Great Success Ideas Blog

  • Jul
    Tim Millett asked:

    When we are at work and we become familiar with our job role, it is very easy to become complacent and stuck in a rut as we do the same job every day. But in the long term this can spell disaster for us.

    The more versatile a worker we can become, the more protected we are, as we can more easily move between job roles as and when required. Acquiring a much wider knowledge base is also useful in giving us a greater understanding of the job we are currently doing.

    Personal development in the workplace is also essential if we are to remain interested and passionate about the work we do. If we continue to do the same job day in, day out, we become less likely to do it well.

    Think about the interests you have in your job, and ask yourself some questions to determine how you could invest in your own personal development:

    What brought you to the job in the first place?What skills do you have that you enjoy making use of?Could you further these skills in any way?Are there any training courses you could attend that would open the way for promotion further down the line?Is there anything you don’t like doing any more that you would stop doing if you could?

    The answers to these questions will help you to decide which areas of your working life are ripe for development. Although the term “personal development” makes us think of something we need to do, we can ask for the help of others to help us progress. Sometimes speaking to our manager will open the door to further possibilities for us to stretch ourselves in our chosen career, so don’t be afraid to highlight any concerns or needs you may have. A willingness to learn and to take a pro-active approach to our own development is usually seen as a positive.


    Personal development is often associated with a complete change of job – leaving what we are doing now to take on a higher paid role with more responsibility.

    But you don’t need to take such a big leap in order to test the boundaries of what you may enjoy doing at work. Attending in-house or external training courses is one obvious way of expanding your knowledge and skills base. However a temporary secondment to another area within the company you work in now would also allow you to see whether another department or area of working would be suited to you.

    There are plenty of ways to invest in your personal development at work. Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that you should constantly be looking for them – and making the most of these opportunities when they arise.

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  • Jul
    Mercedes Oestermann Van Essen asked:

    Personal Development is big business these days and you are spoilt for choice. This is precisely the problem, for most people do not like too much choice, because they do not now how to choose what is right for them. It also smacks of hard work, having to do research.

    Deciding on the right criteria to choose from is critical and of course criteria vary from individual to individual. Fact is that most workshops disappoint and do not offer what the glossy adverts promise.

    I have been to many a coaching, healing or other kind of Personal Development workshop and have come away either disappointed or found that I had no lasting benefit whatsoever form the experience. I have not even met people I would like to connect with later for networking or other purposes.

    So, am I just a poor judge of workshops and seminars? I do not think so.The simple truth of the matter is that there are not many workshops or seminars that offer what I am looking for. Having experience in this field and held work shops internationally for top class organisers I do know what is required to make participants happy. And my expectations are therefore high.

    Let me begin with the venue.To my mind this is very important, because the quality of your surroundings has a direct influence on your ability to concentrate and take in the course material. If you are locked in a dark room all day, or some small stuffy room without ambience in some purpose built hotel your senses are not going to be stimulated, you will soon feel tired and probably have difficulty lasting the morning, let alone a day or more.

    Unfortunately too many seminars and workshops use purpose built rooms with all mod cons in total disregard of basic learning psychology.

    Then there is the number of participants: If I attend a workshop, I want to be challenged and that means I do not want to be able to hide easily in the anonymity of 50 or, God forbid, 100 plus participants. If I wanted a group consciousness experience I would go to Stonehenge, Wembley or some place like that. I expect to get to know all the course participants well enough to allow me to feel comfortable, open up and build rapport with the group. It is good practice, challenges to engage me in the day and that way I grow.

    The delivery of the material is another sticky point. There seem to be two main types, either you have the schoolteacher variety or you get the course presenter talking over the group delivering the material without engaging the participants actively. Not only does this become incredibly boring, and reminds me of my days at college it discourages learning.

    I also find it impossible to concentrate on lengthy deliveries without interaction. On occasion I have seen participants drop off to sleep. Yes, it happens.

    Are you offered food at breaks? The answer probably is no. I find this most irritating and it is not at all conducive to creating good group dynamics. It creates unnecessary disruption as well as delays, when participants are late returning after the break, or do not return at all. Rapport is broken and it takes a while to re-establish, often this cannot be done after the lunch break, momentum is lost and the afternoon a waste..

    And what about course notes? Some seminar and workshop presenters do not give notes at all, some after the course, but most will give you the material to look over whilst you listen. Personally I think either way is acceptable, but far more important for the long term success of any workshop and seminar is good quality follow up material.

    This might be in the form of books to purchase, newsletter or even follow up courses you can attend. Some organisers have gatherings for the participants at bi-monthly intervals. To my mind such gatherings are a great idea, because they encourage networking with like minded people and that will keep you on your toes.

    We all need time to integrate the new things we have learned until we have practiced them enough that they become automatic we need gentle, pleasurable reminders.

    I am sure that you can see where I am coming from with these comments and what to look out for in workshops. If in doubt, call the organiser or presenter, have a chat and see if you feel comfortable with him or her, do not be afraid to ask questions. Above all know yourself and what you want out of the workshop.

