Personal Growth and Development
Let me answer this question with another one. Will reading map books get you to the places featured on the maps?
The answer to the second one is so obvious is it not? If you do not travel, you will not get there, no matter how good the map is.
Why then do people expect personal development books to work, if they do not?
I think that the reasons are probably many and varied, but I will offer a couple of suggestions which I think might be relevant.
There are many books which refer to how important personal growth and development is.
One of the best known examples is the viral success – ‘The Secret‘.
There is absolutely no doubting the vital importance of our thoughts, in designing a successful life.
The errors occur when it is forgotten to ensure that those thoughts lead on to appropriate action. I have learned of many instances where people have taken on board the positive thinking and visualization.
Believing that to be enough, they do not make the changes in habitual behavior, which would allow the desired success to be attracted to them.
This is really more like wishful thinking than creative visualization.
Another common mistake is to think that a radical new idea or belief can be absorbed and put into practice after only one reading. I myself fell into this trap for a number of years.
I read voraciously and soak in information as efficiently as possible. Because my understanding of ideas and concepts is probably as good as most people’s, I really believed that anything new and important would take root and be reflected in my future behavior.
It became obvious that this was not true, when I was able to re-read some of the self development books. I found that I ‘knew about’ great possibilities for personal growth and development, but was simply not implementing them on a regular basis.
At one point I realized I knew these things intellectually, but I was not practicing them.
Now, when I meet a new idea which has potential, I read and study until it becomes part of my being. It helps a lot for me to be able to read the book and then listen to the same book on audible while I’m driving back and forth from work. It helps me retain a lot more of what I read.
I have found that this will soon influence my actions – particularly those governed by habit – and so be reflected in my results.
In other words, my personal development books work when I do.