Personal Development Education

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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The goal of personal development education is to help individuals tap their innate abilities and learn new skills that help them achieve their goals. Common objectives include, among other things, professional advancement, stress management, improved memory and learning, and greater self-confidence, all of which are within reach for those willing to invest the effort. As any good educator will tell you, though, this type of self-improvement does not happen overnight.

Personal development education means charting a course for your growth and sticking to it, whether it requires weeks, months, or even years of time and energy. A good program will combine principles of success with repetitive drills meant to drive these strategies home. Generally, those who work conscientiously through the exercises, even when they become onerous, achieve better results than those who simply skim over the concepts.

The Elements of Personal Development Education

Those who embark on journeys of self-improvement do so with dozens of different goals in mind, many of which are intertwined. Improving one's attention span and reading comprehension skills is inextricably tied to "stretching" the brain, so to speak, a skill that's critical to analytical thinking. Moreover, a student seeking to retain more of the information that he or she reads must first learn to relax, which can only be done when he or she effectively reduces stress and anxiety.

What many students of personal development education are shocked to learn is just how applicable these skills are in daily life. Sure, a speed reading course, at one level, is about digesting information faster. The larger benefit, however, may be greater self-assurance in the workplace, where managing a heavy flow of information is crucial for success. Similarly, other concrete skills come with their own "intangibles" that make self-improvement doubly rewarding.

Resistance to Personal Development Education

The knee-jerk reaction that many prospective students have to personal development education is skepticism, which is understandable. After all, if they've gone 20, 30, 40, or 50 years without making the sorts of strides promised by a sound personal development education program, why should they believe that they can suddenly make them now? Old habits die hard, as the saying goes--or, you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Imagine for a minute that you've just returned from the cardiologist, who tells you your arteries are 99 percent occluded and that, in addition to taking your medicine, you must stop eating fried food and start a cardiovascular regimen immediately. Were the issue framed in a "life or death" context, your entrenched habits would end, period. By the same token, if you found yourself fighting for survival at work, you would "unlearn" your old habits as quickly as possible in order to get with the program, even if it meant rapidly acquiring new skills.

The Cost of Personal Development Education

How much value do you place on your cognitive ability? Your peace of mind? Your self-confidence? Your livelihood? If you're like most people, these attributes defy any sort of price sticker, for they are at the crux of who you are. Hence, if someone told you it would cost you thousands of dollars to preserve them, you'd find a way to come up with the dough.

Personal development education is no different, and that's because each of the aforementioned qualities is directly tied to that education. By that logic, you'd make similarly large concessions for a quality personal development education, especially if you knew that in all likelihood the skills you learned would help you think more clearly, earn more money, and feel more self-assured. The best news is yet to come: personal development education programs don't cost thousands of dollars. In fact, they barely cost hundreds.


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