There has never been a greater time to be alive.
We live in a world where people are living longer and have more opportunities. Your ancestors couldn’t have imagined a better world in their wildest dreams. A hundred years ago, our current world was fantasy. A thousand years ago, it was a utopia.
That means, now more than ever – you have access to great resources in the prime of your life. Instead of wasting it away playing endless amounts of video games and watching porn, you have the ability to create a great future for yourself.
You do that through self-development. You may be kinda skeptical at this point, but bear with me. By the end of this article, I can guarantee that you’ll want to start your own self-development journey.
I’ll start off with the most important one: evolution.
The essence of life is growth. – Jim Rohn
If you believe in the theory of evolution, then you will agree that human beings are constantly becoming “better” over time.
Compared to the beginning of our species, it’s safe to say that we’ve become greater by leaps and bounds.
The main reason why society is where it is today is simply because of the fact that we engaged in self-development as a way to get more access to mates.
The human sex drive is the most compelling force in the world.
You can even argue that it’s the reason why civilization even exists.
Being a stronger, smarter, sexier version of yourself made you have a better chance at reproducing (which most men didn’t), so you bet your bottom dollar that self-development was definitely in fashion.
This desire to be “developed” is embedded in our very DNA.
That’s part of the reason why the fitness and diet industries are so profitable. It plays off of this deep-seated need to make ourselves the most attractive that we can be.
I think while you should go after people you are attracted to, you should not improve yourself only for this reason itself. Instead, use this genetic reason for self-development as a reason to raise yourself (and others) to higher levels.
Perspective is everything when you are experiencing the challenges of life. – Joni Eareckson Tada
When you start to increase your ability to understand and do things, you start to understand reality at a deeper level.
What do I mean by that?
Learning a skill takes time and a lot of practice. You will often plateau. You’ll get frustrated. You’ll want to quit.
You start to say to yourself “hm…maybe this will take more time than I thought”. It’s very humbling. Your arrogance starts to diminish.
You start to climb up the ladder of humanity. It’s a great feeling.
Life is long enough, and it has been given in sufficiently generous measure to allow the accomplishment of the very greatest things if the whole of it is well invested.- Seneca
The media tells us that we can live longer and look better. “30 is the new 20!” What bullshit.
The next couple of years will breeze by. And if you don’t do anything, you’ll be exactly where you are today. EXACTLY the same spot.
Think about this: in 5 years, you will be five years older. The time will pass regardless and you’ll never get it back.
Why not use it to build yourself up and go through the strain of bettering yourself?
Because if you don’t do it now, I will bet you that you’ll regret it later.
There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. – Nelson Mandela
I’d be willing to make the analogy that a lot of people are like ships being steered in a direction that they don’t want to go in by a captain they most likely hate.
Many have found themselves subject to the whims of tyrannical bosses, narcissistic significant others, shiny things, and addictions of all kinds.
This is mainly because many people have failed to develop a strong foundation. They fail to develop skills. They fail to develop resilience. They fail to stop seeking instant gratification. They failed to practice self-discipline.
Self development will allow you will steer the ship of your own life.
You start to be able to your own ticket to the destination that YOU choose.
The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears. – Dan Stevens
Some people are wondering why they aren’t getting the things out of life they desire. They think that they can stay at the same level they’re at and have great things come to them. Yeah right.Opportunity doesn't come to you, you must rise to it. Click To Tweet
You’re looking to make a leap to another job but you lack the skills. The job asks for no “minimum years of experience” but only the ability to do the work. If you had those skills, you would be able to make that leap.
It was a skill that you were going to develop but you kept putting it off… and putting it off… and putting it off.
Then, you find that the opportunity came and it left.
What’s also pretty crazy about this is that when you start to get better in certain areas, that people will start to come out of the woodwork to help you.
In my personal life, I’ve found that as I keep accelerating towards trying to do something, some pretty serendipitous things that happening that help me.
People that weren’t there will come in to your life. Books that weren’t there will catch your eye. Resources that weren’t there will suddenly appear.
