3 Key Elements of Personal Development

What’s the connect between Personal Branding and Personal Development?
In my view, they  are deeply interconnected. We must first discover our inner stories in order to be able to radiate them with conviction to the outer world. Just as our communication keeps on evolving, there’s always room for improvement and refinement on the personal front, isn’t there?

What must I do to stay on track, in alignment with my purpose and vision?
Asking ourselves questions results in clarity of thought and perhaps, yields the right answers.

1) What’s My Story?
This is perhaps the crux of it. Do we know ourselves well enough to chart out a life roadmap or are we on autopilot, guided by the winds of opinion and our own whims? There MUST be a deep connect between what really fires us up and what we do.
Authenticity is the magic word here.
It is so, so easy to fool ourselves into buying the wrong picture of life. A life which we don’t belong to. We must take a deep dive into the core to come out with the answers. For in the end, all the answers are within us. I use meditation, writing and mind mapping as tools to express my subconscious into the conscious realm. You may have your own methods. Mentors are fabulous at this too, such as my gifted Mentor & Coach, Jennifer Sertl~ she virtually holds a mirror to my soul.

Authenticity is not an easy road to walk on.
Do we have the conviction and determination to hang on? Will this road take you and me to the promised land? Well, if not, hopefully it won’t be a mirage that we’ll be chasing. On my journey, which has seen massive upheavals, my story has also evolved as it gets more and more aligned with my inner self. The joy of discovery!

2) How shall I fuel my dream?

It is one thing to dream big, another to sustain it through to conclusion.Vitality is the buzzword. All great leaders, from Gandhi to Steve Jobs to Modi have enthusiasm and energy as key drivers.
If energy is everything, that’s what we require in generous helpings to keep us going especially when the story sours. I find this quite challenging because of certain interesting ‘Villains’ in my story who add unexpected and unwanted twists. It used to be life threatening Asthma earlier, it now is Bipolar Disorder. Both, suck energy out of me big time! Key is management of energy. Adversities have spurred me onto touching my higher potential.

“It is what I do with what I have that is more important than how much I have”
So, I have figured out ways and means to bolster my physical and mind fitness (the latter is even more important!).  And how do I keep myself at my energetic best? Meditation is a balm for my soul. The best de-stressor, it also rejuvenates my mind each morning. Lately I shifted from years of yoga practice to vigorous training at the Gym. This boosts my serotonin level (feel good chemical) and keeps me physically in great shape too.
Jennifer Sertl understands my vulnerabilities and has some simple mantras for me~
> I must pick and choose the battles I fight
> I must remember I am vulnerable
> Focus on chosen path without being seduced by distractions is critical.

Her insights have been spot on! Isn’t it vital to conserve energy for the right cause? We simply can’t afford to spread ourselves thin.
(sharing more of Jennifer’s wisdom here~ Navigating Complexity)
Much gratitude, Jennifer Sertl!

3) Our stories, if limited to ourselves, aren’t really great stories.
Compassion is what we were all born with. Our upbringing and environment instilled a sense of fierce competition in us. Our core quality, empathy, cries out to make lives easier~ those of others and thereby ours too. We are attracted towards compassion as we climb the rungs of our internal evolution. There is then a burning desire to ensure our stories include as many players as possible. We thus strive for a life not only measured by material success but one which is rich on the fulfillment index. Since we are indelibly unique in our aspirations, just how we decide to touch lives differs across individuals.

Giving is living.
The overriding urge for social outreach underlines our thoughts and actions. I have been inspired by the sterling initiatives of so many of my largehearted friends and connections, both online and offline. I guess, some of it rubbed on to me too. I plunged into an area that is among the most neglected in India and elsewhere too: Mental Wellness Support. A website to create awareness was followed by a book that is thankfully transforming lives. Am also a columnist on this topic on DNA India (web edition). A new social startup has been soft launched by me and is in the process of finding a structure. This initiative aims to address a critical aspect of mental illness, i.e., to provide opportunities for financial independence to as many as possible. This outreach has brought me unbelievable fulfillment.

So we now have the three elements. What binds all this together is balance.

If life is a tight rope walk, imagine the rope being strung across higher and higher heights..the fear increases although the challenge remains the same. So it is with life. When the stakes are high, we are so afraid to take risk. Afraid to deviate from set patterns, of changing the status quo. When the inner voice keeps telling us:
Leap!

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Vijay Nalawalla

Storyteller who helps people build their Personal Brands
Author, Blogger, compassionate human being.