The Only Thing About Self-Development That Makes or Breaks It

The Tree Is Only as Strong as the Roots Themselves.

4 min readJun 18, 2021

The self-development industry right now is booming. But do you wonder what’s the one thing that if you remove it, then the equation of self-development breaks apart?

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

These days, you can find everyone and anyone from experienced giants to part-time influencers, talking about personal development. What’s the one thing or as the title of this article shouts, the only thing about self-development that if you remove, would render it fruitless?

I am a strong advocate of self / personal development (inadvertently throughout my life so far & intentionally for about 3 years) — and an addict to growth since forever. I surely don’t claim to be a master or guru but it’s more satisfying to call myself a student on a meaningful pursuit.

Before the real show, let’s see what self-development is in the first place.

What is self-development?

Wikipedia says “Personal development consists of activities that develop a person’s capabilities and potential, build human capital, facilitate employability, and enhance the quality of life and the realization of dreams and aspirations”.

That’s pretty intense. Let’s simplify it.

Developing yourself is like going through a process analogous to a seed becoming a plant. A seed journeys through different phases of growth to become a tall, strong tree — enduring the weather extremes.

The tree is only as strong as the roots themselves.

And if the roots are weak then sooner or later the tree may fall or maybe the tree could survive given the support of mother nature but might never thrive.

I believe that the roots on which the tree of self-development stands are of personal commitment. A commitment to building yourself in not just one but all aspects of life.

Commitment to self-development

Only the desire to be good at something, to achieve a goal, to become the best version of yourself won’t be enough for you to make it happen. Desire sure is the kickoff that makes someone set out on this personal quest. But it is the commitment that pushes you to keep making your way through thick & thin. Not losing the will in the face of struggle.

The tree can only stand what the roots have the endurance for. If there lies no personal commitment in developing oneself then the desire would be buried under the tough times, going through the rocky parts of the climb would make one lose their drive.

A little but relevant example of this behavior can be a person with a desire to be of service, providing quality to others. This person’s desire is strong enough to make him move forward to buy a potential course to gain the required knowledge/skill. But here comes the twist — soon the desire gets buried under the burden of responsibilities, hardships, and other commitments — making himself the victim of his circumstances or external environment. And the course never gets completed. What once could be manifested as a dream life remains a desire.

Self-development is contagious

Just as a tree is a part of the jungle where it lives, connects with other neighboring trees, takes part in an exchange of nutrients and information, human

Self-development is contagious not in a bad way that’s forceful rather in a positive manner. Real self-development does not force itself unto others, rather brings the best out of them without them realizing it. You are the average of the people you keep company with.

Self-awareness for self-development

The direction you decide for your self-development to take is as important as the development itself. Some commit to destructive self-development. It usually is based on unawareness. Not being self-aware is the crime we commit ourselves, to ourselves. It’s a disservice to ourselves — not realizing the treasure of potential each one of us carries inside us.

This is how grinding realities turn sane into suicidal. Great into good, good into bad fortune, and bad into worst.

In the same way, the opposite of this cycle is true with constructive development. One turns their bad luck, loss, lack into great fortunes.

Self-development isn’t a one size fits all scheme

While self-development sure is for every and anyone but it is a path that everyone has to carve out for herself. There can be assistance from others on the journey but creating oneself is different for each human.

Self-development is a life-long pledge

Self-development isn’t an end goal. It’s a way of going through life while creating a fulfilling one at the same time.

By far it’s clear that the one thing about self-development is commitment, without which it’s just wishful thinking. As long as there are people with the desire of rocky climbs to improve their lives by committing to growth and leave behind the smooth plains of the comfort zone, self-development isn’t going anywhere. And there always will be people with a hunger for growth amongst us and the number is only going to increase.

If you have the desire to enhance the quality of your life — that’s why you read this article, then commit to it, take action, build yourself and go through life as you are meant to.

Thanks for reading this article! Leave a comment below if you have any questions.

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