The Bible is by far the best personal development book out there. I realize how silly that might sound. It’s the Bible after all! You may or may not believe what it teaches. It’s hard to argue that it’s not well written with much wisdom to up level your life. The past few years I have discovered a number of books that helped me in my personal life and my business. Recently, I was encouraged to add Bible reading to my morning “program.” I now read one chapter a day from my Bible and 10 pages from a book like “The Slight Edge,” or “How to Think and Grow Rich.”
Personal development books preach the same principles as the Bible.
For instance, look at Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)
My first question is: What does “unwholesome talk” mean? I think this could be open for some interpretation. For you this could mean cursing, name calling, being rude, gossiping and so on. Yeah, that makes sense to me, too. Now read the second part of the verse… it says basically to say only what builds someone else up.
So maybe it’s less about the “rules” of “proper” speech and more about the intent.
For instance, I may tell a friend, “You worked your ass off this week and it totally paid off!” Is this unwholesome talk? Or am I lifting her up? On the other hand, what if I said: “Well, your client was sure was an ass to you, hopefully you can make up for it next month!” I would venture to say this is more “unwholesome” than my first statement. Think about the intent behind both statementents. In the first, I wanted to encourage her that she did have success, even if she didn’t hit every goal. The second statement was placing blame on another person, making an excuse without recognizing any success at all.
Tell me, which would you prefer to hear from a friend?
One of the first personal development books I ever read thanks to a leadership development program with my company. “How to Win Friends & Influence People,” by Dale Carnegie has been around for over 75 years. The principals taught are as true today as when it was written. The basic premise is when you speak kindly, focus on what the other party wants, your words will be better received. The focus is on building the other person up in effort for you each to reach an outcome you want. Doesn’t that sound kind of familiar?
“The sun can make you take off your coat more quickly than the wind; and kindliness, the friendly approach and appreciation can make people change their minds more readily than all the bluster and storming in the world.” – How To Win Friends & Influence People, page 142-143
Conversations are like a drop of honey.
When we can learn to build each other up instead of tearing each other down, how different might our relationships be? Personally, this might mean I have a relationship with my parents. Maybe with one of my brothers who currently has no desire to be part of my life. This might mean I wouldn’t have alienated friends over the years by hot-topic Facebook posts about issues that in the scheme of things – don’t really matter.
Personal Development has changed my life.
I wouldn’t have ventured into this world had it not been for entering into the world of direct sales. I am amazed and challenged by what I learn through just 30 minutes of reading every day. Tell me, friend, what are you spending time on that is growing your personal life? Your spirituality? Your work?
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