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The importance of creating a personal development portfolio

Writer, Speaker, and PhD. Check my podcast here: He was born into a family of seventeen children, the son of a poor candle and soap maker realized early on in his life the importance of self-improvement. Though he only attended one year of grammar school, this young boy would learn on his own how to read and write.

To improve and learn, he would study the writings of famous authors and force himself to write in their same style. Here his exposure to a variety of books prompted him to not only read the tomes, but to form a group of people who would get together and discuss them. Through this intellectual exercise, each of the members sought to improve their minds and in turn, the world.

This young man would go on to do that — dedicating himself to a personal journey of physical, mental and moral improvement. He became a vegetarian believing a vegetarian diet to be healthier than one with meat. In doing so, this gentleman created a list of four resolutions: He resolved to become more frugal to save enough money to repay his debts.

He decided that he would be very honest the importance of creating a personal development portfolio sincere in every word and action. He promised himself to be industrious to whatever business he would undertake. He was inducted into the U.

Among all these accomplishments, Franklin was a model of self-improvement and his life shows the benefits. At 20, he would list the thirteen virtues to which he aspired in his life: Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.

Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, cloaths, or habitation. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable. Imitate Jesus and Socrates. Listing these virtues was not enough. Franklin developed a plan to track his progress in each of these areas. He stated this in his biography: The desire to improve and grow seems universal.

From high achieving CEOs and successful business people to the top level athletes and artists, people from every race, creed, nationality, and gender have found ways to develop and leverage their innate potential and talent. Yet while some people seem to rise to the top, there are others with high aspirations that never get off the ground. What separates these two groups? I submit two characteristics: Benjamin Franklin had one and an investigation into the lives of some of the most successful people in the world will reveal a similar tale.

And while books have been written on the characteristics of high achievers to reveal their hidden habits and thought processes, the fact remains that habits like these begin with intention and purpose.

Well, there are a few characteristics that all of these plans seem to share. We must take that imagination and translate it into reality and a big part of that comes through converting thoughts and dreams into actual words on paper. The act of putting something in writing can have a magical effect upon us. It takes the abstract and makes it concrete. It can make what seems unattainable, the importance of creating a personal development portfolio.

Yes, high level dreams and aspirations can intimidate us but when we put it on paper, somehow it appears a bit more realistic. His aspiration for moral perfection was something that he would never completely achieve simply because that kind of life is impossible.

The Importance of Personal Development

They reflect both a short term and long term perspective. It reflected daily aspirations that could be attained through habitual practice leading toward long-term change and lifestyle transformation.

As someone once said, people often overestimate what they can do in a year, but underestimate what they can do in 5 years. The key is the small improvements, the regular practice if you will, that we establish each day. Small improvements over time pay large dividends.

With this in mind, a plan should reflect something that may seem out of reach in the short term but can become more and more attainable as we improve. They are based upon important values.

In the importance of creating a personal development portfolio same way, for our plans to remain relevant and serve us over the long term, they must be based upon the most important things in life. Here are some steps to get started: In order for your plan to last, the foundation must begin with a strong purpose.

Write down what you mean by success. What are the values that will guide your life? Franklin had 13 virtues. In the same way, we have things in life that are important to us. Stephen Covey said it like this: Of course reaching our goal is the main objective, but even moving in that direction takes us further along than if we never started.

The important thing is that goals function to give us destinations to move toward. Habits are actions that you can do on a regular basis that will lead you to your goal.

The reality of life is that most of what we do happens habitually. If you think about it, most of our actions in life happen at the subconscious level. Our brains operate on autopilot.

What forms the basis for how that happens? For this reason, our habits are hard to change because they are strong neural networks established over long periods of time. But it takes two things. Intentional practice and consistency. Habits are the keys to both of these. Our habits should align with our goals and should be things that we can regularly do to establish new neural networks.

The longer we do them, the stronger those networks become until we develop a new habit.

Why it matters to your business

Though some self-help gurus have suggested that habits will form in 21—30 days, science suggests that it takes around 2 months, or 66 days for habits to become solidified. So, think about a long term perspective and write down small habits that you can consistently do each day and the power of neuroplasticity will do its work and begin to change you over time.

Devote time to Reflection. A reflective moment each day — right before you go to bed — to look at and read over your values, goals and habits can bring perspective and help keep you moving in the direction you want to go. Some people journal these things each night.

4 steps to a successful personal development plan

Some people do it once a week. The important thing is that you do it regularly. A personal development plan is just that — something personal.

And though it may seem like a quantitative process, it really is more qualitative. I have created a personal development plan template based upon this Pyramid model to give you a start down the path toward growth and self-improvement.

Remember, the most important definition of success is the one that you have in your mind. Make sure that definition follows your purpose and values, and then craft your goals and habits to get you there.

Download this personal development plan template to begin your journey toward growth and self-improvement. Jeff Bogaczyk hosts the Mind For Life podcast and this article was originally posted on his personal blog at www. The Mission publishes stories, videos, and podcasts that make smart people smarter.