Dollars and Sense: The importance of a personal direction

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2006

When was the last time you really spent significant time ascertaining your personal direction? We are not speaking of those quickie superficial sessions when the correct safe answers are explored, but time when you truly think through actions, the supposed reason for taking them, and their impact on your development as a person.

A personal development process is the difference between living a meaningful life and just existing. The meaningful life we live is irrespective of age, gender, social strata, or job. The personal attempt to grow and continue to learn makes life worth living.

A personal growth process involves gaining deep insight, determining that which is motivating, assessing individual capabilities, and understanding the perceptions of others. The search for such information will lead to the inescapable truth concerning the interconnectedness of the system we perceive as our life.

One begins the process by asking what are my real values and goals. The secondary follow-up questions are the ones that begin to move us beyond the superficial, the why&8217;s. It is the answer to those questions that provide insight into our motivation. It is the true motivations, which will determine expenditure of time and focus.

Having identified the dreams and honestly weighed them against the stated values, we must assess our current abilities against the knowledge and skills that will be needed for successful achievement. A common mistake is the pursuit of this information in a vacuum.

Self-examination is essential, but individual perception does not define reality. The way in which we view ourselves, our intentions, and our actions is often seen differently in the eyes of others. With respect to relationships, whether personal or professional, the perception of others becomes reality. In fact, the gap between those perceptions and the institutionally believed qualities needed for success can define an individual&8217;s limitations.

Taking a serious look at the future and making the most of individual potential is hard work. It requires going well beyond what is comfortable.

Great rewards go to the individuals who will think bigger and try harder than those who allow circumstance to take its course