Enabling personal growth
One of the fundamental goals of the Rational Society is to enable personal development. It is defined as any action that generates something positive in the individual – developing new healthy habits, learning about the world, improving yourself, creating and developing a business, or generating wealth with the purpose of granting freedom.
Growth can also serve an autonomous purpose: it is healthy to seek growth to develop as an individual. Would you want to be the same person in ten years, with all the same habits, daily routine and dreams?
Introspection: Where growth starts
To see where you need to go you must first look at where you are. My most fruitful moments in the context of personal development have happened during times of intense discontentment: These were times when I was unsatisfied with my habits and inactivity – it prompted a reaction in me to stop, think and consider what I need to change instead of wading forward aimlessly.
Dedicate time to introspection, either by preparing your home so that you are as free of distractions as possible or going somewhere remote just by yourself with a pen and a paper. Once you've sat down, try to clear your mind of distractions and focus on yourself: Try to detach your observation from your person. Don't approach it from a perspective of "What am I doing?" but "What is this person doing?"
Then proceed to ask what this person is doing right now, and what that person probably should be doing. These considerations don't need to be significant, but they drive you forward in small steps: I could point out right now that my diet probably deserves a bit more vegetables and I should be investing more mental effort into that area of making food. Even though it's a small impact, healthy nutrition overall is a critically undervalued habit in modern society. Write some of your propositions down and consider how you can easily implement these new ideas.
You cannot run without learning to walk first
In my opinion the most efficient way to further your long term goals is to streamline your routine and habits to a ruthless level. If you cannot maintain a consistent sleep cycle, eating schedule or a studying habit, achieving something even more advanced will be considerably challenging due to your inconsistency in the fundamental day-to-day activities.
Focusing on your daily routine in the context your plans forward is crucial: I used to get stuck in "wishful planning" or "dreaming and planning" where I would have big dreams but few concrete plans regarding the practical execution to reach my goal. I've illustrated it below with a diagram.
Let's give this diagram some context with a really simplified example: Let's imagine that my lifelong dream is to become a content creator on the video platform YouTube. My "dreaming and planning" would be thinking that "in one year I will have a small following because right now I'm doing some graphic design and I've got some interesting ideas for content." This is nice and optimistic, but it is a daydream – it has weak substance on implementation. Let's reconsider this ambition using the proposed model above by asking these introspective questions from the perspective of the starting point, daily progress and challenges or milestones:
Do I even have time in my daily routine where I can work on becoming a content creator? When will I be doing that?
What different aspects do I need to consider to become a successful content creator with a following?
How do I market my channel?
Is my personality and content good enough to attract new viewers?
How do I improve and develop my content?
What is my niche on the platform?
What will my personal brand look like? What kind of a viewer base do I want to attract?
How do I maintain consistency in both my work and being able to create content every week?
How do I interact with my audience to generate activity and sharing?
What will be my one month goal(s), my three month goal(s) and six month goal(s)?
These are some important considerations that I quickly thought about by reformatting the planning of this ambition. Introspection is about looking at yourself from an outsider perspective and focusing at how the finer things affect the big plans – if you are analysing yourself from your own personal perspective, that is often a much kinder and nicer one (and it absolutely has its place in reflection, too), but probably won’t offer realistic growth expectations.
So if you’re motivated to develop yourself further, irrespective of your goal, consider introspection. Arrange a time for it in your calendar and you’ll see how big of a difference it makes when you don’t have anything distracting to detract you from improvement.
The Rational Society is committed to presenting ideas related to the rational school of thought, focused on improving personal issues, overcoming challenges and fulfilling ambitions. It is not a dogmatic ideology but an established mode of thought with the explicit goal of guiding the person to the most logical, healthy and beneficial choice.