A large majority of our population waste a lot of time on the Internet. It is a very easy thing to do in this generation of information addiction. I am just as guilty as anyone else for having wasted many valuable hours surfing aimlessly. Since becoming a full time business owner, I have been introduced to an entire community of people who instead, leverage the Internet, as a tool for both personal and business development.
The true power of the Net comes from the fact that any person with ideas to share can create their own platform to speak from. Typically this comes in the form of a personal or business blog but it can also be done through social networks, online forums and podcasting. The biggest problem I witness is the lack of follow through and persistence towards personal goals. In general, people have no problem actually setting and planning their goals but they falter when it comes time to turn the goals into reality. One of the most common causes of this is the lack of accountability.
Think about this form the perspective of your own life for a second. Imagine setting a goal to run a marathon. You could set the goal privately and write down on a piece of paper that you intend to complete a marathon in 4 months time. In this case, you are your only source of
Another option would be to declare your goal publicly to friends, family, colleagues, etc. There is obviously a built in sense of motivation when you know others are tracking your progress. The anticipated pain of embarrassment may very well be the one driving force that causes you to actually reach your marathon goal!
So how does the Internet help with self development?
When you think of most personal development programs and exercises, pretty much all of the teachings are geared toward behaviour change in one way or another. Behaviour change is typically the result of action repetition. Once you have decided on a goal that you would like to achieve, you can easily use the Internet as a tool for both activity management and personal accountability.
Example A friend of mine is quickly becoming a widely recognized authority in the Internet Marketing arena. He literally uses his blog as a tool for personal and business development. Brad has a schedule that he follows to the letter. Every Tuesday and Thursday he creates a high value piece of content for his readers. As I have followed his blog for the past year, his skill level has continued to rise along with the size of his audience. Because his readers expect him to deliver new content weekly, he is forced to continually grow and adapt his skill set. He literally has a built-in accountability system that forces him to deliver week after week. He also happens to be one of the most successful entrepreneurs I know and I don’t think this is an accident.
The good news is you do not have to be a technical wizard in order to leverage the Internet as a success tool. There are plenty of free and user friendly platforms that anyone can use to build the same kind of system.
Start a free WordPress or Blogger blog and do a personal 30 day challenge (i.e. write 500 words a day for 30 days to improve writing skills)
Setup a YouTube channel and shoot 1 video per week of yourself practicing your vocal skills for a music competition
Join an online community and track your personal committments towards a goal
Create a mailing list on your website and send 1 valuable lesson/free gift per day to your subscribers
It doesn’t really matter what you are doing. The whole point is self improvement. Self improvement is all about making a committed decision and then having your actions follow that decision. The internet is a great way to ensure that your actions follow your committed decision and keep you accountable for everything you want to do.