Wayne Ergle
August 6, 2023

The Power Of Personal Development – Be Your Own Invention


In the vast canvas of life, each of us is an artist poised with the potential to paint our masterpiece. Being your own invention is about tapping into that latent creativity and molding oneself based on genuine desires and aspirations. Personal development stands as the brush that facilitates this artistry, enabling us to carve out a unique identity in a world that often pushes conformity.

Personal development is the key to unlocking your true potential and achieving success in all aspects of life. Creating your personal development plan is a mind map for your growth, where every step takes you closer to becoming the best version of yourself and achieving your personal goals. 

By embracing personal development, you can systematically enhance various areas such as career, relationships, health, and more. Just imagine having a personalized plan that empowers you to overcome challenges, seize opportunities at any age, and reach your full potential.

Generative AI digital steampunk illustration of an older man with a beard at his work desk busy with his latest invention. Gadgets and tools surround him.

I refer to this lifelong process as Being Your Own Invention. This article unravels the profound connection between self-development and self-invention, guiding you through the transformative journey.

What is Personal Development?

Personal development refers to the ongoing process of improving oneself and expanding one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities. It involves setting goals, acquiring new skills, and adopting new habits to enhance personal growth and achieve success in various aspects of life.

Personal development encompasses various areas, including emotional intelligence, communication skills, time management, self-confidence, leadership abilities, and more. It is a lifelong journey that allows individuals to become the best version of themselves and reach their full potential. Through personal development, individuals can improve their self-awareness, self-esteem, and overall well-being, leading to a more fulfilling and successful life.

Personal development, at its core, is the conscious pursuit of self-growth, optimizing one’s potential, and refining one’s character. It’s the compass guiding us toward a life of purpose, fulfillment, and continual learning. However, amidst its growing popularity, many misconceptions arise. Some perceive it as a mere trend, others as a luxurious pursuit reserved for the elite. But in truth, personal development is an innate human need, a universal quest for self-actualization.

The Challenges of Daily Life

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As we navigate the labyrinth of life, numerous challenges obscure our path to personal growth. Time becomes a luxury as our hours drain into mundane routines. Societal pressures mount, dictating who we should be, how we should act, and where we should go. And lurking in the shadows is the ever-daunting fear of failure, a deterrent many struggle to overcome. These barriers, if unaddressed, can stagnate our journey.

Benefits of Personal Development in Life

Personal development plays a crucial role in shaping our lives. It encompasses self-awareness, overall well-being, success, and continuous learning. Let’s explore how each of these aspects contributes to personal growth:


Personal development enhances self-awareness by allowing individuals to understand their strengths, weaknesses, values, and beliefs. This introspection helps us gain clarity about our goals and aspirations. By recognizing our emotions and thought patterns, we can make informed decisions and develop healthier relationships with ourselves and others.

Overall Well-being

Embracing personal growth positively impacts our overall well-being. When we prioritize self-improvement, we invest in activities that promote physical, mental, and emotional health. Engaging in regular exercise, practicing mindfulness techniques, maintaining healthy relationships, and adopting positive habits contribute to a balanced lifestyle.

Relationship with Success

Personal development is closely intertwined with success. As we work on ourselves and strive for improvement, we become more resilient in the face of challenges. Setting clear goals allows us to focus our efforts effectively while developing skills such as time management or effective communication, empowering us to navigate professional environments successfully.

Continuous Learning and Self-Improvement

One of the key benefits of personal development is the emphasis it places on continuous learning and self-improvement. By embracing a growth mindset, individuals are open to acquiring new knowledge and expanding their skill sets throughout their lives. This commitment to lifelong learning enables personal growth at every stage.

The Power of Self-Invention

To be your own invention is to stand defiant in the face of conformity, crafting your narrative and destiny. It’s a harmonious blend of introspection, ambition, and resilience. Personal development serves as the bedrock of this transformative process, laying the foundation upon which we build our unique identity.

My re-invention included overcoming over 20 years of severe alcohol addiction in 2018. Now, sober since 2018, I can tell you it is possible to overcome tremendous challenges – to be your own invention and live the life of your dreams.

Steps to Become Your Own Invention

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Step 1: Self-Reflection

  • Why it’s essential: Before one can initiate change, understanding the current state is crucial. Recognizing strengths gives a foundation to build upon while acknowledging weaknesses presents areas to focus on and improve.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Schedule regular intervals for introspection, perhaps through journaling or meditation.
    • Seek feedback from close friends or family; they can offer an external perspective on your strengths and areas for improvement.
    • Utilize personality and strength-finding tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or StrengthsFinder.

Step 2: Personal Vision Building

  • Why it’s essential: A clear vision acts as a beacon, guiding decisions and actions and fueling motivation.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Visualize your ideal life in five or ten years – where are you, what are you doing, who are you with?
    • Create a vision board with images, quotes, and reminders of your goals.
    • Regularly revisit and refine your vision as you evolve and grow to keep you motivated.

