Personal growth and development is at the heart of the life-long path of self-improvement. There are many different types of personal growth and development, including spiritual, business, interpersonal, and self-image maturation. While the pattern of growth in every aspect of life varies greatly from person to person, many human beings spend a significant portion of their lives striving to make personal growth and development goals, meet them, and improve their lives through wisdom gained along the way.
Spiritual growth is a deeply personal journey that pertains to the concept of the purpose of life and the existence or non-existence of a spiritual presence. Paths of personal development on a spiritual level can include examining world religions and the history of spirituality, participating in a religion, or reading philosophy and commentary by modern spiritual leaders. The path of spiritual growth may begin in early childhood for some people, while others may not begin focusing on this form of development until much later in adult life. For some people, spirituality is never a primary focus of their personal growth and development.
Anyone in search of a rewarding or lucrative career may experience a process of personal growth and development in the business world. This journey may include practical steps, such as gaining computer skills, practicing the violin for hours, or getting a medical degree. Informal knowledge and wisdom, such as developing the ability to work well in a group, or improving organizational skills, can also be surprisingly important for meeting career goals. As a person moves up the career ladder, he or she may have to set new goals on a regular basis to ensure continued forward mobility.
Interpersonal growth refers to the level of maturity and success present in the relationships a person has with others. The examples set by familial and parental relationships in childhood often begin this journey, as children gain a great deal of information about the complex world of human relationships from watching their parents, siblings, and other relatives interact. Some common goals in this area include having a happy marriage or partnership, becoming a good parent, or maintaining close ties with friends and family. Interpersonal growth and development can also be important with more casual relationships, such as a teacher's relationship to students, or work colleagues' association with one another.
One of the most complex areas of personal growth and development involves self-image. The relationship a person has with himself or herself can affect the journey in nearly every other area of growth; a person with poor self-image, for instance, may be unable to sustain healthy relationships, and too afraid to take necessary career steps to meet goals. Creating a healthy and positive self-image is often an enduring goal for many people, who may choose to work on this goal through therapy, self-help, or other psychology-based strategies.