As Dan Kahneman makes abundantly clear, humans have a specific mode of thought that enables action. He calls this “fast thinking” or “intuition”. It is the mode of thought that we use most of the time because most of the time we are active. And most of the time, our fast thinking gives us the appropriate or correct answers to the challenges we face. So I don’t have to think about how to get out of bed, except when I celebrated my birthday the evening before.
But fast thinking has its limitations. It is based on our PAST experiences and the belief structures that these experiences give us. In other words, we are on auto pilot. And for that reason, fast thinking does not give us room to break free of those experiences and beliefs.
For this reason “your reality” — to the extent it is based on fast thinking is not universal. It is personal to you. That is fine. But there are times when we need to assess what the hell is outside of our personal reality. These are growth moments. Moments when we question who we are, where we are and where we should go.
From this perspective, one can see that the phrase “personal development” applies in two different contexts. On the one hand, it applies to situations where we become more efficient in doing what we need to do. More productive, more alert, etc. Better fast thinking. On the other hand, it applies to situations where we need to stop and reflect and change. Perhaps that is why the phrase can be confusing.