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Self-development is the process of acquiring or developing personal qualities or skills. You are familiar with external training. But how much do you know about inner training of yourselves? Inner training is self-development. You may have nothing but only a burning desire to be successful in something. But that isn't enough. You have to go through the process of self-development to possess a personal quality or skill. In fact, through self-development you can learn anything, or better still, set a positive personal goal and achieve it.

Self-development is a very personal matter. You need not discuss or consult with anyone who does not share your enthusiasm except those very close ones who will give you their support. Other people may not fully understand your objective. They may think you are unworthy of it, and try to discourage you. They may disparage the progress you are making. Should they get to know about what you are doing, disregard their opinions and undue influences which may cause you to delay or give up your personal development activities.

How you cope with those inevitable petty daily occurrences such as an accidental collision with a stranger, a moody colleague, or an unfriendly vendor forms part of your self-development process. Your ability to contain your resentment and maintain calmness throughout marks you out as a self-assured person. A self-assured person has confidence in his abilities, which in this case is the ability to react with composure.

You can rely on feedback to know how far you have gone in the development of your self. Your loved ones or those closest to you should be able to help. Seek their opinions on the changes you have made or the differences noticeable in you. Evaluate the feedback and decide on the next step. When others express surprise at the positive change in you, then you know you have made real progress in self-development.

Find out which aspects of your personality you need to develop urgently. If you wish to achieve, for example, decisiveness in your personal and career life, practise being decisive in your own self-development. Devote some time each day for self-development purposes. Read motivational materials, listen to motivational tapes, listen to music for relaxation, have a quiet period to practise meditation, or do yoga for, say, an hour a day.

Change and progress are not achieved overnight. No matter how enthusiastic or determined you are to develop yourself, understand that patience and discipline are a must and that it takes constant effort to become the person you want to be. Proceed at a pace that is right for you. Lasting quality change takes time to acquire.