The History Of The Personal Development Movement In America
Think And Grow Rich book

The book that started it all for me…

When you hear the term “personal development”, what sorts of images come into mind? Do you picture Tony Robbins standing on stage, whipping his crowd of followers into an excited frenzy by talking about awakening “the giant within”? Or do you think of a woman in yoga class, doing the ancient postures and getting in touch with the flow of the universe?

For most people personal development is a very positive force that they have very positive feelings about. However, there are still some out there who see it as woo-woo, feel good, nonsense that distracts us from addressing the sometimes harsh realities of life.

In today’s post I wanted to take a look at where this exciting thing we call the personal development movement originated, and how it has grown to be such a big part of our modern culture.

What Exactly Is Personal Development?

Personal development (also sometime referred to a “self-help”) is all about improving your life and your experience as a human being on this planet. This can take many different forms for different people.

Some are most interested in activities that will improve there self-awareness and help them to develop an improved sense of identity. Others are more interested in the more material side of things and focus on ways to make more money, manifest wealth, and improve their overall standard of living. And there is also an aspect of personal development that has to do with improving one’s health, longevity, and energy levels through diet and exercise.

This is of course a gross over-generalization, but basically that’s what it comes down to – becoming the most effective version of oneself in order to experience greater degrees of radiant health, serenity, peace, happiness, security, joy, love, abundance, high self-esteem and so forth.

There are also a wide variety of activities that people engage in on there path towards personal development. These can include reading books, listening to audio tapes and watch video trainings, as discussed in this post on the Ancient Secrets of Kings. There are also all kinds of different classes, seminars and retreats that one can sign up for, ranging from inexpensive yoga or martial arts classes, all the way up to exclusive retreats with personal development gurus which can cost upwards of several thousand dollars.

Many people involved in personal development also opt to work one-on-one with a a teacher or mentor who can advise them on their personal development journey over an extended period of time.

Personal Development’s Origins

Many religions and ancient philosophies can be thought of as having a personal development aspect to them. Through prayer and meditation followers can attempt to become closer to the divine creator and experience a greater sense of peace and meaning in their lives. Also, when we look at eastern religion we can see that many practices such as yoga, acupuncture and meditation can help the practitioner to improve energy levels, mental clarity and health.

In the United States, many see the “New Thought” movement as the beginning of what has morphed into the modern personal development movement. The “New Thought” or “Higher Thought” movement was a spiritual movement born in the United States in the 1800’s which was based on the teachings of a man named Phineas Quimby.

One key figure in the progression of the personal development movement was a guy named Wallace Wattles who published a book called “The Science of Getting Rich” back in 1910. The idea was that one can mold oneself into an individual worthy tremendous wealth, simply by tweaking your personal habits and daily thoughts.

Wattles’ book was followed by Napoleon Hill’s “Think And Grow Rich” which was much more widely read (over 20 million copies sold), and is still considered a must read for those interested in using personal development as a vehicle for achieving wealth. The book was based on over 20 years worth of research conducted by Hill. Hill spent time with the richest men in America figuring out how they thought differently than the common man, and how their thinking enabled them to achieve such a high level of financial success.

Another notable figure in the personal development movement was Earl Nightingale. Nightingale was a radio show host, writer speaker and author known as the “Dean of Personal Development.” He co-founded The Nightingale-Conant Corporation which published numerous personal development audio recordings on vinyl.

Since Earl Nightingale there have been dozens of other well known personal development gurus who have enjoyed a wide following. Some of the more famous of these men include Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Bob Proctor, and Tony Robbins.

Personal development really exploded onto the mainstream scene in 2006 with the release of the movie The Secret. The film was made up of interviews with many personal development experts who teach all about how attract or “manifest” the things we want in life using the secret “Law Of Attraction”

While the personal development movement/industry continues to evolve the underlying concepts are timeless. In my experience the best thing to do is to read personal development books by a few different authors and try to find a mentor who’s message really resonates with you.

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Using Ancient Secrets To Fuel Your Personal Development
asian castle

The holy palace

Do you ever feel like your life has gotten to a point where you feel like you are going absolutely nowhere? Does it ever feel like you are simply going through the motions, doing the same repetitive tasks day after day without a clear plan of how to move forward with your life?