Whether or not you believe in a higher power, “the workings of the universe”, or any New Agey stuff you can think of, you’ll see that this is incredibly accurate.
I believe this to be is a case of “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear”.
Neuroplasticity research showed that the brain changes its very structure with each different activity it performs, perfecting its circuits so it is better suited to the task at hand. – Naveen Jain
There’s a lot of things that we don’t understand about the brain.
Still, we’ve made incredible leaps and bounds in the past 20 years with regards to seeing how the brain works. One of the most incredible discoveries in this field is that of neuroplasticity, the idea that the brain can shift and adapt itself in reaction to new stimuli.
Up until a couple of years ago, we believed that the brain was fixed. We believed that we were all born with a certain amount of intelligence, a certain amount of patience, a certain amount of willpower, etc. We would say things like “That’s just the way he is” or “That’s just how I am. I can’t help it.” This way of thinking has been disproven in many different cases, yet we still hold to this myth.
Believing that we can’t change our behaviors, we shed an enormous amount of personal responsibility for the way our lives are.
It’s a huge relief to feel that your life is in a bad state because of external circumstances. But this is an illusion in many different cases.
As you start to do certain activities and engage in certain behaviors, your brain starts to create pathways in order to access that certain piece of information more easily the next time. This “information” may be in terms of a feeling, a desire, an action, whatever.
You see, your brain doesn’t want to expend any more energy than it already needs to.
The brain compensates for this by making “set it and forget it” neural pathways also known as – habits.
Your 20s and early 30s are the best time to create new habits and mental pathways. In her book The Defining Decade, Dr. Meg Jay talks about this. Your brain is going through a “pruning” process in response to your environment.
The human brain is still “plastic”, but it will never be as agile as it is right now.
I could put this fact alone and call it a day. That’s how important this is. Yeah, you COULD change later on down the road…but when you get the age of 40, 50… But it’s fucking difficult.
You may think this is bullshit but let me ask you this: when you started to learn how to walk and ride a bicycle, how difficult was it? I’d imagine it was VERY hard.
How difficult is riding a bike or walking now? Laughably easy, right?
Same thing here.Bad habits don't become a problem until they're too late to fix. Click To Tweet
To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. – Lao Tzu
Extreme clarity is the reason why some fail where others succeed. Everybody wants it, but few people have it.
When you’re out there trying new stuff, making new friends, seeing new places, you start to separate the wheat from the chaff. You start to have higher standards for yourself. You start to hold yourself to a new level. You start to figure out what you do and don’t want.
A lot of people never achieve clarity on their desires for two reasons:
- They never try new things so they can’t say “Yeah, I like this” or “I don’t want to try that again”
- They never stick with something long enough for it to yield results.
That’s why people go to the gym, go on a diet, start to learn a new skill, etc and get super-mad it doesn’t work for them. It’s because they don’t stick with it. Clarity doesn’t come overnight, it only comes from repetition It’s like painting a picture. The Sistine Chapel would have never been finished if Michelangelo didn’t stick with it long enough for it to reveal itself to him.
The future rewards those who press on. I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself. I don’t have time to complain. I’m going to press on. – Barack Obama
This is personally my favorite reason to do any type of self-development. I “stole” this idea from Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
One of my favorite concepts in this book is the idea of “working from the end”, as in seeing life from the perspective of having attained certain goals or objectives.
When you embark on making yourself a better person, you start to see the future. As you start to become more sharp in certain areas, it’s only a matter of time until you manage to get to where you want to be.
Take someone who has been working in his room for years upon years, doing extremely complex code (something most people would never understand) to a point where it becomes second nature to him. How could this person not become a massive success?
I don’t know the answer to that question. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg might know.
So I hope that through reading this, you got a good sense of the need to embark on a journey of personal development.
Yeah, I understand. It’s not always fun. It’s not pleasurable.
Success is great but it often involves sacrifice. Much self-denial. Restraint. Many nights you can’t go out with your friends. Many days you’re just sitting and doing some type of work for many hours.
But I can guarantee you that when you start to shift what you want in your life, when you start to tighten yourself up more and more, you will become less unfocused and achieve massive success. It’s inevitable.