Personal Development: The Living Science of Much In Little

When exercised with a good level of know-how and guidance, personal development is a thrilling, life-transforming process. There are two prime contexts for personal development. The first is of remedial/healing/empowering nature. The second is evolutionary. Engaging in personal development’s evolutionary dimension involves a deep study of the human potentiality and incredible creative capacity in the context of creating new futures.

To gain a modicum of appreciation to the human’s evolutionary capacity, bear in mind that the tremendous technological achievements of the last century, such as the advent of computers, the smartphone and space travel are a pale reflection of the spiritual capacity of the human mind to develop and evolve, especially when not caged by an economic/commercial framework.

The preponderance of this Fulcrum is towards the remedial/self-empowering dimensions of personal development, to mean bringing to the forefront of one’s way in life one’s core strengths, constructive beliefs and capabilities. A future issue will focus on the evolutionary dimensions.

Personal development is indeed personal

Consider a cunning war-lord; one who time and again leads his troops to victory against formidable adversaries. His whole life and personal development are aligned and attuned to conquests. Now task him to be a peacemaker. Most won’t know where to begin because the nature of their alignment to life, ways of thinking and governing habits cannot support a process that exists beyond the scope of their contemplations. You can draw countless examples by studying the stories of generals or even war-time states-persons who turned to politics in the course of history.

Great people are known for their personal development. Gandhi’s development enabled him to turn the mood of a nation, from reacting with violence to responding with forgiveness. Churchill championed the quality of resolute defiance. Others terrorise whole nations with their cruel divide and conquer skills. Anything that a person applies oneself to engenders some kind of personal development, from the constructive to the destructive.

However, the more constructive a person’s intentions and actions, the greater the developmental depth and scope that reveals itself.

Knowing and following what one wants designs the nature of the developmental process that supports one’s vision. The questions being: Do you know what you want? To what degree are you aware of the tremendous range of human development possibilities? Do you have access to proper guidance?

Personal development happens to us throughout our life. The question is: What kind – circumstantial or holistic?


Real development begins with change: Changing how we think; behavioural and attitudinal changes; changing a habit; changing the reasons why we do what we do; changing what we keep repeating that produces more of the same…  Because change involves overcoming deeply ingrained habits or a resisting environment, even the seemingly smallest developmental task meets a magnetising resistance. The greater the resistance, the greater the accomplishment waiting to be won at the other side of the unseen, yet very present barrier.

In the domain of personal development, when you change one thing, you change everything

The first 12 years

The way we form in the first twelve years impacts the rest of our life. Mock a child during this period and you have an adult that will, for the rest of their life, be subject in some way – consciously or semi-consciously – to fear of mockery with behaviour patterns to match. Unless, of course, they are fortunate enough to have met someone who is willing to provide them with the process cover and knowhow to break through this limiting inner barrier. Fundamentally, it is a small, simple change in self-view. But because by now it concerns a psychology that metastases into every aspect of their thinking, that has grown its own omnipresent inner web, it is a small change that needs to resonate through their whole mental framework.

The Change Gradient
Some developmental processes are considerably more demanding than others. Consider the quality of forgiveness, which exists at the deep end of the change gradient. To illustrate this, here is an extreme case. There are villages in some parts of Africa, such as Kenya and Rwanda, where the victims of atrocities now live side by side with those who committed the atrocities, coexisting peacefully through a forgiveness process. This is a powerful example of the heavy end of the remedial dimensions of personal development, involving processes that exist beyond the scope of this Fulcrum.
What do you want to change

Every living person, no matter how well she or he may be doing, has a ‘thing’ that they could do with changing and refining. Some of those ‘things’ – feel free to pick on an example that is relevant to you – can, at times, make your and other’s people’s lives unnecessarily difficult.

  • What is the one change that if you start working on today will make the greatest positive, constructive difference for you and for those around you?
  • Change requires a media through which it can happen. Which quality makes for the best media at this point in time? Wisdom? Patience? Persistence? Care? Sensitivity? Courage? Openness? Lightness? Forgiveness?
  • Use any and every situation to exercise this quality by making repeating little super efforts.
  • Give it time. Persist for nine months to experience the onset of new capabilities.
  • Find ways to make sure you remember to remember – we tend to forget what we promised ourselves in the heat of our daily battles..! Example: Put a coin in your shoe; wear a bracelet; carry a little stone in your pocket; place a little object on your desk.


Persist, insist, resist, defy. It can be done.

Real personal development is a practice with a positively surprising return on investment. Do one thing for many reasons, leading to multiple outcomes.

Arguably, the greatest development in these times of rapid change, great opportunities, uncertainty, and unpredictability may well be what we will not yield to. Great people are known as much for what they say no to as they are for what they do.

Self-belief is an unstoppable power that constantly whispers in your ear: Yes, you can

With best wishes,
Feedback, comments, and inquiries are most welcome.
World Copyright 2019 © David Gommé

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