Personal growth, personal development, and self improvement do not happen automatically. As a result, success does not happen automatically. It takes a combination of many things, well put together, working in fluid unison, to achieve your potential for success and happiness. This is a foundational reality about personal growth and success.
Personal growth and success are not easily achieved because they are complex ambitions. This does not mean they are impossible to achieve. They are entirely accessible to all people. But it does mean that there are many components to consider in your quest for growth and success. A simplistic approach to personal growth and success will result in sure failure.
Personal Development: From Complexity to Simplicity
Life is way too complex and people are far too diverse for the achievement of success and happiness to be simplistic. In the previous article we discovered that people are complex, success is complex, the application of principles is complex, relationships are complex, work is complex, and life is complex. Not that any of this needed to be discovered. You don’t have to look very hard to realize that the world is a complex place to live.
These complexities ensure that personal development and the achievement of success will always be difficult to attain. Sorry if that bursts your bubble—I’m sorry for my sake as well—but that is just the way of things.
What Exactly is Complexity?
What is complexity? Something is “complex” when it is composed of many interconnected parts. “Complexity” does not necessarily refer to the difficulty of a thing, although complexity can imply difficulty. Complexity refers more specifically to the existence of many key and interrelated components.
One thousand piece puzzles are complex, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to complete it. In fact, young children can become expert puzzle makers—and most would do far better than me. It may take time and patience to assemble a complex puzzle, something we often lack, but it need not be difficult.
Personal growth, personal development, and self improvement are “complex” because there is not one “key” that will help you to grow as a person. You can’t simply work on your people skills, or your speaking ability, or your professional skills. You have to expand your horizons and recognize that there are many more elements at play.
There are many components that must be addressed simultaneously for deep and lasting growth to take place—the kind of growth that will lead to success. As stated above, “It takes a combination of many things, well put together, working in fluid unison, to achieve your potential for success and happiness.” That is the basis of complexity
Complexity simply means that there are many factors to consider in the quest for personal growth and success. It is not something to be feared, but it must be acknowledged and respected.
Complexity does not have to be a deterrent to personal development (personal growth or self improvement) or success. In fact, recognizing complexity is the first step to overcoming it.
If we take a simplistic approach to success and development then we will not do what is necessary to achieve them. If we don’t recognize the complexity of success we will fall short, because we will have failed to cover all the bases. We will not have considered all the angles. Our strategies for success will be lacking because they are short sighted and inefficient. Ultimately this means that we will be dead in the water.
Striving for personal growth and success without acknowledging their complexity is like trying to complete that thousand piece puzzle with half the pieces missing. Where do you even start? There would be no way to complete the task. Failure would precede any attempt.
If you try to achieve success without all the important pieced of the puzzle you will fail before you start. But once you acknowledge that complexity exists, then, and only then, you can begin to put the necessary pieces together to achieve your desired goals. Complexity is quite easily overcome, but only when it is acknowledged and respected.
The complex nature of success and happiness, as well as the developmental process, should not discourage you. Complexity is not an insurmountable obstacle. In fact, once you recognize it, and take it into consideration, it will actually help you in your quest for success.
It sounds like a contradiction, but acknowledging complexity simplifies life. If we ignore complexity we risk adopting wrong strategies or following bad advice. Many people do not succeed because they attempt to apply a strategy that does not take multiple things into consideration.
There is no one “secret” or “key” to success. That is a simplistic approach to complex issues. If someone tells you, for example, that communication is the key to a happy marriage, they are misleading you. Marriage is much more complex than that. There is no question that communication is important, but it is not the only thing that is important.
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You are a unique and complex person. Keep that in mind when you are planning your strategy for success and happiness. This will constitute a big step in your personal development and self improvement as you strive for success.
Personal development and success are not easily achieved, but they are achievable. If someone tries to sell you easy success or painless personal growth then don’t buy what they are selling. They are thinking about themselves, and not about you.
We all know that life, success, and personal growth are complex issues. We know this instinctively and from experience. We simply need to acknowledge this reality, and stop trying to take the easy road. It doesn’t exist, we waste a lot of time trying to navigate it, and sometimes we even get lost trying. Instead, do what you need to do, take the road less traveled, the one that will actually lead to growth and success. If you will do this then you will be surprised with what you can actually achieve.