Blogging As A Personal Development Tool

Everybody is blogging these days. Some are doing it for the money. Some are doing it for celebrity, while others are doing it for being noticed and getting a better job. Some of them are good technical bloggers, while others are blogging about sex or about travel.

I blog for more than 5 years now and one of the reasons I started it was for lobby. At that time I was an active player in the Romanian web publishing market and I decided it’s time to create an independent traffic measurement tool. It took more than 2 years but I finally got this thing started and it’s now live and working for the entire industry.

Blogging is certainly one of the most powerful and effective ways to create. It can bring you money, fame, it can spread your ideas and create communities, or it can bring close to you fascinating people. But the bigger, healthier and more interesting benefit of blogging among all is for personal development. I already wrote how I use travel for personal development, why I recommend entrepreneurship as personal development tool and even a post about astrology and personal development. If you’re not so much into astrology I recommend you to read first this article about understanding astrology.

In today’s post I’ll outline 5 reasons for which blogging is a fantastic tool for personal development.

1. Empty Your RAM By Blogging

One of the fundamentals principles of GTD (Getting Things Done) is to get rid of open loops. Open loops are thoughts which are constantly taking the scene of your mind until you find a way to organize them. Emptying the mind is a GTD technique in which you are writing down everything that’s on your mind, in order to decompress and let your brain do what it does best: creativity.

Blogging is a fantastic tool for that. Just writing out your problems could be enough to find the solution. Blogging is also great for setting a pace, for creating a rythm for your mind. Not to mention the support in making those mind emptying sessions into a constant habit. Although there is quite a difference between blogging and journaling there are common components, emptying the mind being one of them.

Since I started this personal development blog a lot of my mind clutter was gone. Just being able to keep a posting routine and a blogging setup in which I write and organize my activity is enough to make me lighter and clearer. A happy mind is most of the time an empty mind.

2. Keep Track Of Your Progress

All you write in your blog will be there in 3 years too (assuming you’re not going to intentionally wipe it down). Do you remember what you did 3 years ago? Like in each day? Or at least in each week? Well, you will in 3 years from now because you are keeping track of your life with your blog.

Assessing progress is often difficult in personal development, because it’s always inside the process. If you’re exercising, you have to watch the exercise process, if you’re learning a new language, you’ll have to watch the logs for that, and so on. Blogging makes it easy for you to witness everything you try, do, or intend to do, regardless of the specific process. It’s an universal assessment tool.

Reading some of the posts I wrote 3 years ago on this blog is an interesting experience. If I would start again, I wouldn’t write some of those posts, that’s for sure. Looking back at that phase is revealing me things that I didn’t even know I was doing at that time. I was hasty, unfocused and careless. I wonder how this post will look to me in 3 years from now. 🙂

3. Stand Up For Your Decisions

Blogging is a public activity. And by that, it enhances one of the key ingredients in personal development: accountability. All you write is public, it can be seen, commented on and quoted. Your ideas, goals and activities will be in open view. And if you say you’re going to improve yourself in some way, well, you must at least start doing it, since so many people already know about it, right?

Accountability is a close relative of responsibility. And with responsibility starts every meaningful change in your life. The moment you take responsibility for all your acts, you create a handle for your reality, you can influence it. If you put the responsibility for your acts on somebody else, you’re going to give him your reality handle too. And that would be really bad.

Blogging was certainly one of the most important accountability enhancers for me. I remember that one year ago I started a blog challenge: 90 posts in 90 days. I failed miserably at it, with only 17 posts, after which I got horribly ill. But I fully accepted it. Several months after I started a new challenge: one post every 2 days. Guess what, I’m doing great with it!

4. Discipline

Keeping a blog posting routine is great for discipline. It’s not that difficult to write a blog post every 2 days, after all. But keeping this habit for several months has tremendous implications. You become confident. Your self-esteem increases. You start tackling more and more difficult tasks because you now have the ability to do it.

Discipline is one of the most valuable yet difficult to obtain assets for personal development. It’s hard to create an effective scaffold for it, mostly because you perceive the things you have to do as a burden. Discipline is used to overcome obstacles, to win battles and to conquer heights. And by its very nature discipline is fundamentally opposed to pleasure.

But blogging can create a shortcut here. If you’re not overly pessimistic, writing about things you like – which is what blogging is supposed to be – can be a lot of fun. Writing daily about things you like also have this side effect of enhancing your over all discipline capacity. Keeping a blog for several months is in itself a little victory over your own procrastination tendencies. After this simple, yet pleasurable conquest, who knows, you may even start exercising daily. Or start a business. Or travel the world. And all was started with just a blog posting routine.

5. It’s All About Relationships

Having a blog is a two way communication. Everything you write is subject to a potential comment (if you’re not closing comments, which can make your blogging a little bit boring). And the people behind those comments are forming your relationship network. Blogging is a great way to meet people. Real life, like minded, interesting people.

Since I started to blog constantly here, more than 7 months ago, I met a tremendous amount of people. Some of them proved to be real assets, persons who are making a big difference in the personal development blogging niche. Some of them proved to be just nice people to talk and have around.

Whatever the role of those new people in your life, the simple fact that they are interacting with you is a great reward. Answering comments, taking challenges or even accepting writing suggestions from your readers are just some of the ways in which blogging can enhance your relationships skills. The most I get to know people, the better I get to know myself.

