How to Use Self-Development

How to Use Self-Development

You almost put your tablet/PC/phone down when you read those words didn’t you?

Self-development. It’s been so overused the last decade, it’s been rebranded and renamed several times over to counter the damage done by people who want to make fast money. Claiming they’ve found the one solution to humanity’s problems. That if you buy this one 120-page book, you’ll gain the insight that none before them have had, and your issues will vanish like dew before the morning sun. Sounds familiar?

Call it what you will but starting your journey of self-development means you’ve finally taken yourself serious enough to work towards a better life. There is no one-size-fits-all (I’ll get back to that), no one solution to all problems, but it is an amazing tool to improve.

The name doesn’t matter, and you can give it just the name you want to. Growth of the soul, the ascend to greatness.

“The name doesn’t matter…”

The reason for the “one-size-fits-all” philosophy is that it’s easy for people to understand one concept, and they won’t spend money on a book or course that tells them they need to change fundamentally.

Be honest, which would you rather want to believe: the one who tells you all you have to do is drink more water to become healthy or the one who tells you, you have to exercise and change your diet – you can’t have pizza and burgers for breakfast anymore. You already know which one is correct but it’s so easy to lie to ourselves and accept the first one. Partly because pizza for breakfast sounds amazing.

There is no one-size-fits-all because we as humans are so different it’s impossible to be concrete about what we have to do to become better – to solve our issues. That you need love in your life is great advice for almost everyone but that you should get a boyfriend would probably be the wrong solution for 50 % of the population.

It’s the same reason we don’t practice coaching at EZ Philosophy. What’s right for me might not be right for you, but the tools as well as the overall philosophies of change could be.

“What’s right for me might not be right for you…”

One of the cornerstones of our philosophy is to take action – which you might hear in every other blogpost (that’s how fundamental it is!). However, telling you exactly what you need to do – which specific action to take – might not help you as you are the only one who has the ability to know what you need.

This puts a lot of responsibility into YOUR hands. There’s so much noise out there, in the world of self-development (ascending to greatness) that it’s up to you to choose what is useful for you and what is not. If you’re thinking this is awful advice and you were hoping for something more tangible like “run 10 km every day and lose weight”, then remember: there is no one-size-fits-all.

But what there is, is an abundance of people who have walked the same path you’re getting started on and they have turned all their experiences and mistakes into pearls of wisdom, and into tools, which allows you to copy their progress at a fraction of the time they spent on it.

But it IS up to you to make those decisions for yourself. It can be done by no other. There’s a road ahead of you, where the destination is what you want to achieve, and self-development is your vehicle. You decide if you want to go by foot, bike, car, bullet train or fighter jet. But none of those will take you there by themselves. They are tools for you to use to reach your destination. It’s up to you to steer them there.


So how exactly do I use self-development?

The core of any progress in life is movement. The core of change, no matter the change, is taking action and staying dedicated to doing so – to staying the course. Without movement, without action, things stay the same.

You have to take action. You can’t improve if you sit and wait for change to happen. If you’re not moving forward, at best, you’re moving sideways or standing still.


Got it! Taking action is key! What now?

Like mentioned above you have to choose the right means. Whether you want to improve your social life or if you want to learn how to be less stressed, you’ll most likely need different resources. And just as important: since we’re all different and there is no one-size-fits-all, you have to choose the resources that fit you.

“you have to choose the resources that fit you…”

Some people work best by easing into it, others by jumping in head first. Neither is wrong, but they require different approaches. Before you do anything, you have to look at yourself (REALLY look at yourself), be honest, and analyse what would be best for you. What your strengths and weaknesses are.

To help you with that do the small exercise below. Take your time and answer these questions the best you can:


  • What are your 3 biggest mental strengths? (Resilience, dedication, focus, etc.)
  • How can they help you with your improvement?
  • What are your 3 biggest mental limitations? (Fear, resignation, fatigue, etc.)
  • What can you do to avoid their limitations on your improvement?


Write your answers down and re-read them when you find yourself in a situation where you don’t feel you’re getting the most out of it. Often, it’s because we aren’t aware we’re not using our strengths or avoiding our limitations. Keep this in mind whenever you embark on a journey, it can save you a lot of effort and distress.


Time to figure out what you want

Setting achievable goals is key to success, but we will not go further into depth with that just yet. Instead see this post about setting goals. What we will end this blogpost with, however, is the importance of setting a direction for yourself.

The difference between goals and directions is how specific you are. “I want to get in better shape” is a direction, whereas “I want to run a marathon in less than 4 hours” is a goal.

The starting point of every self-development journey is to set a direction for it. You’re an explorer, setting sails for new horizons because you know there are better times ahead. But if you set sails and let the wind carry you around with no direction, it will be hard to see results, and you might not end up where you hoped to.

“if you set sails and let the wind carry you around with no direction, it will be hard to see results”

If you do set a direction, however, you can sail towards it and end up where you wanted to go.

I’m guessing that if you don’t already have a vision about what you want, you’re reading this because you have a feeling that SOMETHING isn’t how it’s supposed to be and you want to improve that. You need to sit down and ponder on what it is you want to change in your life. You don’t have to be too specific yet, though. Make a list of things you want to improve.

With that list at hand you can either start with the easiest thing to gain momentum or you can start with the most important thing to make the biggest change. Either is up to you and you should use the list of strengths and weaknesses from earlier to help you decide, as it is different from person to person. But do set a direction. It will help guide you in your efforts.


One gentle reminder before you start your journey.

The philosophy is EZ. The implementation is not. But it’s worth it. Don’t look at the time you spend developing yourself as time wasted, look at it as an investment. For every second you spend, you invest in yourself and your future. Long term investments yield greater results, and I have yet to meet anybody who regretted spending time on improving their life. A few weeks of work now can lift you up forever.


What do you think?

Do you have different or similar experiences? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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