I was sitting one day, stretching my legs, sweat oozing from my pores onto the black cushioned floor, when prophetic words called out.
"You have been endowed with the seeds of greatness. That dream, that gift has been given to you."
They were the words of motivational speaker and author Les Brown, playing on the phone that lay beside me. At that moment of recovery, having finished a workout and suddenly listening with great intent, I started my journey to the world of personal development.
I was unaware of the official terminology used to describe the process of cultivating your talents, skills, and abilities to make an impact in the lives of others. But the words of Les Brown resonated with me as I considered my roles as a partner, father, businessman, and working professional.
Through the speeches of Les Brown, Eric Thomas, Zig Ziglar, and others, I found myself attempting to be a more mindful husband to my wife. Through personal development, I discovered a better way to communicate with my children. During those days when I don’t feel like working out, I have found the motivation to train Capoeira, lift weights, or jog an extra mile.
Investing in many activities can lead you to realize your potential as a man. The non-exhaustive list includes: creating well-defined goals to increase productivity, participating in leadership training, engaging mindset-enhancement strategies, reading books that encourage positive self-awareness, exercising, making time for prayer and meditation, practicing mindfulness at work and home, and advocating for social justice.
I define personal development as an ongoing process to become your best self.
Personal development is essential to a private and public successful man. While I frame it here within the context of men, the success that can be acquired in our private and professional lives through investments in personal development is available to anyone, regardless of gender identification.
In this past year of triumphs and challenges abroad to bring my part-time passions into a full-time income, I have learned that money cannot be the only measure used to validate myself as a man. I have had to adapt to working more with my wife throughout multiple months to ensure our bills are paid and expenses are met.
Traditional masculine constructs still often tell us men must be the “sole-breadwinners.” But through personal development, I have improved in treating my wife with more respect to meet our household’s financial obligations. In my dedicated study times, I have been affirmed that men make family a priority, create organized schedules that allocate time for exercise and rest, build the self-discipline required to make healthy food selections, and take time for prayer and meditation with The Creator to identify a clear vision for our lives.
With regards to professionalism, I understand personal development as the consistent engagement of activities that support positive leadership, diversity and inclusion practices, and specific goals designed to increase productivity in a job or entrepreneurial setting. Reading books and articles on best business practices, listening to podcasts, and hiring coaches are among the types of investments I have made to improve as an entrepreneur. These types of activities can lead to maximizing profits and minimizing losses with quality products and services to make an impact in the lives of other people.
Every day I have on this Earth, I reach towards measurable wins that are in alignment with my understandings of personal development.
Our goals as men should include striving toward the best version of ourselves in public and private areas of our lives. May this be the start of an extraordinary trip to showing the world your full potential.
Special thanks to my editor Kevin Wood who assisted this post's originally appearance in my weekly column at The Good Men Project.
For more information about my personal development coaching services, visit this link.