Are you someone who constantly seek ways to improve yourself and be a better person? Well, even if you don’t already do that, I think you should. The Holy Quran in Chapter 13:11 says that,
“Truly God does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
This defines the very importance of self-improvement. The verse also means that dynamic change begins at the individual level will radiate to others, thereby, improving the society as a whole.
Personal Development Is About
This is because personal development is the intentional nurturing and strengthening of the human personality.
In Islam, Tazkiya is equated with personal development because it is the purification of the body and soul from all things bad and imbibing good character.
Tazkiya requires the cultivation of discipline in every aspect of one’s life; physically, spiritually, mentally, and even emotionally. It is about eating healthy, exercising the body, guiding one’s inner thoughts, among others in order to attain the ultimate goal of Jannah.
We can, therefore, regard tazkiya as self-development for the Muslim ummah.
Importance of Personal Development
For True Success: The Quran says in suratul Shams, chapter 91:9, that true success is definite for those who seek to purify themselves. It Read,
“Successful indeed is the one who purifies his whole self.” Therefore, who doesnt want to be successful?
- To Identify And Grow Your Goals: Personal development is therefore important because it helps us identify and grow along the true nature of our goal. And as a muslim, the only reason of being in this world is to worship Allah, and so, our ultimate goal should be Jannah (paradise).
- To improve the society: Islam is not only concerned with individual development and by embarking on a personal development process, it is expected that individuals pay it forward positively to others in order that the good will spread to the society at large. Therefore, your growth should in turn translate to societal growth.
However, the rarely-told truth is that personal development is not an easy task. Here are some things you should know, which will prepare you for the process.
What To Know About The Personal Development Process
- It is personal: The first truth of the process is that it is a personal choice. You don’t embark on a development process because someone else is doing it. It has to come from within you. It can not be forced and until you take it as your own, then can you have it successful.
- It is deliberate: In relation to the above, the personal development process is also a conscious task. This is because being aware of what you want will enable you do it the right way and in alignment with your goals. However, if it’s the opposite, then you will only continue to move in circles, with no results.
- It requires genuine effort: Because personal development is a continuing process, you must be genuine to yourself and ready to commit your all. Getting better, moving forward and actualizing your possibilities is a result of a firm resolve and determination.
- It is a lifelong process: Personal development is a continuous journey. It has no end and for every level you are in life, there is always room for improvement.
- It is a total growth: Personal development is not a one thing. Once you decide to make change to and get better in one aspect of your life, you will eventually come to a realization that it’s wholesome; like it will reflect in every aspect. You gain more confidence, you look healthier and happier, faith is strengthened, etc. I mean all other things fall into place.
How To Get The Best of Yourself In A Personal Development Process
- Acknowledge your flaws: We are not perfect, and so acknowledge that your flaws are part of what make you a distinct being. In fact, employ your flaws and turn it to a strength.
Seek continuous knowledge: There is no end to education and learning at any age. Learning helps develop your mind, discover new things about yourself, expands your horizon, and equips you with new skill-sets. Technology has even made it better to learn anything, in any subject, anywhere, and at anytime. So, explore and update your knowledge base!
- Take Action: Remember that personal development is all about rediscovering your purpose and imbibing new positive attitude. So, when you have identified those things and have sought the right knowledge for improvement, then you must take the necessary action. Make amends where necessary and raise up the positive ones.
- Seek the company of those who strive sameness with you: If you want to be better in attitude, behavior, skills, or even in your job, you must seek the company of those who strive for the same. This company includes the people around you, the books you read, the thoughts you have, the ambitions you nurture, your social media feeds, among others.
- Role model the right people: Many of us today, model ourselves after people who add no value and significance to our lives. However as a Muslim, Allah (SWT) has given us the best model in person of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for this world and the hereafter. We have women like Khadijat, Aisha, Fatima of the Prophet’s household; all of whom we could model after rather than those of the new world.
And as a bonus, here is one other tip to get the best of yourself.
- Take A Break: The personal development process is long-term, but you can relax on yourself. Take a break. A good way to spend the break is to meditate. Meditation helps you to examine your progress periodically, gain clarity, control your thoughts and enjoy peace of mind.