Note: This is Part 1 of the mini-series: Building the Foundation to Start a Personal Development Journey. For Part 2, click here. For Part 3.1, click here. For Part 3.2, click here. For Part 3.3, click here.
I had the idea for this blog, but I didn’t have much direction. I was stuck in the planning phase for a long time. It was a case of perfectionism. Also, a bit of indecisiveness. I was worried I would get stuck along the way and people would see that I couldn’t follow through or I couldn’t make decisions or be able to keep up…
I realized I didn’t have to have it all perfect, planned, and figured out. I couldn’t let fear paralyze me and stop me from starting. I just had to get started and figure it out along the way. Things would fall in place. I had to start writing. I had to start talking. I had to start doing.
When you start doing, you start making decisions. Things begin to come together and make sense.
“A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. Don’t wait for an inspired ending to come to mind. Work your way to the ending and see what comes up.” – Andy Weir
If you want to solve the puzzle, you have to try to start putting the pieces together rather than just thinking about it and only planning it out in your head. You can’t learn how to dance just by reading a book on it. You actually have to do it, in order to learn.
“The hardest thing about getting started, is getting started.” – Gary Kawasaki
I did have a lot of thought into what I would start writing about for ReachingSelf. What I knew was that I wanted to organize my blog into separate series, each on a specific topic that I would learn about, research and reach specific goals in. I would spend a certain amount of time separately on each topic and delve deep into it. I have a wide variety of many topics I’d like to cover. Learn more about that here.
But the main question was where and how do I start? What would be a good place to start?
I wanted to start on a topic that would give me a good solid and strong foundation. I wanted to set myself up for success. I didn’t want to start with something that would be easy to fail due to anything lacking within myself. So the important questions I started asking were:
- What is the main foundation of personal growth?
- How and where do you start a personal development journey?
Why? Because you don’t fill a dirty house full of nice things.
It was certainly not an easy decision. I wanted to just start on so many things. I thought maybe I should start with goal setting? After all, this blog would be organized into topics with subcategories as goals I’d like to reach. I should start with being a master in goal-setting. But I thought there could be other self-limitations within goal-setting that would stop me from reaching my goals.
So I kept thinking…
Maybe time management. Maybe procrastination. Maybe habits.
But no, not deep enough. These things were important, no doubt, but I knew they were stems. I wanted to get to the very roots. Start from the very base, the basics, the bottom and work my way up.
I thought maybe breathing. That is the single most important thing we need to survive. It’s more important than water and food. More important than shelter. I did some research for a paper in high school about it and what I found was very interesting. It’s often overlooked, but the way we breathe is essential to our health.
Breathing and how we breathe is the most important thing we need for our health and survival. However, it’s not necessarily the root of personal growth. And we can probably reach our highest self without having to master breathing first and foremost.
I worked my way backward, starting from the bottom, from the foundation. What does everyone have? What does everyone need? What can we not be happy and succeed without? In order to have success, what do we need? In order to be happy, what do we start with?
After much reading, thinking, questioning and reflection, I came to a decision on what would be the first series I would start my blog with.
Although I already knew the topic I wanted to start my blog with, I decided I wanted to find out the opinions of others and what they thought. I wanted to start with a mini-series that would be on searching for the foundation of personal growth and how to start a personal development journey.
Introducing the first Mini-Series: Building the Foundation to Start a Personal Development Journey
I decided on a mini-series for this because there wasn’t much research I could do besides talk to people and find out their thoughts and opinions since it’s a very subjective topic. It’s not easy to find information about this online either.
There’s also not much room to set goals in that topic of search. That’s what I defined to be a mini-series: a topic on self-development that was very subjective and could only be researched, talked about and learned from. A topic that was also very limited for setting and reaching goals in.
I interviewed and talked to people from all different age groups, from teens to over sixties.
A couple of the responses were in an interview format, on video. These participants were mostly my family, close friends, and a few acquaintances who reached out on social media.
