I believe, generally, everyone needs four things to progress in life:
· Skills and abilities
Knowledge is of two kinds: 1) Knowledge about where you are and where you want to go – that means, knowing your current status, your goals and the way to reach your goals. 2) Knowledge about Self – knowledge about one’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Various skills are needed for achieving various goals. On one side, you need the technical skills to perform a job efficiently, effectively and in time. On the other side, you need the other important soft skills like people skills, leadership skills, communication and language skills, interpersonal skills, problem solving skills, thinking skills, etc. Over and above these, today, everyone needs emotional stability – EQ – much more than IQ. We also need to sharpen our mental skills like computing, memory, focus, concentration, reproduction etc.
The third important aspect is one’s resources, importantly, energy, time and money. One has to constantly aim to build one’s physical and mental energy. When we feel drained of energy, we can’t even take a step forward. Time management is very essential. We need to be able to differentiate between what is essential and what is urgent and devote our time appropriately towards our goals. In this world, nothing can be achieved without money. We need to have proper money management plans, to conserve what we have, make judicious investments, avoid wastages and put money to proper use.
Above all, the most important requirement for success is our attitude. Even if one has knowledge, skills and resources, without a proper attitude in life success is very difficult to get. If one has the right attitude, all other things automatically come to you. With the right attitude, one becomes a seeker. ‘You seek, you get it.’
What I have just told might appear very rigorous to follow. In reality, they are not. All that we need to do is to live consciously. Mostly, we lead life unconsciously – mechanically, as though we are programmed. Only animals are naturally programmed to perform certain tasks; we have our free will, thinking faculties. Generally, we think, then act and try to become something or someone. Secret of success is to reverse this paradigm. Be something or something, then Act like that something or someone and then think what higher self you can be.
Success is a function of one’s Intent, Effort and Grace. The third element ‘Grace’ is invisible without which the first two alone may not bring success.
Finally, the caption of the query, “Self-Improvement: How can I accelerate my personal growth?: I would like to advance in my career quickly. I want to accomplish many things, learn much, and develop many skills. How do I do this most efficiently?” is paradoxical. To me, there is nothing like a “quick advancement in career.” There are no quick-fixes in life. Life is Natural and follows an inevitable path and is a process and a flow. One has to go through the path and the process. One has to go with the flow, without struggling. ‘Wanting to accomplish many things’ is a vague goal. We need to be specific about our goals. Knowledge and skills are tools needed to progress; learning and developing many skills are processes and not goals. Personal growth is something as against advancement in career. The former can help in the latter, the reverse may not.