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04.05.2015
What benefits might you feel for the effort put in and what barriers to personal growth might you meet? We will be looking at how personal-growth and increased self worth can have such an impact on our lives.
There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered.
Feel free to check out the following pages in your quest in understanding personal growth and self worth and the part they have to play in your life. Ready to BE the CEO of YOU & Live Your Greatness Wholeheartedly?Subscribe to receive exclusive content, special offers, ideas & inspiration on wholehearted living and latest news from Habits for Wellbeing.
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Join LinkedIn groups in areas of interest and seek new connections.  Meeting new people, joining discussions, and engaging communities of interest is a great method of continued professional development. This article describes four levels or stages of Personal Growth -- social accomplishment, psychological growth, spiritual progress and transformation. The past half-century of growing prosperity and the progressive emergence of individuality have led more and more people to express interest in self-development rather than the exclusive pursuit of material and social achievement. In fact, human beings have always been growing personally or psychologically, even those who are almost entirely absorbed in struggling for material survival or aspiring for higher social achievements. While we are all fairly clear about what constitutes a normal healthy and comfortable social existence, when it comes to psychological and spiritual progress there is a great deal of confusion.
Some of these dimensions naturally increase during our lifetimes as a result of life experience and conscious effort. An effective approach to understanding human personality requires a clear distinction between those dimensions that lend themselves to alteration by mental or physical effort, deeper elements that can be changed only by a deeper psychological effort or by the influence of higher (spiritual) consciousness, and those that are virtually fixed for the span of life and can only be altered by yogic transformation. The capacity for social accomplishment is determined by the overall development of the personality. Most of our progress in life falls within this first level of personal growth, because it is that which is most easily changed by means of education, training or conscious effort. We can also take a conscious effort to be more interested, enthusiastic and energetic in pursuit of our goals.
If you are seeking a comprehensive approach for higher career accomplishment, see Higher Career Accomplishment. Many people mistake psychological growth with greater freedom to do what we want, greater capacity to assert ourselves and live for ourselves. We are more self-reliant: We rely more on ourselves, rather than expecting other people to do things for us. We are more responsible: We feel more personally responsible for the people around us or the work in which we are involved, rather than depending on others and blaming them for what goes wrong. We aspire for higher achievements: We are no longer satisfied with being secure or comfortable or gaining the acceptance and recognition of those around us. We have higher standards: We are not satisfied being as good or doing as well as other people or getting their approval. We are more positive: We react less against other people and no longer think ourselves superior to others or feel jealous of those who achieve more than we do. We live higher values: We respect others more, our thoughts are more objective, our words are more truthful, our acts are more honest and our relationships are more harmonious. We act according to our understanding rather than our impulses: We do what we know to be right rather than what we feel like doing or find convenient.
For a dramatic illustration of the process of psychological growth, see Personality and Accomplishment in Pride & Prejudice.
If you are looking for some simple but very effective ways to expand your personality, see Strategies for psychological growth. Human Science is based on the premise that there is a spiritual dimension to reality which is the foundation and creative source of all that exists and that a progressive evolution in consciousness makes it possible for human beings to experience and express this spiritual dimension in their personal lives.
The term spiritual experience is often used or confused with any type of experience on the subtle or occult planes of existence that are not normally accessible to our external consciousness – experiences of subtle beings and forces that influence our lives, of occult powers, of subtle sounds, visions, voices, etc. Peace: We feel more calm and peaceful, even in the midst of other people and intensity activity.
Knowledge: We understand the significance of all experiences that come to us and know how to grow or outgrow the need for them. Self-giving: We identify with others and aspire for their fulfillment more than for our own. If you want to learn more about spirituality and spiritual experience, see Dimensions of spiritual progress and Spirituality Portal.