***

So, these are the 5 main points which are making blogging one of the most powerful and yet easy to use tools for personal development. Do you have other reasons in mind? Other blogging experiences? Suggestions? Would love to hear about them in the comments.



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I’m blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You’re invited, by the way.

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Blogging is much more fun than I thought it would be. I was quite timid at first and was relieved to find the blogging community so wonderfully friendly and supportive. You’re right – the people you meet and the relationships you can build are amazing.

    Laurie | Express Yourself to Success’s last blog post..Don’t Take It Personally

  2. Dragos, I try to publish an article every other day as well. And I’ve met a LOT of great people during my 5 month blogging career including you! I’m so thankful for all of my great new friends and I have learned and grown a great deal in just these last few months. Keep up the great work!

    Stephen – Rat Race Trap’s last blog post..Your Brain on Food and Supplements – Serotonin

  3. Whether you start blogging for fun, or with the intention of doing it professionally, it’s still something you need to grow in to. Your absolutely right about it being a personal development tool, Dragos. Blogging is a path of inner discovery that will help you define your true self while connecting with other creative and motivated people.

    Jonathan – Advanced Life Skills’s last blog post..65 Ways to Make Her Feel Special

  4. @Laurie: meeting new people is so rewarding, and blogging make these encounters much more effective: you get to know people with common interests and ideas.

  5. @Stephen: I’m very reluctant to routine, I’m having a hard time doing stuff continuously. Blogging was such a help in making me a more disciplined person. As for the other encounters, of course, it’s like finding a lost group 🙂

  6. @Jonathan: I like that: a path of inner discovery. 🙂 Connection with others is certainly a great incentive on this path.

  7. As a teenager I had a goal of writing a thousand books. 🙂 he he.
    Then I wrote the first one when I was 24 and hasn’t written anything since then. However, I still cherish that dream and have developed many convenient reasons why I’ve not written another book since then. Yet, as a pastor for over 12 years now, I have lots of sermons and materials I could draw from to write as many books as possible, I just haven’t had the discipline to put it all together.
    Now, however, thanks to blogging, I have over 100 articles well written and edited. And now it seems like books will start popping up soon…lol.

    WD Favour’s last blog post..Human Opinion is Plastic 3

  8. I find blogging very therapeutic. Sometimes it allows me to escape from work or other demands in my life. Sometimes it lets me explore a topic I want to think about more. I also like the way it allows me to connect with people I would normally not encounter.

    Asad’s last blog post..Am I a Foodie?

  9. I have fun with my blog and also use it to inspire as much as I can.
    Sharing career advice using my own experiences. It is my escape after work some times.
    I have gotten a lot out of having a blog. One of the best experiences was have the grand daughter and daughter of a Mathematician I had written about- comment on the post.
    Then the many interesting and admirable people I have acquired as friends even on line. The community is great !

    Bunnygotblog’s last blog post..Chillin’ Like A Villain

  10. I think if you are writing about a subject you are passionate about, you will find lots of like minded people to communicate with in the blogging world. The sharing of ideas, through posts and comments, lead to more ideas. The interaction and encouragement can help you develop certain things more and more. So blogging as a personal development tool – most definitely! I have my main site, and even a few smaller blogs on specific things I do, like tennis, and find that it does help me, having people to converse with about particular goals I’m reaching for.

    ~ Kristi

    Kikolani’s last blog post..What is Success?

  11. @WD Favour: wow, that’s impressive. I read most of your articles and I find them inspiring and well written. A book would definitely be a good idea. Thanks for stopping by and keep coming back 🙂

  12. @Bunnygotblog: fantastic experience, I bet it was a fantastic virtual encounter. One of the great advantages of blogging is the fact that you’re exposing yourself to a great community. And that community is shaped by your thoughts and writing.

  13. @Kikolani: I like the idea of creating bigger and bigger things out of small interactions, I think you touched a very sensitive spot here. Thanks 🙂

  14. “A happy mind is most of the time an empty mind.”

    I dislike this conclusion. You may find rewarding the fact that you put away all your problems for a while, but in the long run you’re happy because you’ve found good-enough solutions to your problems and not that you found a way to stop thinking about them by publishing on the web.
    A better solution might be being happy while solving your problems, like with math.

  15. I read an article in a magazine about blogging, and after that I really wanted to start my own blog. It lasted for about 2 and half weeks, because the topic wasn’t me. So I deleted it.
    Now reading this, I really want to try it again and start a new blog, but how do you start? What do you write about? What should I avoid writing about?

    Thank you btw, this blog and other articles you have written has helped me through a lot of obsticles in my life. I’m glad to say that you my friend has improved my life !!!

  16. […] valuable but it will also bring new people into your life. Blogging is far more than a hype, is a personal development tool. A very good […]

  17. […] valuable but it will also bring new people into your life. Blogging is far more than a hype, is a personal development tool. A very good […]

  18. Dear Dragos,
    I’m a regular reader of your blog & all your posts are awesome 🙂
    I’ve a quick personal doubt, so no need to approve/post this comment. I read blogs also as a way to improve my English skills & vocabulary(Because English is not my primary language). So in this post when u write ‘an universal’, it was a bit confusing or misleading my knowledge about vowels(Especially when someone writes whose primary language is English). So I Googled and found it should be ‘a universal’. Please clarify. Link is this: http://www.outsports.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=14794&mode=threaded&pid=312893

    Excerpt:
    (When u makes the a sound as the Y in You, then a is used.
    a union
    a united front
    a unicorn
    a used napkin
    a U.S. ship )

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