jamie-wolf-2Claim Your Inheritance
Develop Yourself, Part 2 of 6

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully prepared for a world that no longer exists.” – Eric Hoffner


It’s important to understand what developing yourself means. Here’s what I’ve come to know. It means delving deeply into an area in which you are currently struggling. The tricky part is you may not consciously realize it’s an area that needs work. I can guarantee it will more likely than not be an area that challenges you, frustrates you, takes you out of your comfort zone, and keeps repeating itself until you tackle it head on. Developing yourself takes on different attributes in different ways not only for each individual; it means different things to the same person at different time points throughout your life.

I’ve also found that it’s easy to get distracted and to think that developing skills and other external things is developing you. Those activities do add to your development as I discussed in my last article. They broaden your exposure and thinking; expanding your horizons in such a fashion gets you in the habit of taking action and increasing your confidence. However, today I am specifically referring to the work that needs to get done to shed the layers of things that get in the way of your heart, your soul, your spirit and YOUR life being lived in the most authentic, largest, truest way. That is unique for each of us, and the learning is hard work!

Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:

– Maybe you are a workaholic to divert attention from the fact that you feel unworthy, that you feel you always have to compete with yourself to “prove” to someone (probably from your childhood) that you are better than they labeled you.
– Maybe you are a shopaholic, addicted to immediate gratification, hoping material things will fill a void, and you’d rather live with the anxiety of high credit card debt than address the emptiness you experience that really drives your behavior.
– Maybe you have weight and health issues that you overlook by being the champion and go-to person of every volunteer organization around, justifying that you absolutely don’t have time to focus on your own needs (of proper nutrition and exercise) because so many others ‘depend’ on you; having you depend on you is a much harder scenario.

In the examples above you could ‘develop’ time management skills, you could acquire money management skills, and you could buy and study yet another diet book and you’d probably make some forward progress as viewed by outward appearances. But that wouldn’t truly be developing yourself, because it wouldn’t be digging deep into the source of the behavior. Without developing YOU, the driver of all the behaviors, you may find that you only succeed in temporary and superficial progress. I’m asking that you go deeper, that you make the commitment to getting to the root cause of your behaviors and mindset, and that you be willing to address those for lasting and phenomenal change.

So how does one go about “developing” himself?

My favorite thing to do is read. My next favorite thing to do is to recommend books! (My not-so-favorite – but definitely rewarding – thing is to then take ACTION on the concepts presented in the books! I encourage you to do the same.)

1. The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz
2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
3. Start Over by Jamie Wolf
4. The Millionaire Messenger by Brendon Burchard
5. Mind Over Money by Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz
6. Never Forsaken by Takiya La’Shaune
7. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind by T. Harv Eker
8. The Charge by Brendon Burchard
9. Taming Your Outer Child by Susan Anderson
10. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

I tried to keep the list shorter but they all have gifts I want to share with you. If you can read one book a week, then before the summer’s out you will have advanced tremendously. If you can read one book a month, this will be a very good year for you! Developing yourself is an ongoing process. Ideally, the practice will continue as long as you do; the time it takes you is less important than your willingness to keep at it!

I love the first two books because they each offer very new lenses on old issues. Jim Loehr’s book says you can manage time all you want, but until you learn to manage energy you won’t experience the satisfaction and success you’re seeking. Steven Pressfield’s book really gets at the root cause of why so many of us stay stuck; we resist! It’s as simple as that! We resist learning, we resist changing, we resist working hard, we resist delaying gratification, we resist good ideas. If you think that’s not true for you, than you might be resisting the very thing you need to hear!

Speaking of managing time, how many of you spend a lot of time worrying about the future? Or do you dwell on past hurts or mistakes? Are you afraid to take action because it might not work out later the way you’d hoped? Eckhart Tolle’s classic addresses the anxiety that consumes our attention when we indulge in focusing on things beyond our control; those things that have already happened that we can’t change and those things that might – or might not – happen at some point in the future. When we are fully present in each moment, amazingly it is so much easier to let go of outcomes and just be fully vested in what we are doing right here, right now. Like Candice Glover does when she sings. She is fully in the moment and we can feel that!

I encourage you to explore each of the books on the list above. Two are by local authors: Start Over by yours truly and Never Forsaken. Two address money because that is a common area where many of us get tripped up and then we are caught in reaction-mode. Taming Your Outer Child gives us tools to recognize and address self-sabotage; I’m sure none of you have ever indulged in that lovely pastime!

If you are dissatisfied with anything – with relationships, with money, with your career, with your business, with boredom or feeling trapped, with an emptiness of spirit, with constant anxiety, with your health or weight – know that is a sign that it’s time to develop yourself. When someone presents you with an opportunity or suggests a solution to your dilemma and you quickly dismiss their offer, know this, too, is an indicator that it’s time to develop yourself. In this era of rapid change, expecting yourself to be open to new ideas, new possibilities, new ways of doing things, new behaviors and mindsets, is crucial to your living life on your terms, in the fullest sense. Developing yourself isn’t easy and the path isn’t always clear but when you do you will inherit the earth; your inheritance will place you squarely in a position to make a difference, in business and in life, for you and for others.


Beaufort resident Jamie Wolf is the author of ‘Start Over! Start Now! Ten Keys to SUCCESS in Business and Life’ and ten accompanying guidebooks.  If you’re ready to be Master of your Fate and Captain of your Soul, she invites you to come on board! Jamie offers online courses and coaching for entrepreneurs and people interested in starting over or in starting their own business. Visit her at http://www.thestartover.com

Read more So, You Want to Start a Business?