    Attending a workshop that is right for you can be a great pleasure to attend, and bring you immense benefits well beyond what you imagine right now.

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  • Jul
    personal development asked:

    There are a lot of books and courses out there that are available to take. What would you need to see, hear, feel to make you say, “This is different! I know this will help me through my struggles, take me to the next level, receive what I want, improve my relationships, etc.”? Is it different than what you need to see, hear, feel to purchase it?


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  • Jul
    Kourosh Kavian asked:

    Sometimes getting round to it is the hardest part. Our sample personal development plans provides a structure that you can elaborate on as much as you like when you create a personal development plan for yourself.

    The concept of planning you life, and planning your own development puts many people off. We are all different, some of us are very detail oriented and enjoy getting everything down in writing. The writing process itself usually helps us to clarify and structure as we go along. Sample personal development plans will be very useful to create a personal starting point. The actual content will be decided by you.

    Other people are more free spirited and feel limited by writing down details. They fear that they will be restricted in life and spirit and often reject the idea of a plan, any plan… They fear that they have to follow the plan if they write it. And yes, there is power in words, especially written words, that is why contracts and legal documents are proof, something to refer to and agree upon.

    Similarly, if you create a personal development plan for your own life, there will be power in it, something to follow and stick with when you face obstacles. That is a positive factor, not something to procrastinate.

    So decide to take your life seriously enough to spend a little time evaluating what you want and how you will get it. For people in this category, our sample personal development plans provide doable instructions without being overwhelming.

    For those of you who need an example of a personal development plan, we will provide one for you. Just bear in mind that a plan is indeed personal and could be designed in countless different ways. But we believe that certain elements are required to make it into an effective plan. Consequently, focus on the key elements and then be as creative as you like! Please note that there are useful similarities between a personal development plan and goal setting.

    Sample Personal Development Plans

    The elementary building blocks:


    Figure out what changes you want in your life. Write them down. It could be financial improvement, better health, more satisfying social life, higher grades, a nicer home, more time with your kids, less time at the office or just about anything that is important in your life.

    Many people want to get rid of a bad habit, like smoking. That naturally concerns health, but a change like this will probably indirectly lead to improvements in most other areas in life too. Therefore, the next step is to find out the reasons behind your “what”.


    Always bear in mind that sample personal development plans serve as examples only. You create a personal development plan for you and not anybody else?s life. Accordingly, you have to figure out exactly WHY you want to implement this change/these changes in your life. And why is that so important? Well, if you know why you are doing something, it means you have a goal, a desired outcome. And it is so much easier to work towards a clearly specified goal than none at all. “How are you going to hit the target if you do not have one?” (Zig Ziglar) Now you begin to see the close parallels with successful personal goal setting.


    There are two main subcategories of the “how”-factor.

    a) Think about HOW this particular change will improve your life. With the quit smoking example, you would list benefits such as better personal economy, improved health, more beautiful looking skin, a fresher breath, mental strength through knowing that you could do it (and apply the same strategy to other areas too), longer life etc.

    b) This is the practical aspect; Exactly HOW are you going to achieve this? HOW will you make it happen? Hopefully it will be very easy. And ideally you should keep it simple. You want to quit smoking? The best thing to do is to stop putting cigarettes in your mouth!

    Well, most of us like to create a more viable plan than that, but the general idea is so true. Do not make things complicated. If you have figured out your “what” and “why”, the rest is just the action. Of course, you need a lot of motivation, but that is what you get from your personal list of “WHY” you want the change. All factors interact.


    This aspect ties in with “how” to a great extent, because it deals with the time factor. Many of us feel that we lack time, and perhaps we do if we spend it unwisely. Time is an asset, and unlike money, it is equal in the sense that we all have the same amount to spend. We all have 24 hours in a day (and night).

    When we want to implement some changes in our lives, we often habitually claim that we have not got the time. Scrutinize the facts, and you will probably see that if you prioritize more wisely, you will find the time.

    Most people really do not need to spend 3-4 hours per day in front of the TV. Throw out the TV and you might end up with 20 hours per week to pursue your personal development plan. That is more than 1000 hours in a year!

    So what else can you expect to find in sample personal development plans?

    Important additional points of consideration:


    Make a time schedule to fit in your new activities and habits. Make sure to schedule the important new habits first. Prioritize those actions, so they will actually happen. If you do not schedule them, they will only happen when you “feel like it” and in most cases, that is never! So take your life seriously enough to fit in new and enhancing habits into your life?s puzzle. Hopefully our sample personal development plans will provide some assistance.

    Keep focused

    If you have scheduled a particular action to improve you life, then do it! Often thinking about a task is more tiring than actually doing it. Perhaps you need some daily affirmations to keep your mind focused?


    Keep a journal where you write down ideas, thoughts, feelings or anything else that relates to you and your development.

    Be realistic

    Do not make an unrealistic personal development plan for yourself. If you do, you will be de-motivated. Instead, go for little but doable changes. As you succeed with those little things, you will be motivated to achieve even greater things. The things outlined in this and other sample personal development plans are intended to inspire and guide you. But you and only you can implement the changes you need in your life. It is your choice!

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