Although it was mostly people I knew, everyone was so different – from many walks of life. Most of the people I surveyed on camera were people I knew located in Central Florida. (Eventually, I plan to go up to many different random people in the streets in public and interview them with my mic and camera. Maybe. Or I could have a studio set up for professional interviews with random participants like Dove or Buzzfeed.)
Here, in Part 1, I will be sharing the questions for the survey I used and answering the questions myself.
This will be a ten part series.
Here are my answers to the questions:
How would you define success?
Success to me means when your thoughts, desires, and actions are in sync and in harmony together. You do what you believe in and what you say you do rather than just what you want to do. When you are in consonance* with yourself. When you have a balance in important areas of your life: your work, your family and relationships, your health and your time to yourself.
*Consonance: agreement or compatibility between opinions and actions
What advice would you give to someone who is younger and less experienced, that would be beneficial to them?
Go after what you want now. Take action and stop waiting. Don’t let fear paralyze you – fear of success or fear of failure. Never stop learning and never stop growing. Don’t let yourself be stagnant. Always accept change and adapt to it. Practice awareness.
At this point in your life, what would you like to change in your life now and where would you start?
I would like to make better decisions with my time, my energy, my actions. Doing what feels right rather than what feels good. I would like to take action, finish what I start, go after what I want in life and stop being afraid to do those things.
What does personal growth mean to you?
Personal growth means having the desire for change and improvement and then following through with those desires by taking action.
What do you believe is the main foundation of personal growth? The one factor that is necessary to achieve success in anything?
Self-esteem. All you have is yourself. Every habit, action, decision, thought, desires, fear boils down to a person’s self-esteem.
Complete this sentence:
The greatest contribution any one person can give to humankind is ________?
Their best self. When someone is their authentic highest self, they will give love and kindness freely to others and will contribute and serve the world to the best of their abilities.
“Healed people heal people. Hurt people hurt people.”
What one skill or subject, if mastered, would have the greatest and most immediate impact on your life?
I actually have two. Awareness & Discipline. Awareness with myself, with my life, with others and everything that goes on. Awareness means being open to the truth, honesty, integrity, growth, listening, the list goes on. Awareness is the first step in growth, change, and learning. Once you are aware, you can separate your emotions, your anxieties, your negative feelings from an event or a fact. Discipline means having the strength to take the action that’s best for me. Doing what I know I need to do and following through.
If all your material successes and personal relationships were taken away from you and you were left with nothing but current abilities, what would be the first steps you would take to start all over and rebuild your life again?
*(Originally: If you lost everything, how would you build yourself up again?)*
**I also edited the question near the end to not include health “left with nothing but health and current abilities” because some people felt that they didn’t even have that and therefore did not know how to answer the question.
I would see it as a new beginning, a fresh new start. If I lost everything, all I would have would be myself. I know that I would need a strong sense of and belief in self. I would need to be okay with everything stripped away from me because I know those things do not make up who I truly am. Knowing that, I would sit down and evaluate what happened and how I got there. I would learn from my mistakes and take them as lessons learned. I would make a plan for what I need to do based on what happened (what worked and what didn’t) and what I need to do differently than before as well as what I need to keep doing.
Subscribe to receive a weekly newsletter for this series or if you’d like to be a part of the research process for my next series.
What do you think? The online survey is now closed to data gathering, but if you’d like to take the survey for yourself, you can do so here.
In fact, I have a challenge for you! You can join me in this series along with me.
- Try out the survey.
- Write down or copy and paste your answers to have them with you separately. If you were one of the participants when the survey was open, you can contact me for your responses.
- Go through and read the posts each week for each question and its answers. Watch the videos too!
- At the end of the series, go over each of the questions and answers and see if any of your answers have changed or if you have any additions to your answer based on what you’ve learned. You can also do this during the series for each question.
If you have any insights or anything that you’d like to share during the series, feel free to let me know. I may create a feature post for that.
Have you figured out what the main series I’m going to start with is based on my answers? 🙂
If not, make sure to subscribe above and stay tuned for the next installments of the Building the Foundation to Start a Personal Development Journey mini-series, where I’ll be sharing the answers from the survey as well as what I’ve learned.