The term personal development has been around, by one name or another, for as long as people have been around. Whether it is called self-development, personal enlightenment or personal growth, people throughout history have searched for different ways to attain greater fulfillment in life by asking “Why am I here?” We continue to seek our purpose to this day and are willing to spend quite a bit of money finding it. Here are some fast facts to give you a sense of that continuing search In the United States alone, people have invested the following amounts in the personal development industry
* Five Billion dollars in 2000 * Over Nine Billion dollars in 2005 and will invest an estimated * Thirteen Billion dollars in 2010
This market has almost tripled in size over the last decade. One can see that our desire for being more and finding our one thing is growing at a phenomenal rate. So why now? What has driven people since the beginning of time to search for greater meaning in their life and why has this search exploded in the last few years? Part of the answer to the last question may be in this short clip from the’91 movie “City Slickers”, starring Jack Palance and Billy Crystal. ( Note: PG-13 language coming your way! )
“Curly” the crusty cowboy dispenses some great advice. He says the secret to life is finding your one thing. Stick to that and everything else don’t mean s*#%! Billy Crystal of course asks what that one thing is. Curly responds by telling him “that’s what YOU have to figure out”. While that is wonderful advice, it seemingly is getting harder and harder to do considering all of the information that comes at us each day. We are constantly bombarded with messages, advertisments, data, emails, commercials, etc. According to a study done by Pew Research, nearly 2/3 of all adults in the U.S. have broadband internet access at home. The Nielson Company research indicates that there is a TV in almost 99% of homes in the U.S. If that isn’t enough information to digest, we can easily jump on an airplane and fly to nearly every corner of the world to experience a different language, culture or environment. A half-century ago, thirty years ago, even 15 years ago we just did not have the enormous amount of sensory input that we get today. Just getting through the day without experience information overload can be a huge challenge, much less finding our one thing! For so many people, its the attempt to filter through all of the messages around them to discover their “one thing” that led them to explore personal development.
So back to Billy Crystal’s question. What’s the one thing…..and how DO you find it? People are like snowflakes. No two of us are alike. Though we may have similar callings, paths, or purposes in life, our “one thing” will be unique to each of us. One way to filter through all of the information and begin the process of finding your one thing is to start at the beginning. Your beginning. Here is an easy to use tool that will provide you some insight and direction around finding your one thing. If you are still reading this, you are indeed interested in finding your one thing and the most critical step is to action. Use this tool or get a recommendation from a colleague/friend or visit the personal development section of your local bookstore….but take action. If you need a little motivation to keep going, just remember Curly’s advice…..”once you find that one thing, everything else don’t mean S#&%!
Steve Sheeren has spent the last 15 years mentoring and encouraging individuals and corporations across North America to improve their mental approach and skillset. He offers additional insight, articles and resources on finding your one thing, including an alternative to working for a corporation.