I have been spending a lot of time lately working on this blog. There have been many positives to this: the satisfaction of creating something new, the motivation to soak up a lot of personal development material, and being able to incorporate a variety of new ideas into my life.
I have also found though that it is very easy to overdose on personal development. When personal development becomes obsessive I think it is important to consider the 3 following aspects of your life:
When you throw yourself into a new project that you are passionate about its natural to have a lot of good energy. However, people are not meant to maintain peak levels of energy all day, everyday day. I find in the evenings, in particular, its important to have some down time just before bed. Rather than be on the computer right up until bedtime, spend some time reflecting on your day, meditating, visualising your ideal future, etc.
For anyone wanting a comprehensive look at maintaining optimal energy levels I recommend this article by Scott Young on Energy Management.
2. Friends & Family
Personal development is, by definition, personal. It is about you. If personal development takes over your life its easy to start neglecting your relationships with friends and family. I have 2 suggestions here. Firstly, see if you can incorporate them into your personal development. For example, discuss your new ideas with your loved one or exercise with a friend rather than on your own. Secondly, there are times when you should forget about the personal development. Just spend time enjoying the company of your family and friends. As a new dad I find it particularly important to just be around in the evenings with my son and partner.
3. Fun & Spontaneity
When we begin our personal development journey its fantastic to feel that we are on the road to a brighter future. But are we enjoying the ride? I find its so important to have fun each day. Related to this is the ability to be spontaneous. Its great to have goals and a ‘to do’ list, but its no fun to live rigidly within these all the time. So if you get a call during the day from a good friend who wants to catch up for dinner that night don’t feel you should say no just because you have set yourself the goal of exercising everyday.