Personal Development – The Theory vs. Putting it in Practice

How many personal development books, cd’s, dvd’s, or manuals do you own? How many personal development seminars have you been to? If you are like most people, you own quite a few and have attended your share of seminars. But as a group (the human race), we are still as dysfunctional as ever. Have you ever thought about that? What does that tell us?

People buy the personal development products with good intentions. As someone in the personal growth industry, I see it all the time (and am guilty of it as well). We read or attend a personal development book or seminar, and yet we don’t get there. So, why don’t change and have our ideal lives or success that we are learning about?

We don’t have our ideal life or the successes because we don’t apply what we have learned. Yes, after you learn what you should do, you have to actually do it. What if I’m not motivated, too busy, bored or life just happens? Welcome to real world.
There is difference in “knowing what to do” and “doing what you know”.

The Theory

While the theory of personal development is appealing to most people, putting it in practice is not. It is easy to attend a workshop or read about something you want to change, but hard to put it in practice. A few years ago, I was talking to a friend who was reading a self help and asked how the book was helping her. Her response was that she was on the third reading of the book and it hadn’t helped her. I looked at the book and it was filled with exercises to do and asked her if she was doing the exercises. She said she didn’t have time to do the exercises. Without the work, how is change supposed to occur?

I believe that some people are more in love with the idea of personal development than they are with the work of personal development. People like the warm and fuzzy feeling of saying they are trying for a better reality; but in reality it’s the sweat and effort that creates the new reality.

“But, Donald, you don’t understand.”

I do understand. Change is hard. Change is scary. But change is the only constant in life.

We all have excuses that we could use. The difference between us and the people who truly transform their life is in the actions – our inaction vs. their constant actions to achieve what they want.

Excuses are like opinions, everyone has them.

Does that motivate you or make you angry? Either way, your response is your choice. Choices. That is what is our lives are made up of. Each situation we are presented gives us the opportunity to make a choice. A choice to grow or a choice to stay the same. A choice to become better or a choice to wallow in the situation. A choice to be responsible or a choice to make excuses.

Putting it in Practice

Personal development works, when we work at it. All the books, cd’s, dvd’s and seminars mean nothing if we don’t apply the knowledge in our lives. Knowledge without action is useless. The people that leave the seminar or finish the book and apply what they have learned are the ones that transform their lives.

Personal development programs don’t change people, people change themselves.

What is your greatest resource? Is it the latest self help book you bought? Is it the latest seminar you attended? No, it isn’t. Your greatest resource is yourself. You have total control of what you do, what you say and your actions. Use yourself to become what you want.

If you want to create life changing transformation, you have to do the work. If it was easy, the personal development community would not be needed.


Personal development is nothing new, it has been around centuries. Read some of the ancient philosophers. You will discover that we’ve been trying to achieve the same thing – a better life – for centuries.

As a coach, I try to bring insight to you. You have to apply that insight. That’s why I tell clients that I don’t have the answers, but I do have the questions to help the client change their life. I also have a test on this site to see if someone is ready to be coached; to transform their life. Without your action and follow through, coaching or any personal development program will not transform your life.

Creating your ideal life isn’t about talking the talk, attending seminars, reading books or even being coached. It is about you doing what you need to do, day in and day out. It is about changing from the inside out.

Are you ready to put it into practice or are you willing to continue with the same life you have now?

Check out my Platinum Program if you are ready to do the work to have a better life.


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