'Personal development' or to be content

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'Personal development' or to be content

Postby Rdb1989 » Thu Aug 06, 2015 4:09 pm

I'm new to this guys, and I'm most definitely an introvert. Today I'm off work and nobody is in the house apart from me and my dog at the moment; it feels blissful and I just feel so much more relaxed than I have been. Even when it's just my parents in the house, I often feel like I need that time by myself.

My introversion is combined with mild anxiety which sometimes manifests itself quite forcefully which many would probably term moderate anxiety. I feel like I've got a bit of a hold on my anxiety now though, and it is improving.

I just have a question for all the introverts out there...

I've been quite into self development for quite a while now, the whole striving to improve yourself and better yourself and following your heart and all that which is abundant in the personal development community.

A week or so ago I was feeling pretty content even though I'm working a job which doesn't pay too much and I don't really know what job I ultimately want to do in the future. I was feeling a kind of safe contentment and appreciating life. I was feeling spiritual and pretty happy, and in those quiet, reflective moments, I felt good.

I then watched an interview with Elliott Hulse. Now I don't know if you all know of him, but I really like Elliott Hulse and he has really impacted my life. The thing is though, whenever I listen to interviews with him or people like him who are very much into personal development and the strongest version of yourself, I start feeling downbeat and as if I've really not achieved anything in my life of 25 years. I feel like I'm missing out on something and as if I'm not living my life the way I should be and that I'm not becoming the strongest version of myself.

It's a real tricky situation for me because on one level when I stop thinking about striving to 'improve myself and 'becoming the strongest version of myself' and effectively stop taking in this sort of information, I start feeling less stressed and a lot more content with life and actually more happy.

Then on another level if I do stop thinking about this kind of thing, I kinda feel like I would be abandoning becoming the strongest version of myself and maybe I'd stop having the ambition of eventually living some kind of life which has similarities with the life that the likes of Elliott Hulse lead, and I'd just become an average kinda guy and another sheep in civilisation.

I don't know. I've been grappling with this kinda thing for a little while. What do you guys think? :)


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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby Jolene » Fri Aug 07, 2015 2:59 pm


I think it's great when you can look at your life and feel content.

I recently read a great book (in dutch though... written by Jeroen Van Baar) on the fact that our generation is really focused on prestation. He says that kids these days don't do stuff because they like it, but rather because it will look good on their résumé.
He also talks about two types of people. Satisficers and maximizers. When a maximizer has to buy new pants, he wants the best fabric, the nicest color, the best fit.... but when he finds pants in the best fabric, it might be the wrong color.... So he is going to be disappointed anyways. A satisficer just needs a pants that's oke... He won't be disappointed.
The focus on prestation is present in every aspect of our lives. Also in relationships... in the 'good old days' people got married and they stayed together. Now people keep looking for someone better, prettier, funnier...

Try to make a difference between the way you feel about yourself and your life and the way you feel when comparing yourself to others. Maybe you are comparing yourself with really extraverted people who really enjoy the things you feel like you 'should do' to develop yourself.

And when will you say you have developped yourself enough? Who decides this? Being succesfull is being associated too much with qualities as being extravert and social in our society. I have read about this in the book 'Quiet' by Susan Cain. It's a book on the power of introverts. I really liked it because I recognized myself in a lot af things she says and she shows how many good qualities introverted people have!

I don't know what's wrong with being an average kinda guy.

If you feel like this because of other people, I think you can feel blessed that you can say you're content with your life. That doesn't mean that you can't develop yourself further if YOU want to. I'm not saying people should never get out of their comfort zone. If introverted people with great ideas would never overcome their fear of speaking in public, their ideas would go to waste.

Good luck with everything you (don't) want to do!!

Belgian Girl

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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby Justwatching » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:35 am

You fear being sheepish, but what is following the life of Elliot Hulse if not being a sheep? The thing about personal development programmes (and their communities) it that they have nothing to do with personal development and everything to do with mindlessly swallowing pre-packaged ideals provided by some book-peddling shill.

Like the previous poster, I think moving outside of your comfort zone and trying new things is great, but it should be driven by you and not some self-help 'guru'.

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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby Raincloud » Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:52 pm

We all develop personally as we go through life. It's just a natural, organic thing as we mature. There's no reason to worry about it if you're feeling content. Each person goes at their own pace, and anything that makes you feel guilty about where you or what you should do is not really helpful. I'm a firm believer that guilt holds us back in much worse ways that what it seems to be urging us to move away from, and it's that guilt that should just be let go. You are fine as you are until you feel a need, something inside (rather than outside) you that urges you to do something else or be something more. Enjoy your contentment when it's with you, there's precious little of it in this world, so just be with it.

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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby Solitaire » Fri Nov 06, 2015 5:03 am

My niece is an introvert and doesn't have a "shoot for the stars" personality. Like me, she's a "just enough" kind of person. When I was shopping for a greeting card for her high school graduation, I passed up tons of cards with sentiments about the world being her oyster and that kind of thing. She doesn't need that pressure to either fly high or crash and burn.

I'm a big fan of personal development, but I don't necessarily see it in terms of professional development. I see personal development as catching up on my reading list, learning to play a musical instrument, and achieving my fitness goals. Having a job that adds productively to my life and provides me with the money I need is also a part of personal development, but that isn't the same as having to be the top dog at job and a billionaire.

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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby Orientalist » Mon Nov 09, 2015 5:37 am

Agree. Happiness is my personal goal.
If the truth hurts, you ain't livin' right.

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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby QuietMo » Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:00 am

Jolene, I read Susan Cain's book too and it hit home, every single word. I grew up believing there was something wrong with me because I wasn't as outgoing as my sisters. I'm the youngest and my older sisters love going dancing and I prefer staying home and watching something I enjoy on TV or reading a book. My sisters always say that I don't know how to have fun but I think my fun is different from their fun.
I love the fact that Susan Cain has a website: Quiet Revolution.

I think the worst thing that you can do is compare your life with that of others. What's right for others isn't necessarily right for you.

I have two close friends and a handful of acquaintances. The acquaintances I keep contact with them online but I know that I couldn't live without seeing my two close friends on a weekly basis. They understand my introversion and are accepting of it. I met up with my college friends not too long ago. I'm a receptionist, one is a youth counselor, one is a director at a hospital, and another is a stay a home mom. We're all different and we're all happy in our own way. If I compared my life with that of the youth counselor (my college roommate), I think I'd be unhappy.

Each one of us lives our lives in our own way. If you feel like something is missing and you're willing to work for it, then do it! Why not? But if you're still trying to figure out what you want there's nothing wrong with that. But you have to do what's best for you in the way that works for you.

One thing I did learn from Susan Cain's book that is very true, that I've even had to do in any job I've worked, sometimes I have to act extroverted to get things done. But I make sure to get my alone time when I need it.

I don't know if any of that is helpful. But it's the best advice I have. =) I'm still learning how to live my life as a happy introvert.

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Re: 'Personal development' or to be content

Postby nicoclone » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:37 am

well, it is good that if you enjoy your life as a normal person would be, but sometimes you just felt that is something missing or wrong with your life. well, human can't be easily sattisfied with what they have already so try to set target or pursue dream. if you asks mine, i will said i want to be a successful game developer. however, don't make yourself pressured if your target or dream are just to hard to be achieved. it is better to enjoy your life rather than relentlessly chasing goal or dream without break. have a nice day!!!!

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