Personal development has been derived from the Latin word Persona which means a mask or a veil. The English word is equivalent to false visage. Just like an artist wears a mask of a character that he/she is playing. Therefore, this persona is that aspect of our character which we present in front of others. However, consider that it has nothing to do with a person's internal qualities.
For an ordinary person, the general view of personal development is portrayed by decent attires, impressive looks, amassed social virtues, a combination of id, ego, and superego. However, psychology does not define personal development having these characteristics.
Moreover, personal development is a social event that cannot be studied excluding social context. For example, a person's personality is reckoned based on the impact he/she leaves on others. What others think of a person, explains his personality. The ideas a person has, the way a person succeeds in influencing others, decisions a person takes in situations, he/she is considered as a person having a good personality. Therefore, personality is a social stimulus value.
Psychologists like Allport, James, Drever, and Bert have defined it as the process which involves a psychosocial system which determines the different actions a person performs. To understand it better, let us look at the various components of Personal Development.
Additionally, ordinary beings often confuse development with growth. For instance, they interchange personal development with physical growth. Although growth is part of development, growth is measured in quantitative terms. Development, on the other hand, is both a quantitative and a qualitative process. Physical growth relates to the increase in body, mass, weight, and the height of the person. Physical growth starts at infancy and stops at maturation. However, development goes on until life ends. Taking an example here, a human being can take lessons on corporate behavior to improve personality according to his needs, but he/she cannot increase or decrease height as needed.
The traits of personal development include mental, social, emotional development pertaining to the disposition of a being. These traits differentiate one person from the other.
A) Mental Development: Mental development is also called intellectual development. The aspects related to intellectual development are (i) Imagination (ii) Abilities in memory (iii) Language development (iv) Perception (v) Time concept, space concept, aesthetic concept, self-concept, weight concept, (vi) Problem-solving attitude (vii) power of reasoning and moral concepts.
Factors that affect Mental development
● The need for achievement, motivation, and intellectual development
● Physical growth
● Socio-economic status of the family
● Sex differences
B) Emotional Development: Emotion is the state where an individual feels stirred up to act. Every emotion displays a change in behavior like love, care, laughing, crying, smiling, etc. These emotions can be positive or negative. These emotions define our strengths and weaknesses. A person who can control his/her emotions is likely to have a better development of personality.
Factors affecting Emotional Development
● Environment of school/university
● Family and neighborhood
● Health and physical development
● Intellectual efficiency
● Age and fatigue
● Social development
● Behavioral problems
C) Social Development: A person who is born as a piece of flesh and bone learns to become a man or woman by socializing through active participation in society. He/she acquires language, qualities of compensation, adjustment, judgement, responsibility, maturity, co-operations, and culture. His/her horizon expands and becomes an educated being. This is the process of social adaptation.
Factors affecting Social Development
● Religious institutions
● Means of entertainment and information
● Physical health
● Intellectual health
● Community influence
The term personal development is a combination of our social, mental, and emotional development. There are numerous factors which affect the development of each aspect. Development is a continuous process which goes on till human demise. The pace of development in individuals distinguishes us from each other. It is possible to work on personal development and make our personality pleasant and presentable.
Written by: Girish Rohra Chawla
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