Personal Development….

Everyone has been asking me: “What is your New Year resolution?” When asked, I didn’t really have an answer. I think I stopped committing to frivolous resolutions and started committing more to concrete personal goals. Usually I start out with a list of things that I want to get accomplished, some of which that could be completed within the year, others a lot longer; however, I am always keeping a growing tab of things that will develop me personally.

This year two people influenced my New Year goals – Arianna Huffington and Sean Parker. Two very different people, but each of their stories sparked my interest. A few months ago, I was fortunate enough to be invited  to a women’s conference where Ms. Huffington was the guest speaker. I have seen Arianna on the news many times but her personal story that day struck a chord with me. It was a story of overcoming fear. Fear is something that always holds us back; whether it is a fear of love, failure, rejection, or success. We doubt if we have the capability to love someone right, handle the success, be accepted for who we really are, or not having our vision or dreams be understood by our peers. So in turn, we doubt. Then that doubt turns into deferred dreams because most don’t have the courage to say f-the world, I am here to do what I was put in this world to do. Arianna spoke from an ex-US woman’s perspective and of all of the doubters, including herself.  She overcame them all to establish the forum sensation- The Huffington Post.

Most of the women in that banquet room felt her message was right on time. However, I knew very few of the women in that room understood her message of overcoming doubters of competency from the perspective of gender AND race.  It causes you to question whether you can really prove all of the stereotypes wrong…

So, this year I decided to personally develop my courage to do things out of the box. Socialize and network with people who I normally wouldn’t, do things I normally don’t to push my own limits.

And that brings me to Mr. Sean Parker…..

He is the ultimate dare-devil and risk taker. From the age of 16, Mr. Parker has pushed the envelope. Napster, Plaxo, Facebook, etc. to name a few. His mantra is to always think the impossible and make it possible. Even though he is a controversial figure, no one can deny his pulse on the next big thing that changes the world.

Thinking out the box has always been a goal of mine. Now coupled with Arianna’s lessons of fearlessness, I think I can confidently try my ideas, while curbing my fear of success or failure. For many, the feeling of complacency is tied to just sticking to what they know. Never trying anything but also not learning anything new either. I think everyone should strive to personally develop themselves by a challenge. Once we give up on those challenges or obstacles we are settling to be what we’ve been and not to live for what can be. The fear within us cripples our want to experience something new and our insecurities hinder our will to just do it.

This year I challenge everyone to be the best you. Learn what it takes to develop your attributes to society. It takes hard work to battle that inner voice that doubts your capabilities, but we shouldn’t fear ourselves. Sometimes we are our own biggest hurdle.

When most people look at someone like Kanye West, we cringe at how arrogant and egotistical he is, but he may be the most insecure person and he has to self-promote to counter that doubter in his head and the doubters in society. At the end of the day, he had the “cojones” to creatively do what he wanted to.

The person quivering in the corner doesn’t get the job done. Making yourself a confident person takes a lot of personal development but if we look the best that we can, if we put forth the best work that we can,  and we accept who we are nothing can be against us. When we walk through life without trying to progress, we are shorting ourselves of our possibilities. I don’t get up to go to the gym because it is fun for me. I get up because I care about being the healthiest me. I don’t constantly read or force myself to watch the news because I love to hear those dreary stories of war, politics, and death, I do it because it sharpens my comprehensive skills and keeps me informed about the world outside of my world. And I give to charity because we, as people, are all connected. If one person in our tribe is down, we will all be affected, directly or indirectly. These things help me, personally develop me.  It helps me to be kind, to be generous, to be worldly, to be informed, to be healthy, and not be so self-absorbed.

I am a work in progress.  My New Year goals will always reflect that progression.

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