If you bet me 20 bucks that someone could write a coherent, interesting article that covers business success, personal development, Trappist Monks, and Fyodor Dostoevsky all in less than 1000 words, I’d say, “No way! You’re on!” And then I would owe you 20 bucks, because August Turak (no relation to the similarly named dinosaur hunter) has done just that.
The gist of his article, What Every Leader Must Know About Personal Development, is that personal development should NOT be something you do to serve your professional goals. Quite the opposite, you should be choosing a profession for yourself that you think will make you the best person possible. I like this approach a lot and looking back, I see that quite a few of my successes as a writer and professional have come when I’ve applied it.
Often, I’ve said to myself, “Maybe I should write in a different genre,” or “What if I tried to write children’s book,” thinking that perhaps those avenues might lead to more money or success. But in the end, I like to write what I like to write – short fiction and humor – and that is what has led me to and helped me earn the great job I have today.
So yes, Turak is right: don’t think, “how can I develop myself to become a better professional.” Think, “What kind of professional do I need to be to become the best person I can be.”