Work personal development growth goals
But how are you supposed to know what really works? By these three metrics:
- Your personal experience (what has worked for you before?)
- Science and research of how humans grow and change (how does change generally work?)
- Others’ experience (what has worked for others?)
Only you can know the first part, but I’m here to help out with numbers 2 + 3. In my experience, and through all the research I’ve done on neurological studies, and through all of the case studies I know, these are the five greatest personal development strategies that actually work!
But First, A Few Notes On The Fascinating Science Of Change
I’m basing my conclusions on science that I have also tested successfully in my life. I’ve found the studies I mention here to be accurate and I believe these methods will work for almost everyone. With a few exceptions, our brains work mostly the same way.
Your brain has an amazing network of neural pathways. These pathways are communication channels in the brain, or how the brain’s different areas communicate with each other. From a scientific standpoint, habits are simply thick neural pathways (i.e. strong neural connections).
If every morning for the last 18 years, you have woken up at 6 AM, grabbed the newspaper, and fixed coffee, you will have a thick and strong neural pathway to tell you to do that exact routine on year 18, day two.
Neural pathways operate like muscles. They get stronger with use and weaker when neglected. Changing a habit is nothing more than simultaneously weakening one pathway and strengthening another (perhaps new) pathway.
It helps to visualize your habits in this way because it gives you an accurate mental image of what’s really happening in your brain while you’re trying to change.
Some people believe they can change overnight or in a short amount of time. Generally, it won’t work, and it’s clear why not. If it’s a bad habit you’ve strengthened over many years, you can’t just drop it. Your brain has been well-trained to execute that habit when triggered by the environment or an internal thought.