All too often our personal development has already ended by the time we reach adulthood. We've 'grown up' and know enough to hold down a job. If we are fortunate we find our niche and as much as possible solve the problems of survival, then we stick with those solutions. But our upbringing hasn't taught us most of what we need to know in order to make the most of our potential, to have truly fulfilling careers and relationships.
We've learned to play a role but our emotions may scare and mystify us. We may not have learned to express our needs nor to listen generously to others. We may have lost touch with the intuitive and creative faculties that we knew as children and now try to work things out analytically, hampered by the false information indoctrinated into us.
We cling to a set of beliefs and our minds become less and less open. We may not even like ourselves much, far short of recognizing the power and loving nature of our inner, spiritual selves. Our personal development has only begun; surely it should not stop there?
A natural trait of humans is to be constantly developing, growing and moving toward a balanced and mature way of being. Our present personality is determined by both who and what we have been and by the person we strive to become. The goal of personal development is to learn and apply that which enables us to attain emotional wellbeing, understanding and effectiveness, and mindful awareness, and to share this knowledge with others.
Personal development is the conscious evolution of human nature, and yet throughout history it has been sorely lacking! Although it is in our nature to learn and grow, we are held back by our culture, which is predominantly focused on survival needs, each of us in competition with others, and our spiritual inner nature is repressed. The animal rules. We make no room for unconditional love.
Even though the culture may have evolved with technological advancement and administrative complexity, human nature has not moved forward as it might. Our consciousness and mindfulness remain as always. We are now paying the price for Mankind's selfishness and inconsideration. Going forward, the quality of our lives on this planet - even our survival - now depends on each of us taking responsibility for our personal growth.
The human being needs to awaken to the soul that inhabits each body and is our true self and source of inner knowing. Awaken through a process of self-discovery, leading to one's own, self-directed spirituality. We need to become mindfully conscious instead of ruled by the dictates of instincts, past habits and fixed beliefs. We need to throw away dogma, open our minds and reconsider. Instead of fear about our survival and competitive angst, we will then be motivated by compassionate understanding and creative love.
For those that do move forward, the next epoch - that is upon us now in 2015 - will be a celebration of human cooperation and shared love. It's our best hope for the future - and it's in our hands.