Step 3: Skill and Professional Development

  • Why it’s essential: Acquiring relevant skills bridges the gap between the current self and the envisioned self, enabling the actualization of your vision.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Identify the skills crucial for your envisioned future.
    • Seek online courses, workshops, or mentors to acquire these skills and help you reach your goals.
    • Regularly practice and apply what you’ve learned.

Step 4: Overcoming Barriers

  • Why it’s essential: Every journey has obstacles; being prepared and having strategies ensures they don’t derail your progress.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • List potential barriers on your journey and devise strategies or backup plans.
    • Develop resilience through practices like mindfulness or cognitive-behavioral techniques.
    • Seek support groups or communities facing similar challenges.
    • Actively look for ways to improve yourself.

Step 5: Habit Formation

  • Why it’s essential: Habits are the building blocks of daily life. Constructive habits ensure consistent progress towards personal growth.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Start small; focus on instilling one habit at a time.
    • Use tools like habit trackers or apps to monitor and reinforce your progress.
    • Celebrate milestones to motivate continual adherence to these habits.

Step 6: Perseverance

  • Why it’s essential: The journey of self-invention is rife with challenges. Perseverance ensures continuity even when motivation wanes.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Always remember and remind yourself of your ‘why’.
    • Surround yourself with positive affirmations and inspiring stories.
    • Have an accountability partner or group to keep you on track.

Step 7: Continual Learning

  • Why it’s essential: The world and its demands are ever-evolving. Lifelong learning ensures you stay relevant, adaptive, and ever-growing.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Dedicate time for regular reading or courses, even outside your primary field.
    • Attend workshops, webinars, or conferences to stay updated.
    • Engage in discussions and communities that challenge your views and knowledge.

Step 8: Venturing Beyond Your Comfort Zone

  • Why it’s essential: Personal growth often happens at the edge of our comfort zones. By challenging ourselves and taking calculated risks, we uncover hidden strengths, develop resilience, and gain new perspectives that are pivotal for self-invention.
  • Actionable Insights:
    • Identify Your Boundaries: Begin by pinpointing what areas of your life you feel most confined in. It could be public speaking, trying a new hobby, or even initiating conversations.
    • Start Small: You don’t need to make a huge leap right away. Maybe it’s ordering something different at a restaurant, attending a local group meeting, or learning a new skill online. Small steps can lead to big growth.
    • Reflect on the Experience: After each venture, take some time to reflect. What did you learn? How did it make you feel? What would you do differently next time?
    • Establish a ‘Challenge Yourself’ Routine: Set aside a day or a moment every week or month where you intentionally do something that makes you slightly uncomfortable. It could be as simple as trying a new food or as challenging as giving a talk to a small group.
    • Seek Support: Share your intent to push boundaries with friends or family. They can join you, provide moral support, or even hold you accountable.

Hypothetical Personal Development Plan

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Wondering how to turn the steps into an actionable personal development plan? Check out the hypothetical plan for Jane Doe below for inspiration.

Step 1: Self-Reflection

  • Current Strengths: Strong determination, active listener, collaborative team member.
  • Areas for Improvement: Hesitant in decision-making, struggles with public speaking, lacks advanced technical skills.

Action Taken:

  • Began journaling every evening to understand thought patterns.
  • Took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator; identified as an ISFJ.
  • Sought feedback from colleagues and family; received insights on communication skills.

Step 2: Vision Building

  • 5-year Vision: Leading a tech team, confidently giving presentations, and enjoying a balanced personal and professional life.

Action Taken:

  • Created a vision board with images of tech leaders, stages, and tranquil personal spaces.
  • Monthly vision reflections scheduled to ensure alignment and adjustments.

Step 3: Skill Development

  • Targeted Skills: Advanced technical expertise, public speaking.

Action Taken:

  • Enrolled in an online tech course relevant to the career.
  • Joined a local Toastmasters club to enhance public speaking skills.

Step 4: Overcoming Barriers

  • Potential Barriers: Current job demands limiting time for courses, fear of public speaking.

Action Taken:

  • Scheduled dedicated time weekly for the online course.
  • Practiced mindfulness to address public speaking anxiety.

Step 5: Habit Formation

  • New Habit: Dedicate an hour every day for skill enhancement, be it technical or communication.

Action Taken:

  • Utilized a habit tracker app.
  • Celebrated every week of consistent learning with a small treat.

Step 6: Perseverance

  • Challenges: Occasional demotivation due to workload and initial struggles in public speaking.

Action Taken:

  • Placed a vision board in the study room for regular motivation.
  • Joined a group of aspirants aiming for tech leadership roles for mutual encouragement.

Step 7: Continual Learning

  • Plan: Stay updated on both tech and leadership trends.

Action Taken:

  • Subscribed to tech magazines and leadership podcasts.
  • Scheduled monthly attendance to webinars or discussions in the tech field.

Step 8: Venturing Beyond Comfort

  • Comfort Zone Challenge: Attend tech conferences and actively participate.

Action Taken:

  • Registered for a local tech conference.
  • Actively participated in two discussions and initiated conversations with speakers.
  • Reflected on the experience and noted areas for improvement in networking.