Spiritual experience can greatly enhance our capacity for accomplishment, positive personal relations and personal fulfillment. This factor is extremely difficult to describe or measure, but differences in the size and intensity of personality can be readily perceived in some instances, especially when one is in the presence of a towering personality such as a Napoleon, a Goethe, a Churchill, or a Gandhi. We have referred elsewhere to several stages in the formation of personality under the terms Manners-Behavior-Character-Personality-Individuality. This factor refers to the relative development of the three different centers of consciousness in human beings which is discussed at length in Physical, Vital, Mental and Nine Levels.
According to Sri Aurobindo, even character and karma can be altered by the descent of the supramental force into the human personality. A more helpful conception is to think of human personality as a point or small three dimensional object in space and our trajectory for growth as a multidimensional expansion from that point to become a sphere.
While these different levels or categories of change can be distinguished from another, they are not entirely separate or independent. Our self confidence soars and we are motivated to greater effort to achieve our dreams and goals. Readers are encouraged to comment on and discuss the article on the talk page either in confirmation or criticism of the views expressed rather than directly altering the core content which has been locked to preserve the original statement. It explains the distinctions between them and the methods or types of changes of characteristics of each level. Thus, usage of the terms personal growth, psychological growth and spiritual progress have become increasingly common, although there is little agreement regarding the actual meaning of these words. But that growth has been most often subconscious, as a result of the trials and errors of life experience, rather than as a result of a conscious process of self-development. Because of this complexity, it cannot be satisfactorily categorized in terms of fixed types. The second level of personal growth requires a psychological change in our attitudes and values.
But these things are really expressions of the vital’s desire to make itself happy by greater self-indulgence.
In this article, we reserve the term spiritual only for those powers and experiences that come from the higher spiritual planes of consciousness.
It helps us escape from the confines of our ego and see the world and other people through their eyes and from their point of view.
It can give us a deep sense of inner strength and security, a faith in life and trust in the spirit.
That is the level of innate capacities that cannot be changed solely by the conscious effort of the individual. Every individual has their own characteristic level of intensity which is distinct from the vital or mental energy that they express and may best be represented by their overall capacity to change or influence the people with whom they relate and the environment within which they live. It is this factor which makes us classify a person as a thinker, a dynamic man of action, a leader of people, an organizer, a loyal follower, a courageous patriot or sensitive artist. But this is an extraordinary spiritual accomplishment that lies far beyond the scope of psychological growth in the realm of spiritual transformation.
For the mind, progress is to move from one point on a line to another point further along or higher up. The point is our small surface personality which has limited knowledge, limited capacity, limited power and limited joy.
However, individuals can evaluate themselves on these parameters in order to assess their present position and comprehend the means by which they can further develop at the level of social accomplishment, psychological growth or spiritual progress. When we consciously get in on the action our knowledge and understanding of life can rocket ahead. Other articles on this site present specific strategies and methods for making progress at each of the four stages. A conscious effort at developing our personalities requires a clear conception of what personality is and how it can be altered.
A real science of humanity needs to define and explain these concepts which are so central to the aspirations of millions of people. In addition, each of us have the ability to consciously improve ourselves on all of these aspects at any time. Psychological growth refers to a qualitative change in the nature of the personality that can be brought about by conscious intention and effort. We are more generous, gracious, and willing to give ourselves to other people, rather than demanding anything from them.
They include such experiences as cosmic consciousness, a concrete sense of oneness with other beings, awareness of an infinite emptiness or void beyond the manifest universe, discovery of one’s soul or psychic being, realization of a transcendent Spirit or Conscious Being, contact with godheads from what Sri Aurobindo refers to as the Overmental plane, direct knowledge from the Supramental plane of Truth Consciousness, etc.


Experiences from these planes are universally associated with spiritual qualities such as patience, peace, silence, equality (equanimity, non-reaction), harmony, self-giving, truth, freedom, light, and compassion. Broadly speaking, progress that enhances the presence and expression of any or all of these qualities in the personality and life of a person may be regarded as forms of spiritual progress. Except in rare instances spiritual experience cannot alter the very substance or structure of the personality.
Bennet in Pride & Prejudice who have not yet developed the self-control and maturity needed even for reasonably good manners and are very unlikely to do so, regardless of their upbringing. While we can consciously strive to express more of the higher consciousness with which we are endowed, except by spiritual change the relative blend and balance of these three elements in our personality cannot be significantly altered. But if you focus on only one line of progress, you will end up at the end of a line, not on the surface of the universal sphere.
This classification is most useful as a means for comparing my relative position in the past and present with what I aspire to be in the future, rather than as a means for comparing myself with others and judging myself inferior or superior in some absolute terms.
Try to make a point each day to move on in life and become the person that you are capable of. We will see how this will help maintain a healthy self esteem and thereby help you get the most out of your life.
By psychological growth, some people mean they want greater freedom to do what they want, pursue their interests and live as they want. Therefore, those interested in personal growth need first of all to be clear about the differences between these four aspects of personality and the methods appropriate for personal growth at each of these levels. This psychological change also enhances our capacity for social accomplishment, but it does so by expanding the personality, not just by greater external effort.
Psychological growth requires an effort to acquire greater self-knowledge and self-control, to master our natural impulses and direct our energies into something better and higher.
To become universal we have to make progress in multiple directions, simultaneously or successively. It may also be true that greater social accomplishment increases the readiness for psychological growth and psychological growth may enhance the inclination or receptivity for spiritual progress.
Others want to understand themselves better, develop personal capacities, and experience new things.
We can train ourselves to run faster, jump higher, play a musical instrument, read faster, explain ourselves more effectively, etc. Psychological growth may also be described as a qualitative improvement in those attributes that make an individual what can be regarded as a 'better' and more enlightened person, expressing higher values and capable of making a greater contribution to the overall welfare and well-being of society.
If you compile a list of those human beings who have been most admired and respected, you can easily identify the characteristics associated with psychological growth – living for an ideal, courage of conviction, willingness to take risks, integrity, kindness, generosity, service toward others, etc. Others acquire perfect external manners, such as the teachers and students in Mona Lisa Smile, but how they behave outwardly does not really reflect how they think and feel inside. Our progress from a point to a sphere is a progress on the dimensions described briefly in this article and explored in greater detail in the Psychology Portal and Spirituality Portal. So while we speak of them as distinct from one another, we think it is better to recognize their interdependence. These changes help us more fully and effectively utilizes the developed capacities of our personality for higher social accomplishment. According to Eastern spiritual tradition, that form or structure, known in Sanskrit as swarupa, is the form which the soul has taken for birth during this lifetime and it remains unchanged through all experiences of this birth. Still others, such as Jane Bennet in Pride & Prejudice, have achieved a level in which their inner feelings are fully in accord with their external manners. If we want to raise our accomplishment beyond this level, we need to expand our personality, which is what we mean by psychological growth.
They truly mean and feel what they say, but the form of their personalities is largely determined by the social norms and standards of the society in which they were raised. Still others have a formed character that is capable of higher accomplishment, such as Darcy in Pride & Prejudice.
Then there are a few at the level of personality and true individuality who have developed to the point where they can transcend the limitations imposed by society and their own upbringing. Mikhail Gorbachev exhibited real personality in undermining the monopoly on power of the political party and government which he headed.



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