How important is personal development to you?  

Is it something you put a priority on?

Maybe you enjoy self growth books, inspiration or motivational books.    

Or maybe it’s a great work conference that feeds your professional development with leadership training, team building, or even some skill building courses.

If I asked you which was more important, personal or professional development, what would you say?

Given a choice, and add in time constraints most of us feel, many focus in on professional development. 

After all, isn’t that what will help us get to where we want to go?

Isn’t that why I am working away at my MBA at the age of 57?  To get to my career goals?

It may surprise you that, no, my MBA, my reading  and any kind of workshop or conference I go to has much more to do with my personal goals than professional.

You see, I know that before I can develop professionally, I need to develop personally.

If you are unclear as to who you are, you will not show up at work as your best.

If you don’t know where you want to go as a person, you will never get there as an employee, owner of a business, or entrepreneur.

If you don’t know who you want to be as an individual, how will you know how to show up as a team member, partner, or leader?

And if you don’t have a clear picture of your end game, how do you know the plays to make?

Inspirational and motivational conferences, learning, or books, are great but if you don’t have a plan, how do you know how to implement them? 

Without the plan you will eventually have enough time pass that the inspiration will be overrun by the every day and the demands of what is before you each day.

But .. have a personal plan and you have a professional plan.

Still not sure? 

Trying asking yourself:

Who do I want to be in 10 years? 

Where do I want to be in my personal life when I retire?

What do I want people to say about me, or remember about me?

They say that someone knows your purpose by watching how you live, love and serve.  

Truth?  Who you are has nothing to do with your roles.  It’s about you at the core.

Your priorities and how you live them in action.

Who you are as an individual says more about you in all the other areas of your life than anything else.

The best start?

Find the clarity of who you want to be.  

Define that specifically.

Then step into her.  Not only before you are her, but especially before you are her.

Make the decisions she would make.

Lean in and show up in your life the way she would.

When faced with a decision, stop and ask yourself, “what would she say?”.  

Then do that.

If you want to grow professionally and be a better professional, start with the personal.

It works like skipping stones, the one stone hitting the water will send a ripple effect through your life in ways you couldn’t imagine.

Next time you are looking at your goals and discovering where you want to be, start with you.

The rest will come.

The great thing?  You are the only you, and the only one who can be you.

Be your best you and everything else will follow.

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