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  • Penny Muller

Self-Development Can Be Fun

Updated: Aug 25

When talking about self-development, Abraham Hicks often says "There's nothing serious going on here''.

And there doesn't have to be.


I love me some self-development, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know that not everyone will resonate with this pull towards continuous growth, and like everything in life, it is a personal choice. In spiritual terms, people talk about the most prominent universal law as being the 'law of non-intervention', which means that not even our spirit guides and guardian angels can interfere with our personal choice. They can help us on our path to growth only if we make our intentions and wishes known.

To me, choosing not to work on self-development would mean being stuck in holding patterns that would impede my happiness. We form habits of mind and body in early childhood, sometimes in the first year of life. Because we may not have conscious awareness of these, they can be difficult to shift. We do, however, still have desires, and these may not be able to be manifested from within these holding patterns. We all know what Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well, this is where self-development becomes necessary. For me, moving forward, growing, changing and becoming un-stuck are the keys to joy and fulfillment. This is about being the creators of our lives, having the power to release everything that is not serving us, and stepping into a greater awareness of the possibilities.

I have a tendency to talk about self-development as 'work'. I will say:


''I think I need to work on having more fun, so I've decided to read some novels for no reason''


or


''I'm working on having more pleasure because it will help me to be more connected to my physical self and my sacral chakra''.


Not every personality will relate to the idea of needing a reason for having fun, or having to choose to have fun because it is 'good for us'. It probably sounds ridiculous to some people. But, this is why we have laughing clubs - because for some people, fun needs to be planned and organised. Also, we all have fun in different ways, and this is okay too.

I was researching Montessori with a student recently and I read that Montessori discovered through her observation of young children that children preferred to work rather than to play. Born in 1870, Maria Montessori was the first woman in Italy to graduate from medical school - an inspirational doctor and a pioneer in early childhood education. Before Montessori, young children were more or less seen and not heard, and their educational needs were not considered to be of particular value. So, I love Maria Montessori; and also Steiner, another visionary, who believed that children should be engaged in adult tasks - work - at a young age. In the early childhood profession, we are also familiar with the concept of play being considered children's work.


So, this might somewhat account for society's propensity to have young children engaged in 'work' as early as possible. There is also the unconscious belief that all that is valuable in life involves hard work. We can implicate the Industrial Revolution and the Protestant work ethic while we're on this subject.


Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up,

Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, hurry up,

Can't waste time - can't waste time -

Can't waste time - can't waste time

When you're racing with the clock

When you're racing with the clock

And the second hand doesn't understand

That your back may break and your fingers ache

And your constitution isn't made of rock


- The Pajama Game

Getting back to the topic of self-development, rather than seeing personal growth as 'work', why not see it as 'play'. Instead of saying that play is our work, we could view our work as being our play.


The reason why the word 'play' is so important here is that play implies creativity and innovation - essential 21st Century Skills. Creative thinking is about exploring, tinkering, testing, trying, observing, interacting, immersing and connecting. Creativity can be hampered by time constraints. It is process-oriented and processes cannot be rushed. Creativity is about theories and ideas - playing with ideas in our minds. It involves ongoing adaptability to new stimulus and priorities. The world of work has changed and will be all be needing to use critical and creative thinking. The 21st Century will be a Renaissance of creativity. Play will be the new work.

In uncertain times and in times of change, like those in which we are now living, we will need to be creative, flexible, adaptable, innovative and resourceful just to keep up with things. And, if we want to build an incredible, expansive life, these will be imperative. Some people have reinvented themselves during the pandemic, and this is very inspiring to me. It is time to learn how to play again, like we did when we were children, if we were lucky enough to have had the opportunity to play.


Personal development involves upgrading the body, mind and spirit, and these are hard to separate from each other as they all play upon one another. The more that they become integrated, the more quickly the upgrades can happen.


So, for the body, we might say:


''I'm going to try some new, healthy recipes''

''I'm going to play with moving my body in new ways''

''I'm going to explore a new place when I go for a walk today''

''I'm going to smell and touch and taste something different today''


For the mind, we might say:


''I'm going to have fun learning about money mindset, personal style or personality types''

''I'm going to dabble in journaling''


And for the spirit, we might say:


''I'm going to experiment with crystals, meditation, chakra alignment, manifesting, or a gratitude practice''

Nothing serious is going on here. Self-development is a lifelong process that continues over many lifetimes. The more that we play with it in this lifetime, the richer our lives will become. It is not a requirement of existing, but it is a magical elixir that creates a life well lived. Let's make this a game rather than an imposition. Knowing that my body, my mind and my spirit are capable of infinite growth and development has given me so much more passion for life. There is no chance to become bored because there is so much still to experience. I've barely tapped into the potential that is there. Exciting? Yes! So, let's play.




Abraham-Hicks Publications. (2021). Abraham-Hicks Publications - Law of Attraction Official Site


All The Lyrics. (2021). The Pajama Game soundtrack – Hurry Up Hurry Up lyrics (allthelyrics.com)


Australian Government Department of Education, Skills and Employment. (2021). Links to 21st century learning - Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au)

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