Johnny had heard so much about Fantasia, a land where all dreams come true. He was filled with hope and excitement and was rearing to begin his journey to the ‘promised land’ as he termed it.
Johnny was driving himself even though he had never been to Fantasia before, and when Fred offered to lead him there if only he would just wait till tuesday, Johnny refused. He was too excited to wait, he had planned to begin his journey, first thing monday morning.
As he started off on his journey, he realised that the GPS in his car wasn’t working and he had failed to get the map from the store all through the past week.
With a heart cast and set in stubbornness, Johnny starts his car and zooms off, without a guide (Fred), without a map and without a working GPS. He was off on his journey to Fantasia.
After driving for 4 hours on a trip that was supposed to take 2 hours 30 minutes, Johnny begins to get worried.
With another hour under his belt on his merry go round and an almost empty gas tank, it finally hit him – He was lost.
Before you continue in your wonderment on what kind of a person would go on a journey to a destination he had never been to without proper mapping or directions, it will interest you to know that there are many Johnnys around and if you look carefully, you’ll find one very close-by. smiles.
Life is a journey we have never undertaken before, but we almost always insist on going ahead without a guide, a map or a GPS system?
As a man of faith, I have the Holy Spirit as my guide and that gives me enough sense to recognise the power of mentors who also are guides as they have completed journeys I am either about to start or I’m in the middle of, but this article is not about mentorship, it’s about creating your personal development plan, which is a necessity and not an option as it is your map for this journey called life.
In creating your ‘PDP’, there are four basic steps which I will share with you in the next few lines and I do sincerely hope you will join me as we plant these steps in our hearts.
IDENTIFY – This is the part of the process where we do a lot of soul searching using the SWOT analysis tool.
Please endeavour to write down your SWOT results
The S represents our Strengths (the talents/skill sets that we display on an above average level and they are usually activities that we enjoy being involved in).
The W represents our Weakness (this is just the opposite of strength)
The O represents Opportunities (these are occasions that arise or that we create in our present level that represent vehicles to advance to the next level)
The T represents Threats (this is either a person, thing or condition that opposes or hinders the attainment of our goal).
Know thyself – Socrates.
PLAN – This is the part where you create a destination (dream), mark out benchmarks (process) and then proceed to connect the dots (action plan). If you could stick through STEP 1, trust me, this step is bread and butter.
What this STEP does is that it causes you to write down your dreams and opens up your mind to catch a glimpse (or more than a glimpse as the case may be) of you when you’re almost a finished article and then exposes you to an action plan.
The exercise of writing forces you to have logic and critical reasoning – Bill Gates
ACTION & RECORD – We must develop the skills as outlined in STEP 1 by attending seminars, workshops, reading books and fellowshipping with mentors, while recording every activity being undertaken
REVIEW & REFLECT – This is the completion of the cycle as seen in the image at the top of the page and it is the place where we evaluate our progress, attained through the various steps.
The ‘PDP’ process looks like real work but it is important to understand that success is not a lottery and successful people are those who have discovered what works and keep working on it. Successful people are thus students of routine.
Creating your ‘PDP’ is a major step in achieving your goals and far more than that, the process guarantees to make you a better equipped individual. This is why I have gone ahead to include the Personal Development Plan template which I enjoin you to download as it is a great resource tool necessary for our success.
This year, don’t be too busy driving, that you forget to refuel. That will be a major tragedy. Create your ‘Personal Development Plan’ now.
‘Suppose you want to build a tower (your life). You would first sit down and figure out what it costs (creating your PDP). Then you would see if you have enough money to finish it’ – Jesus.
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