CLOSE TO HOME| What about personal development?

AROUND 2005, there seemed to be a boom of personal development products ranging from books to DVD down to various platforms on the internet. You must have heard of The Secret? I first saw the movie way back in 2007, when my teacher from college showed it to us.

The ideas presented on The Secret were so new to me. I had always thought that for someone to have what one wants there is no other way but to work hard. The movie showed that with the power of thought, one can get what one wishes for. It seemed very incredible for me that time, I could not believe it.

In 2010, some changes in my life caused me to look for better ways of thinking and in looking at life. I watched The Secret again, and I would cry at some point when it emphasized the way I can change my life. I was really at loss that time and I found comfort in the ideas of the movie.

Over time, I read books for personal development and invested in seminars that helped rewire my thinking about life. And at some point, I started to be responsible for my own life and did not look for anyone else to blame. But there was one huge chunk missing in me – a sense of fulfillment.

With the personal development and self-help ideas, I started losing the sense of others. I started to resign to the thought that if I want to get rich and I become so, then well and good. Never mind the others, they don’t want it anyway. I get what I deserve and it’s no longer my problem if others don’t. I even started to agree that maybe, it’s really fine to own so much and not worry about the environment. I’ll just let others worry about it. But I cannot deny something is really missing inside.

Things took a beautiful turn when I attended Mission Courage by Nicanor Perlas which the late Councilor Leonardo Avila III had invited me to attend. There was huge emphasis on personal development as a way of responding more efficiently to the challenges of our times.

There, I learned that it is no longer workable if we do not engage in inner work and we go back to the society with the same way of thinking that created the problem, it would be of no use. We will only (although inadvertently, maybe) become part of the problem instead of the solution.

In hindsight, The Secret and other personal development workshops are great because they awaken those who subscribe to it to the power of their thoughts and feelings.

Only that the power of thought contains a colossal amount of energy and it should not be used only for egotistical purposes, like solely for having new toys, as it was portrayed in the said movie. The power of thought and personal development should lead us to enact our purpose to this world – mainly, to contribute to the evolution of humanity.

We know so very well that having things will only bring deeper emptiness inside. It is with the sense of service – a sense of knowing that we are setting goals and ideals for our higher development. I’m quite sure on this part that hoarding and consumerism is not part of higher development. It will only strengthen the sense of lack in one’s life.

May our striving for higher development not only serve our own personal whims but contribute to the change this world is longing for.

Posted in Opinion