4 Pillars of Effective Personal Growth

great-trees.jpgPersonal growth is defined simply as:  the quest to improve one’s self

Once you start down this path, there are countless people, books, magazines, groups, ideas, meetings, movements, etc…that provide you the opportunity to become a happier, more fulfilled person!

In fact, there is so much “good stuff” out there that it can get confusing.  Should you follow Buddhism or Kabbala, should you meditate or say affirmations, should you quit your job to write or stay at your job and just learn how to do it better?

Often times, personal growth enthusiasts become so encsconced in the varying philosophies that they become lost and depressed.  That kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think!

In this article I will cover a very simple framework for your personal

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development.  I call it the 4 Pillars of Effective Personal Growth, and you can use this as a general guide as you awaken to greater realities:

Step 1: Make a Conscious Decision To Grow

If you want to really implement transcending changes in your life, it is necessary to make the conscious choice to improve yourself. 

This initial step may be achieved by something as simple as reading an article like this and saying “yes, I am ready to create a better life for myself” or “yes, I am ready to deal with the bad habits I have” or “yes, I am willing to face my inherent fears and move beyond them”.

Believe me, this is a huge step.  Once you throw it out there that you are ready to grow and transcend your negative “ways of being”, then you have taken a massive stride towards creating a more fulfilling life for yourself.

ACTION STEPS:  Read books and articles.  Speak to people who you feel are constantly growing and expanding their universe.  Surrounding yourself with growth will initiate growth within you.

Step 2: Pinpoint Your Major Areas of Struggle

We all have a few areas in life where we consistently display patterns of struggle and doubt.  

For me, the issue of “career” has always been a major inhibitor of fulfillment.  I have spent so much time focused on it, worrying about it, planning for it, etc…that at times it has been hard to see the forest through the trees. 

Become aware of areas in your life where you are always trying SO hard, but end up frustrated time and time again.  Begin noticing how constant attention in this area usually causes more stress and anxiety than a solution.

ACTION STEPS:  Now that I have you thinking, write down your thoughts.  Start a journal and take physical note of the areas you constantly struggle.  Writing is awareness, and awareness acts like a light in the darkness.

Step 3Seek Out Information

man-blackboard.jpgIf you truly wish to grow, it is critical to BE OPEN and allow yourself to explore avenues that a short time ago may have seemed strange, or out of the ordinary.

Because there is an endless world of people, information, events, places, websites and movements in which personal growth transpires, I can only share with you a few examples from my own experience. 

Last week, I posted an article Spirituality: What I Have Learned So Far where I talk about my first spiritual experience.  That moment was certainly out of the ordinary for me at the time…but I went with it because it felt “right”. 

Since then I have become involved with many things that I previously would have thought of as strange; I have traveled and spent time in Sedona AZ, taken a Landmark Forum, attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, read innumerable books, started this blog, and on and on…

These are all physical manifestations of my own personal growth, and tangible pillars that I can point to and say “yea, right here was a big learning and growth moment for me”.

ACTION STEPS: Be open to growth experiences in your life.  Start by writing down 5 pillars of your own experience; key moments where you learned something significant.  They can be anything from a person you’ve met, an article you read, or a TV show you watched.  Make sure to write down why this experience was integral. 

Step 4Ride The

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Once you start down the path of personal growth, and begin seeing the benefits, things begin to happen at a quicker pace.  For example, I sometimes feel that my first spiritual experience in Central Park (the one I speak of in the previous article) was a beginning for me.

Looking back, I notice that it took a long time for the next tangible stage to manifest itself in my life (maybe a few years).  The next one was shorter, and as my growth ensues I establish new pillars in a quicker time frame. 

I call this “riding the wave” which is the equivalent to living in the moment, and being present to growth opportunities all the time.  And what a way to live!

sunset.jpgACTION STEP:  Start riding the wave in your life, and seek out growth experiences all the time.  Begin realizing that life is more exciting when you are learning new things, connecting with new people, and making things happen!  

Once you get to this point, you become a “doer” instead of a “contemplator”…and your life becomes magical!

So there you have it, a pretty simple and straighforward approach to personal growth: 1) Make a conscious choice; 2) Notice your major roadblocks; 3) Seek out information; 4) Ride the wave of your experiences!   

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16 Responses to “4 Pillars of Effective Personal Growth”

  1. ZHereford says:

    Todd this is a very good approach to take when there is so much information and advice available. It can get overwhelming and confusing. Great pointers!

  2. Peter says:

    Yeh, definitely a good point about there being so much good information, etc available. In the end it comes down to the individual, but as you say it is worth having a framework for our personal development.

  3. Todd says:

    Thanks Z and Peter: yea, there is SO much info that it really can get confusing…hope this article helps :)

  4. Seeking out information is an important step. But, it also important to avoid information overload. To read a book can take 1 day, to make the changes can takes years.

    good article

  5. Todd says:

    Thanks Tejvan….mucho appreciado for the comment!

  6. Miracle says:

    Thanks for this article. I really needed the action steps you provided; especially since I am journeying down to turn my blog into a non-profit.

  7. This is a great article, Todd! Those four foundation steps to personal growth are excellent. Having been riding the wave for years now, I completely understand what you mean. It seems to me to be very closely related to that essential notion of learning how to learn.


  8. That sounds pretty much like my philosophy: “Be curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love to do and find a way to share it with others.” Once you have that orientation to life it’s fairly easy to ride the wave.

    Great topic!

  9. [...] 4 Pillars of Effective Personal Growth [...]

  10. Eric Roth says:

    Illuminating, practical, and bite-sized. Thanks for sharing!

    As the old medical cliche goes, wanting to be cured is part of the cure.

  11. eric says:

    Great topic!! Information overload can be difficult to manage when someone first commits to the path of personal growth. Your four steps give clear and sound guidance.



  12. [...] Goldfarb presents 4 Pillars of Effective Personal Growth posted at We The Change. In this article I will cover a very simple framework for your personal [...]

  13. Nick Pagan says:

    I don’t get it. What do you mean by the word ‘pillar’?

    I would classify a pillar as a system or process that supports effective problem solving. These are things that when the going gets tough you can depend upon outside of your own fickle emotional waywardness.

    What you write about here is more of an ‘introduction to personal growth’ rather than 4-effective methods to create personal growth.

    Something that explains how to keep opting for personal growth, how to overcome roadblocks, how to use information to solve problems, how to interpret experiences to sustain personal growth would be much more my idea of decent set of 4-pillars.

    It’s a nice article, upbeat and supportive, but IMO the article doesn’t deliver on the promise of the title. I’m a bit disappointed :-(

  14. You’ve done an incredible job of condensing the whole personal growth journey down to its four basic elements.

    I have to remind myself that I’m riding “my” wave and therefore I shouldn’t compare my growth to another person’s.

    Great post!

  15. Todd says:

    NICK: Thanks for the comment and criticism, hehe. I am sorry I did not follow through for you…the title was meant to draw people in, and signify an introduction to realistic personal development…I guess the word pillar might have been too strong, thanks for the honesty…

    Chris, THANKS man,

  16. ananga says:

    Thank your for submitting this post to the Living by Design Blog Carnival – it has been featured in carnival edition No. 22


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