Personal development is the quest to fulfill your inner potential by constantly learning new skills and re-evaluating your life goals. The ultimate goal is self-actualization as emphasized by Maslow. Maslow introduced "Maslow's hierarchy of needs" which considers five levels of human needs on a pyramid. On the bottom of the pyramid is the primitive physiological needs. Other levels include safety, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. There is a hierarchy in this pyramid meaning that self-actualization proceeds after fulfilling more primitive needs.
There is a full list of skills that can be developed for achieving self-actualization. These skills can be accumulated by reading books, learning new experiences, and interacting with a mentor. A few examples of these skills are patience, interpersonal skills, intrapersonal skills, self-mastery, and communication as discussed in the following.
Patience: Patience is a skill that can be learned. It is a mindset that can be developed. It is not a correct statement that some people are born more patient than others. Patience is the art of acceptance in face of problems. It is the practice of enduring in face of suffering. It is closely related to the concept of "delayed gratification" as patience is the ability to delay satisfaction and reward.
Interpersonal skills: The ability to look outward to understand the emotions, motivations, and intentions of others is called interpersonal intelligence. Putting yourself in other people's shoes, empathy, establishing a relationship with others, and resolving conflicts are a few key features of people with this intelligence type.
Intrapersonal skills: The ability to look inward to understand your own feelings, emotions, and intentions is called intrapersonal intelligence. People gifted with this intelligence are usually introverted, intuitive, self-aware, and philosophical.
Self-mastery: It helps you to better understand yourself. As Leonardo Da Vinci once said, " One can have no smaller or greater mastery than mastery of oneself". Understanding yourself helps you to identify your direction and purpose in life. Many people go through life just like they are sleepwalking. They are just following the crowd. They disconnect from their inner voice and lose motivation.
Communication: Develop your writing, listening, and speaking skills. Be able to express yourself fully in an articulate manner. Developing empathy for others is another tool to develop communication skills because it enables you to better understand others.
There are a few practices that can help self-actualization process. Develop a growth mindset and let go of limiting beliefs that shrink your vision. A growth mindset can also be achieved by practicing "Negative Capability". Meditate constantly and define a philosophy for your life. Philosophy gives a direction to your life. In the end, most of life values are relative and it is about our interpretation of life. We are surrounded by relativism, there are no reference points. Understanding this helps to develop a tolerant attitude towards different opinions. As a result, we develop an open mind that can focus on life with a more clear vision.