Nine Timeless Personal Development Lessons

by | Dec 30, 2021

As 2022 comes into view, it’s time to take stock of 2021 and prepare for a better, more productive and prosperous new year. The January/February issue of Success Magazine lists nine timeless personal development lessons that have persisted for decades. The following is my take on those lessons.

1. Failure Significantly Contributes to Growth.

In a nutshell, failure is how we learn. Failure shows us what does not work so that we can move on to the next promising idea that may work. We improve by learning from our mistakes. “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I failed over and over and over again. That is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

2. Positive Thinking is Key

If you don’t believe you can succeed, you will almost assuredly fail. When problems occur or the going gets tough, the pessimist will see these things as confirmation that success is not possible. On the other hand, positive thinkers are confident of success because they have done their homework and know that first principles do not prevent their success. They know that success is, therefore, merely a matter of will and perseverance. “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.” – Vince Lombardi

3. The People in your Life Matter

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn. If those people are negative, pessimistic, and unmotivated, you will be too. If they are hard-working, risk-taking, and positive, you likely will be too.

4. Gratitude is a Virtue

Regardless of our situation, we can find something to be grateful for every day. Even the greatest of challenges are more easily overcome when we take a moment to take stock of what we are grateful for. “Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty.” – Doris Day

5. A Change Requires an Action Plan

Identifying a necessary change and wanting to make that change is all well and good. The part that many people overlook is creating a plan to accomplish the identified change. One is significantly more likely to succeed when one has a plan for achieving success. The aforementioned plan should be written. “If you do not know where you are going, you will end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

6. Money is Important

Even the most selfless person among us who could care less about material things needs to spend some time thinking about money. Money is the currency through which we get things done. Few plans of any consequence can be accomplished without money. This does not mean we have to be beholden to making it; rather, we need to be mindful of how it fits into our plan for success. “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.” – Ayn Rand

7. Bad Habits can Block Success

You know what your bad habits are. Either you know what they are, or you need to take a few minutes and figure out what they are. Write them down, and then write a plan for breaking them. Humans are creatures of habit, and breaking bad habits is hard. “The only proper way to eliminate bad habits is to replace them with good ones.” – Jerome Hines

8. Mental and Physical Health are Critical to Success

The greatest and most important asset that a person has is mental and physical health. Little if anything can be achieved if health is neglected. Maintaining one’s health requires a plan that often includes replacing bad habits with good ones, as previously mentioned. “The first wealth is health.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

9. Connecting What You Do to Your Purpose Ties Everything Together

What is your purpose? Why do you do what you do? What is it all for? Figure out your purpose and then act in accordance with that purpose. To do otherwise is to squander the precious time we are given in this world. Do not squander your most precious gift. “Discovering your purpose is the most significant thing you will do in your life, and you, your loved ones, and the world will be better off because you went on this journey.” – Mastin Kipp

Wishing you all the best in 2022!