How to Sustain Your Personal Development Journey

In the fervor of setting personal development goals, we often feel invincible, driven by the excitement of what’s to come. However, as days transform into weeks and weeks into months, maintaining that momentum can be challenging. A relentless pursuit of personal and professional growth requires diligence, reflection, and consistent efforts.

  1. Connect with the Why: Always revisit the fundamental reasons that pushed you to embark on this journey. By recalling why you wanted to achieve personal and professional development, you keep the flame of motivation alive.
  2. Regular SWOT Analysis: Just as businesses utilize SWOT analyses (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to understand their standing, conducting a personal SWOT analysis can provide a deeper understanding of where you stand in your personal life and what areas require more attention.
  3. Personal Development Through Maslow’s Lens: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs presents a structured approach to understanding human motivation. Ensuring that basic needs like safety and belonging are met can provide a stronger foundation upon which to build higher needs like esteem and self-actualization. By understanding where you lie on Maslow’s pyramid, personal development can help you move upwards, closer to achieving self-fulfillment.
  4. Embrace Lifelong Learning: The world is ever-evolving, and there’s always something new to learn. Dedicate time to learn new skills, concepts, or philosophies. This not only keeps your mind agile but also moves you steadily toward your goal.
  5. Map Out Short-Term Milestones: While long-term personal development goals give direction, short-term milestones help maintain motivation. Celebrate every small achievement, be it personal or professional, as they cumulatively lead you toward your overarching goals.
  6. Seek Mentorship: Finding someone who’s already trodden the path you’re embarking on can provide invaluable insights. Their experiences, both successes, and failures, can help you develop a clearer roadmap, saving you from potential pitfalls and encouraging faster growth.
  7. Regularly Reassess and Adjust: Our goals and aspirations evolve with time. It’s essential to regularly reassess your personal development goals. Does your current trajectory align with your evolving desires? Adjustments, while they might seem like detours, ensure you’re always headed in the most fulfilling direction.
  8. Cultivate a Growth Community: Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals who are also working towards personal growth can be a source of inspiration and accountability. They can offer fresh perspectives, challenge your beliefs for deeper understanding, and provide support during challenging times.


Navigating the vast landscape of personal development can sometimes seem overwhelming, yet the rewards it brings are unparalleled. Investing in personal development isn’t merely about acquiring new skills or enhancing current skills, but it’s a holistic endeavor that encompasses mental development, emotional growth, and fostering a deeper understanding of oneself.

The pursuit of personal growth can play a pivotal role in realizing your life goals, providing you with the tools, skills, and knowledge essential for success in all areas of your life. By reviewing your personal development regularly and aligning it with your dreams and aspirations, you ensure that you’re always progressing, always moving forward.

Developing a personal development plan is more than just an action plan—it’s a commitment to oneself. It’s an acknowledgment that personal empowerment, growth, and progress are within your grasp, provided you’re looking in the right direction. According to Maslow and countless other thinkers, personal development is crucial, not just for career growth but for deeper, intrinsic fulfillment.

Whether you wish to improve your relationships, bolster your emotional and mental well-being, or refine specific areas of personal development, the steps and strategies discussed can be your guideposts. By taking courses, seeking mentorship, or even just self-reflecting, you bring greater awareness to self and change the trajectory of your life. So, take control, focus on developing the skills you need, and remember that every small effort towards your goals contributes to your larger journey of personal success.


Why is personal development important?

Personal development is important because it helps you improve your personal development skills and develop yourself in various areas of your life.

How can personal development help me achieve my goals?

Personal development can help you achieve your goals by providing you with the skills and motivation you need to improve yourself, develop your skills, and take action towards your goals.

What aspects of personal development should I focus on?

You should focus on different aspects of personal development, such as emotional development, improving your skills in the future, and developing your skills and abilities in various areas of your life.

Why is it important to review my personal development?

Reviewing your personal development is important because it allows you to see your progress, identify areas where you need improvement, and make necessary adjustments to your personal development plan.

How can personal development help me reach my full potential?

Personal development can help you reach your full potential by providing you with the necessary tools, skills, and motivation to improve yourself and grow in various aspects of your life.

What are some personal development goals I can set?

Some personal development goals you can set include improving your communication skills, learning new skills or hobbies, becoming more organized, enhancing your personal relationships, and achieving a better work-life balance.

How can personal development help me improve my skills?

Personal development can help you improve your skills by providing you with resources, guidance, and opportunities for learning and development.

Is personal development important for both professional and personal life?

Yes, personal development is important for both professional and personal life as it helps you achieve your goals, reach your full potential, and improve various aspects of your life.

How can personal development help me achieve success?

Personal development can help you achieve success by providing you with the skills, knowledge, and motivation you need to set and achieve goals, overcome obstacles, and continually improve yourself.

Wayne Ergle

Wayne firmly believes that each of us possesses extraordinary gifts and talents, just waiting to be unleashed upon the world. But life's hurdles often obstruct our path to greatness. That's why he birthed Be Your Own Invention – to ignite the flames of motivation in everyone's transformation journey. Wayne’s transformation story includes conquering a 20-year battle with severe alcohol addiction, emerging triumphant and sober since 2018.