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Soft skill Development

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Promote your personal growth and motivationSusan M. Healthfield

Are you feeling blah about your work and life? Does the experience of boredom make you unmotivated and unexcited? Are you having a mid-life crisis? You can promote your own personal growth, motivation and career development to overcome this inertia. Here are ideas and tools that will help you explore personal growth, set new goals, choose motivation and get your life and work back on a course that excites, motivates and fills your life with joy. My recent article, Create the Life You Want With a Mid-Career Crisis, sparked a number of reader comments about a mid-life crisis, in general, not just about their careers.

One person, in particular, said "I am bored, bored, bored with everything in my life - my friends, my job, my family and how I spend my time.

I don't feel any excitement and I'm not looking forward to anything in particular." These thoughts are for you. You can make this a searching time or you can do silly things. The stereotypical mid-life crisis turns a conservative businessman and family man into a gold-chain-sporting, long-haired, red-Corvette driving hedonist. It doesn't have to be this way. Mid-life crises, whether you are thirty, fifty or sixty-five years old, can be a time of awakening, self-actualization and new direction.

Guided Thinking Exercises

Take some time to do these exercises. The time invested will enable you to focus on the positive and the possible for your life. I recommended the first two exercises for your career crisis and I also recommend them for your personal growth. The rest are new.

  • List everything you'd like to do in your lifetime. These lists can run several hundred items. (Mine included walk frequently on the shore of Lake Michigan, write books, travel to every country in Europe and design two additional websites.) Your chosen lifestyle must allow the accomplishment of these dreams.
  • Write down your ten favorite activities, the ones without which your life would feel bereft. (Mine included reading, writing, creating new recipes, traveling, walking and more.) No life choice is suitable unless you get to do your favorite activities at least weekly, and preferably, daily.
  • Think of a time when you felt more positively about your life. What has changed between then and now? List everything that is different. Perhaps you will gain insight into what is causing your current dissatisfaction. Then, you can change the issues causing unhappiness.
  • If you are like many of us, you rarely take time to be alone with yourself. In fact, many people avoid this time and prefer to fill every minute of the day with activity. Schedule quiet, thinking time for yourself every single day. Spend time alone with yourself doing nothing. Some people call this meditation; others practice yoga. The key is to spend time in your head going gently wherever your thoughts take you. If those thoughts turn negative or self-deprecating, kindly change the subject.

Take Action Exercises

You'll want to do these daily as you explore what makes you happy.

  • You have listed your favorite activities and the hundreds of items you'd like to do in your lifetime. Begin. Add one each day to your schedule. Minimally, do all ten activities you love in a week.
  • Do something that is totally new to you once each week. Get out of your comfort zone and try on new people, places and activities.
  • Write a journal that tracks your thoughts, the new ideas you are generating and the added life activities you schedule every day.
  • See a friend at least twice a month for conversation and to maintain the supportive and caring relationship.
  • Eat a balanced diet, get daily exercise, even if only for ten minutes, and sleep on a regular, refreshing schedule./.