Personal Development simply defined is a lifelong process, a way for people to assess their skills and qualities, consider their aims in life and set goals in order to maximize their potential. As children progress through the school system, they begin their process of personal development. As adults we sometimes become comfortable within our surroundings and stop progressing towards our maximum potential. When we become complacent or stagnant, pushing our limits and striving for more will satisfy and enhance our basic human needs.
I believe that personal development is key and can be related to every aspect within the hierarchy of basic human needs. One can find personal development through academics, sport, wellness, art, public speaking, relationship building, etc. Within this blog post I will relate how personal development can contribute and is essential to every category within the hierarchy of needs.
- Physiological Needs. Personal development can encompass our health and wellness. Individuals can strive towards fitness goals, maintain healthy eating options, meditate and practice mindfulness. As we develop ourselves and challenge ourselves to meet these goals we are satisfying this basic need.
- Safety Needs. The security of our health, well being and livelihood are the main reasons we exercise, eat well and work towards financial goals. The sense of security that comes from an excellent state of well being, stable employment and financial stability pushes one to strive for more and to sustain and build upon what we have already achieved.
- Love and Belongingness. We all want to ‘fit-in’ and be part of the ‘group’ or the ‘team.’ Working towards our personal development goals could mean joining groups or teams of like minded individuals working towards a similar goal. Feeling accepted and supported by a group can increase your drive to push yourself even further towards your personal goals.
- Esteem Needs. Personal development goals may include the desire to learn better leadership skills, increase confidence and feel competent within your role at work and/or within a team. One may decide to join a public speaking group to enhance their speaking and leadership competencies. Groups like Toastmasters International will certainly build the need for self–esteem.
- Cognitive Needs. Human nature has us wanting to know the ‘why’ behind a task; the value of knowledge feeds the cognitive need. We want to know why we are doing what we do and the purpose behind the task leading to an ultimate goal. By increasing our knowledge though reading, research, mentorship we feed this need.
- Aesthetic Needs. This need is met through creative outlets, art, and organization. Many strive when the home and workplace are organized, orderly and have a certain feel based on the design and beauty of a space. Developing this may be finding ways to unleash ones creativity; possibly through art, design, décor, fashion.
- Self Actualization. This is the point in the hierarchy to which one has achieved everything they feel they can become. All needs below must be met and sustained to achieve self actualization.
If we all focus on achieving more by pushing our limits more often through personal and professional development we can reach our full potential and certainly surprise ourselves along the way. It’s human nature to want all of the above and there are many options out there to help achieve those goals. Maybe it is planning your health and wellness goals, working towards a promotion or building your confidence. I challenge everyone to join me in finding at least one method to increase your personal development while satisfying each basic need! Good luck!