30 minutes of personal development, and how it’s changing my life

Life of Wellness - Personal development

Why I love Personal Development?

I had heard many times that doing 30 minutes of personal development a day was good for you, and while I do consider myself a lifelong student, I had not yet embraced this philosophy as a daily ritual. Then last year friend started an online Facebook challenge. A group of us got together and shared what we had learned that day. This was great because not only was I taking on this new habit, I was able to see what others were learning and share books, videos etc.
It didn’t take more than a couple of days for me to understand why so many others before me had chosen this habit. I was completely hooked. Of course there is the benefit of the learning, so I won’t get too deep into that. What I will share is the added benefits I found.

Investing time in myself consistently! 

As a mom, wife,  friend, volunteer, business owner, and admitted procrastinator of self-care spending time on myself is not something I would say I am good at. You see usually my learning is squeezed into the week or month, after I am done everything else. What ends up happening is that the quality of my learning is at a disadvantage simply because I am exhausted when I finally find time. This process has now become the first thing I do in the day and everyday.

The difference is extremely noticeable, you see by putting my learning first I am actually changing my own personal value structure. In just 30 days I went from wanting to find time for me, to making time for me a priority. So what’s changed?

The first is the quality of my relationships with loved ones and friends. You see my happiness and success in reaching my own goals fills me up, it gives me energy and inspiration. What happens next is quite profound, I bring that energy and inspiration to my daily interactions. By learning each day I am able to both set some intentions for how I will use the learning and hindsight yesterday. I found I was adjusting how I was interacting naturally with others in positive ways.

I began changing my patterns! 

We live in patterns, and these patterns are part of the autopilot of our life. It’s kinda like when you get in your car and drive somewhere and when you arrive you can’t quite remember how you got there. Or how we all hate Mondays, love Fridays and get a little sad on Sunday nights and start thinking about work. And then a couple times a year we go on vacation or attend an event that interrupts the pattern. The learning each day actually became the interruption. Not only was I learning what ever I had chosen for the day, even more importantly I was learning how my daily patterns were affecting me. I became hyper aware of my patterns, which gave me clear insight.

The third is I began getting out of my own way! I believe that we are our own best cheerleaders as well as our own worst enemy. Think about it, that thing you really want for yourself that on some days is what gets you out of bed. Then the very next day makes you want to stay in bed. The interesting part as a someone who loves to study the mind is that no matter what I chose to learn that day it was always just what I needed. I know that sounds super corny, but it’s just the truth. The interesting part is that I don’t actually believe some cosmic force brought me what I needed. I believe I found what I needed in it. Some how each day what I learned was used, applied or created self-awareness.

So, What Is Personal Development?

According to wikipedia: “Personal development covers activities that improve awareness and identity, develop talents and potential, build human capital and facilitate employ-ability, enhance the quality of life and contribute to the realization of dreams and aspirations.”

You know that saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup”, or to take care of yourself you have to put your oxygen mask on first?

Imagine this, what if your cup is overflowing? Or you are full of energy? Would it change how you feel giving some of that energy and away?

What if by filling my cup everyday and choosing to fill my oxygen first I am able to give more of myself without ever feeling depleted?

Personal development is not just a way of solving problems; it is a way of growing. It is your way to a better life, to become an improved version of yourself.

If You Need To Work On Yourself, Does That Mean That You Are Not Good Enough?

The most successful people in the world invest time to work on themselves consistently. All you have to do to see this is look at Warren Buffet, Tony Robbins or Oprah. Even if they have millions and billions of dollars, they still continue to learn. According to the Oprah.com article “What Happens to Your Brain When You Learn Something New” 

1. Novel experiences give you a rush of the reward chemical dopamine.

2. Breaking your routine can make time seem to pass more slowly. Repetition puts us on autopilot, and when we’re paying less attention, the hours—and years—seem to fly by.

3. Learning something new causes the brain to build connections between neurons, replacing some of those we lose over time.

