as you complete those, all you need to do is continually set new steps and actions to further your progress in what you are learning.  Don’t get stuck by being overwhelmed by the complexity or size of something you want to learn.  Just get started and take a few actions at the start and then continue that often to make continual progress in your personal development.

Master it to Make it a Habit

Mastery takes time, and plenty of practice. All those small actions that you take will move you closer and closer to mastery and will begin to shift into a need to repeat and practice more of the same to really understand and be competent and confident in your new learned skills/tasks/etc. One aspect of mastery is the concept by Gladwell in “Outliers” about the 10,000 hrs it takes to become an expert in any skill or area.  An expert in a field or on a large topic may very well take this amount of time to truly master, however, it doesn’t mean everything takes that long to master and often something can be mastered in only a few hours of practice.  Whatever the size is of your new personal development, practice what you are learning over and over to make it easy and to gain that confidence to repeat it without difficulty.  The more you repeat something the easier it will become and you will slowly learn to make it a habit.

Let it Reshape Your Beliefs to Create Lasting Change

One of the best methods to create lasting beliefs and change around a new habit is to teach it to someone else. Write about it, show someone or guide a group to learn something that you have already done.  This will truly have you thinking and explaining why something is important, how to learn it most effectively, what are the things that helped or hindered you along the way and last but not least, it really proves that you know your stuff. True mastery of any subject matter or skill can easily be demonstrated when it is taught to someone else and to do it well reinforces your beliefs on the subject. Knowing all the pitfalls and struggles that you had in learning something gives you a significant advantage to help someone else avoid those and learn the skill more easily through your guidance.

Mastery of something will not only change what you know, but also what you believe you know, which is much more powerful.  Beliefs steer much of your decisions and lifestyle and as you change your beliefs on elements you learn, this slow start to also develop the belief that you can learn anything.  To me, this is the real secret of the personal development cycle and once this belief is formed begins to develop that you can in fact learn anything, it can make your choices and learning process much easier and faster.  So, let the cycle of personal development shape your beliefs and utilize that to repeat the cycle in other areas of your life.

You may also check out some information on learning management system from Halogen to quickly and easily see a return on your training investments.

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