BY SIMONE SMITH
I want to start off by saying thank you to all the Toronto Caribbean Newspaper readers. The last few months have been hectic, yet the growth that I see within The Toronto Caribbean Newspaper is exactly what life is about; a team coming together and working towards a purpose that is beyond our egos and selfish needs. What I have realized working with The Toronto Caribbean Newspaper team is that with the right support systems you are capable of many things. I want to congratulate the team for winning BEST PRINT PUBLICATION, at The Caribbean Music and Entertainment Awards on Saturday, September 24, 2016. I had the chance to attend and it provided me with a sense of purpose; I am truly a part of something that is going to do wonders for our community, and our world.
I thought presenting the achievements of the team would be a great way to write on a topic that I speak on regularly; personal development and the importance of it. Many of us want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves; I believe that it is selfish in a certain way. It is knowing that if the people around you are doing well, as long as you are putting in the work, you will do well. What many do not realize is that in order to truly be impactful, you must work on yourself first.
Over the last year or so, I have been providing information concerning self-development and today I am hoping to take some of these abstract topics and making them a bit more concrete. This week, my research comes from Dr. Paul T.P. Wong’s lecture on the Journey of Personal Development (2013). In this lecture, Dr. Paul Wong spoke extensively on restoring areas of brokenness in a persons’ life. According to Wong (2013), this restoration occurs in three steps: Knowing yourself, Healing yourself, and Transcending yourself. Each step is necessary in achieving true meaningfulness in one’s life. Personal development is a process and it is much easier said than done. When I work with clients or people in the community, I let them know that it is important to understand the implications of personal development; it is not easy. Certain realizations can bring up uncomfortable feelings because sometimes there are parts of our lives that we have kept under lock and key. In order to truly heal oneself, it means that you have to open these parts of yourself and become vulnerable. Vulnerability is scary because it means that you leave yourself open to being hurt or reinjured all over again. It takes tenacity, perseverance and dedication to go through the personal development process; it is not meant for the weak, which is why many people do not do it.
I am going to continue to write on this topic, but I am going to leave you off with some self reflection questions. These questions are taken from The Life Orientation Scale, ©Paul T.P. Wong. These questions are meant to have you thinking more about how you look at life:
Please answer the following questions on a five-point scale the answer that best reflects your belief: Strongly Disagree, Disagree, Undecided, Agree, Strongly Agree.
- No matter how painful the situation, life is still worth living.
- I am willing to sacrifice personal interests for the greater good.
- There is a reason for everything that happens to me.
- There is no ultimate meaning and purpose in life.
- I can find something meaningful or significant in everyday events.
- The meaning of life is to “eat, drink and be happy.”
- There is no point in searching for meaning in life.
- Personal happiness and success are more important to me than achieving inner goodness and moral excellence.
- I would rather be a happy pig than a sad saint.
Readers do your best to answer these as honestly as possible, and the next issue I will share with you how to deal with the angst that comes with knowledge of self.