Wednesday, September 3, 2008

You Are Alive And You Are Learning

A note from for Thursday September 4 2008

Welcome to this first Thursday of September.

Has the month started off the way you wanted? With the Fall selling season now underway, you have a great opportunity to pull together your entire years goals and intentions before the Christmas break. Now that’s exciting.

Today we go to one of my favorite contributors for an offering that will speak volumes to many of you. As you’re aware, we here are deeply involved in the personal development industry, and what Thea has to share fits with all we have been saying all year.

You’ll like what she has to say.

You Are Alive And You Are Learning

By Thea Westra

We all know the clich├ęs of, life is a learning process and if you are alive you are learning. There is truth in that, naturally. If we are living then we are learning. Yet the next question you may want to ask yourself is, is that learning achieved consciously or subconsciously? Are you choosing what you are learning, and do you have choice in the matter with what you learn?

Personal development, self-growth, self-improvement, self-help and any of those other popular terms used in the realm of expansion of your experience in life, are really all about that second question. Are you conscious of the choices you make?

When we take on specific classes or training programs, read books or articles, listen to audios, or watch videos related to personal development, we may believe that we are learning. Gaining knowledge is not necessarily learning. Yet in our modern times we have come to equate the two.

When I was teaching, at particular intervals during a school year, I would monitor student progress by way of tests. Personally, I felt it very important to truly gauge whether students could practically apply newly learned concepts. A variety of scenarios would be presented to them in a context of problem solving. I could then observe if they had a handle on newly presented material, formulas or methods.

Life throws us tests and it is not until we are in the middle of a personal experience that calls for us to be more, that we can see how far we have truly evolved. If you think you are enlightened then spent a few days living with your parents. There is nothing like going back to the places of your youth to notice how far you have come.

During the time my father was dying and the time after he died, I observed my own strength and how much I had personally grown. Yet recently, during a personal financial challenge, likewise, I was able to observe my complete lack of growth in that. Based on those observations, I see that personal power in one area of life may not automatically transfer to another.

Have you known people who are highly successful in a corporate arena yet their relationships with friends and family are in tatters? Or seen someone with a happy family life, with lots of friends, yet their condition of bodily health leaves a lot to be desired.

There are many tools you can add to your self-improvement toolbox that can be transferred between various experiences. It is sometimes possible to use a screwdriver where really it is more appropriate to use a hammer. However, to live our most fulfilled lives and to achieve outcomes beyond the usual, then nothing beats having the right tools at the ready.

A few transferable skills you could develop in yourself may be things such as, being organized and being open and prepared for the unexpected, remaining flexible with thought and judgment, developing a state of calm and being able to call up that (or any other) state of being in any given situation. Yet the more distinct skills that you might want to develop, in specific areas, might be more aligned with you attaining more particular knowledge sets. For example, which foods bring which nutritional value, what are the most effective places to store your saved money, what kinds of things can you do to best nurture the relationships with your partner or friends?

If your goal is to have wonderful friendships, then look to develop skill sets that can support you with relationship building and with connecting to yourself and other people. Do you have a target of generating a certain amount of money? Then look for what you will want, for expanding yourself to support with financial growth.

My message here is, are you calling the shots with your personal growth or are you being told how to think, how to respond by unwritten agreements, the norms in society or well-meaning people around you? I hear many people around the traps saying they want to be mavericks yet there is no clear evidence of their taking themselves by the scruff, stepping up to the plate and really meaning it. We create our own urgency, our must do, and our deadlines for personal targets.

Personal growth is a conscious choice, and you make the decision to grow, moment by moment. If you are not conscious in action, or response, then it can only be that you are operating from automatic states of being, reacting rather than responding, to situations that show up. When you are genuinely committed to your own development and growth then it is your responsibility to be deliberate with your actions related to improvement of self. You are the one who needs to choose when and how, to step out of your comfort zone.

Thea Westra is senior thought leader at Forward Steps, and resides in Perth Australia. Enjoy her many self-improvement resources at

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1 comment:

Thea said...

Thank you Peter. :)