These are actually very common feelings, especially among people who are interested in personal development and getting more out of life. When people feel this way it is only natural that they would seek out answers, and many turn to personal growth gurus like Tony Robbins or watch movies like “The Secret” to try to figure how to make the changes that they want in life.

The question is finding the best and most motivating information that is going to be able to snap you out of you funk and put you on the path to all of your dreams coming true. Unfortunately however there are a lot of books and gurus and such to choose from, so it can take a while to go through enough of them to find one that resonates with you enough to really spur you into action and get you moving in the right direction.

I know I’ve read a lot of books on this subject and it certainly took me a while to find anything that really spoke to me the way I needed to be spoken to!

That being said, one place you may want to start is with a program called Ancient Secrets of Kings. You can read a full review here:

The thing I like about this course is that it takes you back to the beginning where you can learn the personal development secrets that allowed some of the most powerful men in the history of the world to amass their great fortunes. I suppose the course doesn’t take you back quite to the very beginning – but it takes you back a pretty far way!

I think its probably a better idea to learn about this kind of stuff from kings who ruled vast empires and has entire palaces built out of gold than it is to take pointers to from some modern day guy who has a book on Amazon but might not really be all that successful by comparison.

The Ancient Secrets Of Kings program is video course which is perfect if you prefer watching videos over reading books. I like both learning modalities myself, but watching a video is probably the easier of the two since instead of needing to hold a book and turn page you can just kick back and look at a screen. This makes note taking very easy and as an aside I should say that it is definitely a good idea to watch these sorts of video programs through a few times and take copious amounts of notes just to make sure that all the learning really has a chance to sink in.

If you find this interesting you may also want to check out a new program called Thought Elevators. It’s a bit more high-tech as it is based on using media (audio and visual files) to affect your brain waves in a positive manner. Apparently, by spending time is a state where your Theta brain waves are dominant you can “sculpt” your mind in a way that opens you up for greater happiness and personal success! There is an article going into depth about this program here:

Interestedly enough, this Thought Elevators program is also based on ancient knowledge. Asian monks have been developing ways to meditate for centuries and centuries. It’s just that, until recently scientists didn’t really understand what was happening to the brain during these deep levels of meditation. Now that we know I think it only makes sense to take advantage of this powerful self-development tool.

I hope that you have found this little primer to be helpful and enlightening. Trust me, once you get started with studying personal development – you’ll be hooked!


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Manifesting Vibrant Health – Old School Fitness Tricks

As somebody interested in a holistic approach to personal development, I feel it is very important to pay attention to all aspects of one’s being, including: the physical, the mental, the emotional, and the spiritual.

So many people get so obsessed with manifesting wealth and improving their standard of living that they totally neglect their physical bodies, which is so ridiculous. After all, if you aren’t healthy, you won’t have the energy to enjoy your money, or your freedom, or your relationships!

I think that one of the biggest reasons that so many people neglect their physical health is because they are lazy. Yep, I said it! However, once you get started on your personal development path, you should be feeling more and more optimistic, empowered and energetic. And, physical fitness is a great place to direct some of this new found energy. Trust me, the benefits will be well worth it. Plus, as you lose weight and improve your cardiovascular health you will feel even more energized and you can channel that energy back to whatever else you prefer to focus on.

I’ve found that the trick is to work out regularly, but not to overdo it with long boring workouts or a ton of cardio. In the Old School New Body review video above you can learn about a new system based on old school fitness tricks, which many folks over 35 are using to look and feel young and vital.

The idea is to use compound of “multi-joint” exercises like the squat, deadlift and bench press to burn maximum calories and properly train your muscles without putting undo stress on your joints, central nervous system and other systems of the body. There is of course a lot more to this fitness system, but that is the basic idea. Watch the video above for details.


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The information on this website is provided as an information resource only. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. NEVER DISREGARD PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL ADVICE OR DELAY SEEKING MEDICAL TREATMENT BECAUSE OF SOMETHING YOU HAVE READ ONLINE.

Affiliate Disclosure:
This website contains Affiliate links in the form of banner ads and/or text links. We track clicks sent through these links and receive a commission on sales made through these links. You should assume that any product recommendations we make may potentially be influenced by the fact that we receive commissions for recommending the products mentioned.

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