4. You actually can be bored to death: Researchers at University College London followed roughly 7,500 civil servants for more than 20 years and found that those who reported high levels of boredom early on were more than twice as likely to die of heart disease.

5. You don’t have to freak out about failure: Cultivating a growth mind-set (“I’ll get better!”), as opposed to a fixed mind-set (“I’m hopeless!”), fosters perseverance and resilience, according to Carol Dweck, PhD, Stanford University professor of psychology and author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. And here’s the beauty of getting older: Who cares if someone sees you screw up?

Basically this habit is like feeding your brain with positive and educational things every day!

The results? You are happier, you are motivated, you are inspired, you have more energy, you have better quality relationships, you inspire others and SO MANY MORE.

Since beginning my daily personal development journey I am more inspired than ever before. I have more ideas and my self-awareness is on fire! I simply understand myself better, I see my strengths and opportunities more clearly.

Developing the Ambition

If you are reading this likely you already have a desire or interest which is the first step. But here are some things that will help you on your journey.

The more you know and learn about yourself the more control you have over your happiness. One of my favorite learnings is from Tony Robbins, the 6 basic human needs. Watch his TedTalk about this idea by clicking this link. 

As you can see four of them are personality needs and two of them are spiritual needs. Our personality needs are certainty, need for variety, need for significance and need for connection and love. 

Spiritually we also need growth and contribution. This is where personal development comes in. By developing ourselves we are able to grow our own capacity, strength and ability. Naturally the result is we are able to contribute in our lives in a much stronger way.

Where to Start?

You may be thinking to yourself, that all sounds great, but how do I start. Especially with SO many options. One thing is for sure, we live in a culture of self-help guru’s and experts. It can easily become an overwhelming task. So my advice is to start small.

My challenge to you is to invest just 30 minutes a day. You can read a book, watch a YouTube video, find a documentary on Netflix. You can see some of my favorite books by clicking this link. 

Consider Attending a Live Event

Being a reader and watcher of YouTube for many years of events I thought that it was the same watching it or reading it as being at an event. I didn’t understand this until being an event with Will Marre. He told us stories from his book “Save the World and still be home for dinner”. This 4 day event changed so much for me, he talked about being present, taking care of yourself and recognizing the patterns we fall in. I remember hearing about the story climbing the mountain with his son, there was literally not a dry eye in the house.

It isn’t just about the information, the sayings or the ideas, it is so much more than that. The transfer of energy you get from being at a live training is like a shot of B Vitamin. It fills you with energy!

So I’m not saying don’t read or watch YouTube, I still do this every day. What I’m saying is grasp those opportunities to go to an event where and when you can. There are tons of them right in your community, check in with your library, chamber of commerce, business groups, etc. Not only will you learn from the experts, but also from those you attend with. You also get to ask questions or discuss topics with fellow attendees over breaks and at lunch. And the best part, the energy and inspiration from that event can last for months.

Here is the best part… it doesn’t have to be some big celebrity speaker, check your local library, community center or business group. You can even check in with your local university and sit in on a class.  There are plenty of learning opportunities all around us.

I’d love to hear about your favorite personal development moment or experience. Your favorite books, videos or events. Please share in the comments. 


  1. Lindsey says:

    I giggled reading point 4) I was hired out of UofM to work as a provincial employee for driver licensing. I lasted two years, I saw the lack of joy in the eyes of my coworkers, I saw cynical, down trodden souls. I quit and challenged the provincial exams in 3 months and became a licenced financial planner. Best thing any 21year can do, go from government employee to self employed and learn all about finances. To say I almost died of boredom isn’t a stretch, so thankful I took the chance

  2. Violette says:

    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Internet explorer.

    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do
    with web browser compatibility but I figured
    I’d post to let you know. The design and style look great though!
    Hope you get the issue solved soon. Cheers

    • melanie says:

      I apologize that you are having difficulty viewing with IE. I have notified our team and they will look into this. Thank you for taking the time to communicate this issue with us.

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