The basic personal development principles are relatively simple to understand and adopt, however they’re are also some not so talked about principles that aren’t practiced enough by people, and really deserve to be.
After spending years studying everything there is to know about personal development, I wanted to share with you the top 3 under-practiced principles that make all the difference.
3 Under-Practiced Personal Development Principles
Without further ado, here are a few personal development principles that are still not practiced enough, and don’t forget to read until the end, where I share a great personal story of mine with you.
1. You Can’t Change Those Who Don’t Want to Change
When I was a teenager, I spent years trying to change my mom’s parenting behavior because it was rude or ineffective. But her response was, “I am too old.” or “I am stuck in my ways.”
I learned that it’s impossible to change someone until they believe they can change and want to. Years later, the psychologist Carol Dweck revealed in her studies that successful people have a growth mindset, which means they believe you can always learn and get better.
A simple tweak in your beliefs can make a world of difference. Rather than try to change those who are unwilling, it’s better to go to those who are ready to learn.
2. Trying To Control Others Is Small Minded
Trying to hurt other people in any way is just another manifestation of trying to control them. And the problem with trying to control anything but your own actions is that you can only do so much.
Recently, I went on a road trip to explore a 10-mile corn-maze. Driving home, most of the roads were only one-lane. On my way back, a car behind me kept turning on and off his high beam to irritate me.
The lights nearly blinded me in the mirror, yet he kept doing it. I knew he wanted to pass me but I was already going 65 miles per hour and there was nowhere I could go to let him pass.
I sped up to 75 miles per hour but it wasn’t enough and my car was making weird noises, so I didn’t want to risk going faster. But this guy wouldn’t let up. For at least 15 minutes, he kept flicking on and off his lights.
It was the most annoying event I’d experienced in a while, but I meditated and tried my best to keep calm. Eventually, he found an exit and blared his horn at me in anger one final time.
You can only control so much of your external circumstances.
Believing you can control everything reflects as egotistical because you can’t. And trying to use control or pain as your main weapon of choice when things aren’t going your way shows you are small-minded because it means you immediately resort to a low-level strategy.
3. Life Will Surprise You With Disappointments. Turn It Into Something Fun.
My life can be boring, so I try to make it fun. Sometimes, that means driving for 30 minutes to the only fun event in the area.
But I’m smacked in the face with disappointment.
The 10-mile corn maze I mentioned was a letdown. It turned out the maze was a lot smaller than I thought.
It’s only 10 miles if you walk every path of the maze.
Rather than get upset, which only makes you feel worse, I have learned from successful people, like Will Smith, to turn lemons into lemonade.
I made a vlog of the corn maze and found joy in the other events around the maze, like the deep fried oreos and pumpkin cannon. While I heard others complain during the whole experience, I made it fun.
Think you can’t do the same because your experience sucks so much? Think again.
I once worked for a restaurant and met an old African man who worked as a dishwasher. He had to deal with disgusting leftovers for 8 hours a day yet he was always smiling and laughing. I was intrigued because his coworker was always mean, angry, and unhappy.
When I asked him how, he told me in broken English;
“I make everything bad into good.”
Perspective is everything. It may be cliche, but cliche advice isn’t often practiced.
He recently had a baby. And he was grateful and happy about it. Even though his job wasn’t glamorous and didn’t pay much, he focused on the good.
I congratulated him on his child. And he was right. He should be happy. He was living in the land of opportunity, the USA. And his child was going to be given some of the best education, rights, and chances to succeed among all the countries in the world.
Before I got into personal development, I would have been like the dishwasher’s coworker. I would have compared myself to all the celebrities making tons of money. I would have adopted a bitter attitude because my job wasn’t as enjoyable as theirs and I wasn’t making much money.
This attitude would then manifest in my interactions with others, which would ruin any positive relationships or networking opportunities I would get.
Perspective creates attitude, which makes or breaks relationships.
One of my coworkers asked the bitter dishwasher why he couldn’t just smile and be nice once in awhile. The man just responded with an angry grunt.
Moreover, he was also spreading negativity rather than positivity to his local community with his attitude. And that matters more to me than money or fame. My coworker definitely felt hurt with his attitude. She would have prefered it if he was more positive.
But I don’t want you to read too much into what this man did. He didn’t talk much so it’s possible that he may not have felt or perceived what I believe he did.
Maybe that was just his external appearance and he was a different guy when you got to know him.
I just want you to use him as a model of the type of people you want to avoid being like so you can improve your own life.
Now, I want to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know which principle you resonated with most and need the most work on.