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How Do I Choose the Best Personal Development Guide?

By B. Miller
Updated May 17, 2024
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The personal development guide you choose will largely depend on your goals, your existing beliefs, and the way you learn best. Some people find that one-on-one sessions with a life coach will be best for them, if they feel they really need to overhaul their entire life. Others may find that attending a conference or intensive weekend session with other people may work best for them, because it allows for a built-in support system. On the other hand, many people do just fine simply reading a personal development guide in book form, and working through the ideas on their own.

Whether it is an independent book, or whether it is associated with a class or one-on-one session with a life coach, a personal development guide is designed to provide tools and strategies to allow you to realize your existing potential, determine your goals and hopes for the future, and develop a plan to meet those goals. There are various ways this can be approached, and one of the more common include teachings and plans associated with a certain religion or spiritual practice. For some people, this is exactly what they are looking for; others may find that the whole idea makes them uncomfortable. It is important to find a personal development guide that speaks to you, otherwise the whole practice is moot.

In addition, consider your specific goals when choosing a personal development guide. Some people are happy overall with their lives, and just want to address one specific area, such as career or relationships. Others want to completely start over. Your goals for your personal development project will greatly impact the way you choose to go about it. Taking a personal development class, for example, may be a great way to develop your career goals, whereas working through a text independently may help give you some insights into improving your relationships or communication abilities.

Searching online for various opportunities can show you what your options are. Another idea might be to ask some friends to see if they have ever participated in seminars or classes in personal development, to see if they have any recommendations. This is especially true if you will be paying a fee to take a course or work with a life coach, since this is an area in which scams are not only possible, but are fairly likely. If you have a particular course in mind, searching online for reviews might be a good idea as well.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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