When we set out on a course of personal development, we seek to improve ourselves. It’s personal, after all. But the effects of our growth extend well beyond us. Just like a ripple in the water, our development sends waves far past our line of sight.
Entrepreneur and personal growth teacher Jim Rohn said, “The greatest gift you can give somebody is your own personal development.” While trying to better ourselves, others benefit as a byproduct.
Here are three specific ways our own personal development positively impacts other people:
1. We serve as an example for others.
We are influencers whether we realize it or not. People are watching us. Our children, friends, and co-workers take note, even if on a subconscious level.
Our lives speak. The way we carry ourselves, the way we talk, and the actions we take share a message. Fortunately, we have control over that message.
As Abraham Lincoln said, “That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well.” When we model achievement, those around us see sound evidence they can grow and succeed too.
2. We take better care of others when we take better care of ourselves.
We all have responsibilities. We’re accountable to family, work, and community. In order to meet the demands placed on us, we must be well able to do so. Only after we’ve first taken care of our own needs are we better equipped to provide for the needs of others.
Rohn shared, “I used to say, ‘If you take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I’ll take care of me for you, if you will take care of you for me.’”
Before a flight, passengers are reminded that in the event of an emergency, parents should put on their own oxygen mask first before placing one on their child. As parents, our instinct is to care for the needs of our child first, but in such an emergency this behavior in counterintuitive.
Unless we first take care of our own needs, we will not be able to serve those counting on us. Self-care prepares us to better serve when we’re needed.
3. We add more value and make a greater contribution.
Self-improvement means we seek out ways to hone our skills, gain new ones, and reach our potential. We experience these improvements physically, financially, and mentally. Opportunities increase as a result. We add more value to the marketplace and make a greater contribution to society.
Our efforts could produce a new product that makes a difference in people’s lives. We could start a business that produces jobs for many. Or we might even share a message that delivers hope.
The more we grow, the more we realize the impact our lives have on others. We are connected. As we strive each day to become better than we were the day before, those within our circle of influence benefit as well. It’s a natural result.
Remember, personal development is not at all a self-serving endeavor. Our growth creates a ripple effect.
In what way have you noticed your own personal development benefitting those close to you?