The 3 Key Areas of Self-Development: A Simple & Helpful Framework for Measuring Your Progress & Teaching Others Successfully (FREE Diagram & Exercise)
SELF-DEVELOPMENT GETS OVERWHELMING SOMETIMES, doesn’t it??? I mean, if you’re like me, sometimes just one good trip to the bookstore or just one good session online (OR just one, simple halfway-decent blog) results in an AVALANCHE ofinteresting information you wish you could just download into your brain like Neo did in the Matrix (“I know kung-fu…”)
Seriously…if you’re like me, you just want to become the best “you” you can possibly be, but with all the time-management techniques, self-esteem boosters, motivational quotes, health and nutrition advice, new-age metaphysical concepts, Afrocentric thinking, “for women” series, “manhood training,” classical stuff that’s a 100 years old and new stuff that came out 5 minutes ago, it gets hard figuring out where to even start.
Enter “The 3 Key Intelligences”:
Luckily, my father recently shared something with me he calls “The 3 Key Areas of Life,” to help simplify things. He’s not *the first* person I heard this from mind you (all the good stuff comes from my Mom anyway), but he is the first to sit down with me and really school my behind on it. The 3 Key Areas of life are:
1.) Health & Wellness (everything pertaining to your physical wellbeing),
2.) Career & Money (everything pertaining to your financial wellbeing), and
3.) Love (everything pertaining to your relationships).
“Once you have these 3 things, YOU’RE SET: you’ll be happy and feel like you can accomplish anything” he said, “but whenever you DON’T have just one of these 3 things, something feels off. You won’t necessarily understand it, but something will feel missing and you won’t be at 100%.”
Now what made this powerful wasn’t that it just made sense (which it does…more on that later), but that – from my years of writing professionally about personal growth – I know that these three fields actually account for around 70% of ALL sales in the self-development industry.
Let me say that again: the vast majority of REAL money being made in ALL of the self-help books, tapes, programs, lectures and consultations relate to one of these 3 fields (or any of their logical denominations). The actual term for it is “the three ‘mega-niches,’” because this is where people are spending their hard-earned cash.
I call it “The 3 Key Intelligences” because (1) these areas are a good yardstick to measure your own progess, (2) if you’re looking to teach, these three areas are the BEST places to focus your energy and (3) calling it “intelligences” just makes it sound more sophisticated.
Also, if you’re like me, you’ll probably find yourself relatively strong (or just “okay”) in 1 or 2 areas, but needing a little improvement in others, and THIS IS NORMAL. Let’s get started with a quick explanation and then go into depth with a great exercise…
Intelligence #1: Health & Wellness
…which you find in almost anything that pertains to diet, weight loss, vegetarianism, exercise plans, yoga, pilates, etc., etc. I touched on this with posts like “Why I Became Vegetarian” and “How to Eat Healthier AUTOMATICALLY Without Any Conscious Effort” (as well as the video series I did with Nutritional Consultant Hondo Solomon). You can also try recommended scrolls like Afrikan Holistic Health and “Fruits & Farinacea: The Proper Food of Man”.
What makes this one interesting is that IT’S THE ONLY ONE YOU’RE BORN HAVING (excluding those of us born with rare diseases, of course), so consequently, it’s the one most people take completely for granted until it’s too late. Don’t make the same, tragic mistake.
Here, ask yourself questions like: “How confident am I in my overall health?”, “What type of small changes can I start doing to improve?” and lastly, “What do I know about health that I can share with other people?“
Intelligence #2: Finance & Career
…which you find in anything that pertains to professional success, money-management, wealth-building, real estate, internet marketing, forex trading and even time-management (which is all me of course). I touch on this with posts like “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind (Audio-Book Excerpts)” and almost everything I do on getting focused. You can also try recommended scrolls like “The Millionaire Next Door“ and “Living Well On One Income…In a TWO-Income World.”
What makes this one interesting is that IT SETS THE PARAMETERS for how well you enjoy the others. As Norwegian Playwright Henrik Ibsen once said: “Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt…”
So here, ask yourself questions like, “How financially secure do I feel about my (and my family’s) future?” “What type of things will lead me towards economic strength?” and lastly, “What type of skills can I teach to help someone else become more of a financial success???” (This includes public speaking, frugality, etc….think outside of the box if you have to.)
