Personal growth and development takes place, whether we consciously work at it or not. Every trial and tribulation in life is another opportunity for personal growth. The way we process and handle these events determines the amount of ourselves that gets developed. The following tips can give you some ideas on how to take advantage of your next personal development opportunity.

Practice the art of being selfless. When you help others, you begin to notice the true, caring self within you by caring for others and focusing less on yourself. Helping someone else in need is one of the best stress-relievers, and when you sacrifice something of yourself to help another, you start to realize your full self.

Believe it or not being too nice to others often means not being nice enough to yourself. Part of personal development is fulfilling the obligation to self and this cannot always be accomplished when you are at the beck and call of a dozen individuals. You need to put yourself at the top of your list of priorities, and then tend to others.

Take at least one step daily toward achieving your goal. This step can be small, or large, but it is necessary to take a step each day. Doing this keeps you on track, and helps you to remain focused. It also gets the necessary steps accomplished so that your end result comes closer and closer.

A great way to help one’s mood is to live in the here and now. The idea is similar to the idea in Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now.” If you live in the present moment, you cannot ever possibly be in pain, because to know pain there has to be a past.

Set deadlines. Deadlines are an important part of keeping you on track in attaining your goals. You should set completion deadlines as well as interim deadlines for each. Deadlines should be realistic, but at the same time should also challenge you toward fulfilling what you have determined it is that you want to do.

Most people don’t make an effort to nag others – it just comes naturally. Unfortunately, nagging can have quite the opposite effect: building resentment and sacrificing productivity. You may find that your requests can be summed up tidily in a one-word reminder instead of a long rant about how angry you will be if your spouse forgets to pick up milk at the store. You might shorten it to a single word: “Milk!” Even though this is a minor change it can get to the point very quick.

Reduce the amount of stress in your life by eating right. Avoid the usual junk food, which can actually lead to stress by making you feel guilty. Eat a balanced, healthy diet every day and it will actually fight stress. You will look better, and more importantly, you will feel better.

Personal growth is not always easy; in fact, sometimes it involves a lot of personal pain before the growth and development begins. As we make our way through life, it helps to maximize each challenge and look for the good in it so that we can continue to get better at finding true happiness inside ourselves.