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learning is a personal development skill

One Personal Development Skill That Can Make You Or Break You

Have you ever wondered what all the successful people did to become successful? Well, you weren’t alone in that case; I used to wonder about that all the time! I always wanted to uncover what that one personal development skill or strength was. That was a secret, and it needed to be uncovered.

What Is That One Personal Development Skill?

Recently, I came across an article, which spoke about a five-hour week that most successful people follow. These five hours are spent in acquiring self development skills and learning besides other things.

According to the article, most successful people that include Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Oprah Winfrey are voracious readers. They spend a large amount of time reading every single day. I can understand that completely!

Ah! So, that’s the secret! Reading!

If we don’t read, we don’t expand our horizons. Whether you’re an employee of a company, or an employer, you can do your work better with more learning, whether you read, watch or experiment.

Reading is something that a lot of people abandon on the roadside because there are more interesting things to be done (hanging out on social media being one).

You see, we often believe that you can only learn up to a certain time in your life. And that you most often cannot teach an old dog new tricks.

Learning Should Be Life Long

We have to learn in order to grow! We start with school and then somewhere along the way a lot of us leave school with a sigh of relief that we no longer have to study. But studying and learning aren’t very different in my opinion.

There’s only one major difference I consider – “studying” is almost a compulsion. But when that same “studying” is undertaken by people with no fear of having to prove themselves through exams, it transforms into a pleasurable activity.

I think our current education system really doesn’t get it! The potential we’re all born with is grossly under-utilized. Time and again, studies have proven that the methodology used to teach us how to read and count really fall far short of what we can actually accomplish.

Add to that, teachers who cannot make lessons interesting. I have had a lot of really great educators, but with all due respect to them who contribute so greatly to our development and growth, most of them are just doing a “job”. They fail to engage the students, and as a result, a lot of students lose interest in a subject and believe they’re no good at it. In reality, the teacher has failed to ignite a student’s mind and passion for that subject.

This feeling of hopelessness and feeling useless and dumb become pervasive in these students’ lives. They then carry these feeling with them into their future.

Our learning abilities are stunted as we continue through life, and to a lot of people, learning ends when we leave school because we didn’t enjoy it while we were there.

However, it’s only those people that continue to spend time on learning and acquiring other personal development skill, are the only lifelong learners who reap the benefits of the vast sea of knowledge surrounding us. That brings me back to what the 5-hour week is.

What Is the 5-Hour Week?

The 5-hour week is taking an hour everyday, five days a week, for personal development by learning something new. That one personal development skill you need to get to the next level is learning.

You might be wondering how do you learn, and what do you learn, right?

The thing is, you’re the best judge about what you need to learn. But let me make this a little bit easier for you.

You might have dreamed of learning to play the guitar. And you told yourself you didn’t have the time, energy or money. Your guitar lessons were far away and you wouldn’t be able to get yourself to them every week after work.

Now, in this day and age of technology, all you would need to do is find a virtual class, and dedicate an hour, five times a week, and get learning. It really doesn’t sound that difficult when you break it down to it’s smallest steps, does it?

Let’s take another example – what if you were looking for a promotion? The thing that might have been stopping you could be your fear of taking more responsibilities because you have a young family and you need more time for them.

But how about if you dedicated an hour everyday, to learn some productivity techniques? There are books you could read, loads of articles on the internet, and YouTube videos you can watch. Again, when you break them down, the challenges seem pretty easy to solve.

Once you’ve mastered some productivity techniques and figured out how to do more in less time, maybe you could be ready for more responsibilities. This would definitely be a huge return on your investment of an hour of learning everyday.

In essence, in 5 hours in a week, you spend time developing yourself through learning. And this helps you big time in your personal development.

Pause, Reflect, Apply Your Learning

What else could help?

All the learning you’ll be doing is just the tip of the iceberg. What would get you bigger results is if you were to pause, reflect and then find ways to apply your new learning.

As you start developing new skills through learning, you’ll find more things to learn. Thirst for knowledge is unquenchable. The more you learn, the more you want to learn. It’s kinda addictive!


I have always been a big proponent of pushing one’s boundaries to be more, and do more. It’s important to spend time reading up on various things; and to learn something new every single day. As I often say to my clients, if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. This is what my coach had told me, and I am never afraid to pass on this nugget of wisdom to others.

Create your personal development plan. Embrace the concept of a 5-hour week and see yourself evolve quickly and watch yourself achieve more than you could have ever imagined!


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