Intelligence #3: Love & Relationships
…which you find in anything that pertains to (obviously) dating advice, marriage counseling, sexuality, etc. etc. and also parenting. I touched on this with posts like “7 Ways to Let Go of a Past Relationship So You Can MOVE ON…” and “WHAT DO WOMEN WANT???” You can also try recommended scrolls like “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” (more on this next week) and “Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem”
What makes this one interesting is that IT’S THE ONLY ONE YOU CAN’T CONTROL. True love (not romantic obsession) only comes around once or twice in a lifetime, and that’s if you’re lucky…because for some people it never comes at all.
So here, ask yourself questions like: “How confident am I in my ability to attract (and keep) a high-quality partner?” “What type of things can I start doing NOW to improve the relationship I already have?” and lastly “What type of things can I teach OTHER people that’ll help them in their dating life or marriage???”
But What About Spirituality, Psychology, etc.???
Now you might be thinking, “Bryan, that sounds good, but what about deeper stuff like psychology and spirituality??? Aren’t those the ‘bigger’ fields that kind of ‘oversee’ these other ones you seem to be talking about?” and my answer is that, even when people cover or research information from those angles, THE RESULTS they’re usually hoping to obtain still come back to these top-three major concerns.
For example, in The (so-called) Secret, almost ALL of the “law of attraction” techniques were explained as conducive to attracting “the perfect mate” (whatever that is, cause NOBODY’s perfect), eliminating a serious illness or attaining financial security (hence the big red Ferrari).
And even with the Think Right Now programs I offer (which are strictly psychological), almost ALL of the products relate to success in business or health-oriented ways, with titles like “I am Smoke Free Now”(health), “Eating For Excellent Health Now!” (health), “Conquering Social Anxiety Now!”(social/career), “Anger-Management Now!”(relationships), “Fearless Public Speaking Now!” (career) and “Accelerated Sales Success Now!” (money), just to name a few…
Be truly honest with yourself and you’ll realize that the REAL reason you study almost ANYTHING psychological, spiritual, etc. etc. ultimately relates back to these three fundamentals. (Even Bobby Hemmitt was selling “Angelic Stimulus Packages” at one time. Remember that?)
Just think for a second: what brings people back to church after DECADES of a more decadent, depraved lifestyle??? RIGHT…usually a life-threatening disease or severe financial turmoil. When do people call out for God and start praying??? When they seriously think they’re going to die!
What I’m really saying here is that these 3 mega-fields are the basic DRIVES that motivate all of our other searching. It’s not that anything else isn’t important, just that it’s human nature to use those other things as conduits towards our more primary needs.
If it feels like I’m trying to confine you by saying “there’s only 3 key areas to study in self-development,” know that this is a framework primarily about HOLDING YOURSELF ACCOUNTABLE for real, actual results. What makes the keys powerful is that they’re the most *objective* areas of study…
Anyone can decide be “spiritual” tonight and return to being a *complete asshole* by tomorrow morning. The 3 keys require you to be empirical and unprejudiced about your own progress, as well as the progress of those around you and the quality of their information. So if someone’s hesitant to consider this idea, they’re probably also hesitant to be more disciplined about their overall personal growth and actual utility of their ideas.
Free Diagram to Pull This All Together
So here’s a pretty cool diagram you can use to put the 3 keys to work. Use the “goals” section in each area to describe what you want to change, the “knowledge” section to describe a thing or two you already know and then SHARE IT WITH SOMEBODY…download the exercise here.
I say teach somebody because that’ll reinforce what you know as well as the fact that you really DO know a lot of things (even if you’re not consciously giving yourself credit for it now).
Also, when I say you should be focused on these fields, I’m not talking about ULTIMATE PERFECTION. For instance, if you’re not in a great financial place right now, but you’re working to get there and you’re on that path, that counts. If you don’t have somebody special, but you’re getting rid of somebody not so special anymore – becoming clearer on what you need and want – that counts too.
This is a framework for growth, not something to beat yourself up about, and remember, anytime you’re sharing knowledge and information, always relate it back to one of these three mega-niches… because this is the type of stuff people are ACTIVELY searching for on their own accord.