It seems that everywhere you turn on the web nowadays there are personal development resources popping up. Thanks to the Internet, we now have a wide variety of online resources and even virtual communities we can participate in to learn how we can make our lives better. Sites such as Zenhabits.net, which has a wealth of information on small things you can do to improve your life through practice. Then there is IWillChangeYourLife.com, a blog started by one man who chronicles the ways he improved his life and found his soulmate, and also gives out tips with the sole purpose of how you can change your life for the better.
All of these are great websites, with a lot of good advice and resources. However, there are times when we want to find resources “on the ground” so to speak in our own local communities. There is something to be said for that face-to-face interaction that local groups and people can provide. Yet, for many of us, we may think that nothing like this exists in our community – that we are too rural to have people like this, or that we live in a city so big we’d never find them if we wanted to. I’m here to tell you that personal development groups exist everywhere – and may even be hiding behind different names – but they are out there and I’m going to show you how to find them.
The first place I want you to look is your local Chamber of Commerce. Many people don’t realize that one of the goals of the local Chamber of Commerce is to improve the community at large. You will often find members of the group are very much interested in not only improving the local community, but also their lives. They can also be a great resource to find other personal development groups in the area. Almost every town, no matter what the size, has a Chamber of Commerce. Seek yours out and find out when they meet and mark it on your calendar to attend and see what it is all about.
Another group that is known for the role of providing people with the courage to speak in front of others can also be a great resource for developing not only your speaking skills, but your people skills as well. Toastmasters International is made up of groups around the world in small towns, factory floors and large cities that meet regularly to help build group members up in the art of public speaking. In doing so, they are also helping them build personal development skills that carry into all aspects of personal and business life. Chances are, there is a group in your community.
Another place in your local community that you will find likeminded people who want to improve their lives and the community at large is local volunteer boards. You’d be surprised how many people who volunteer to be on the Library Board or the School Board are interested in improving the lives of people around them. Often, especially in smaller communities, these groups are eager to find others who want to join and participate. It can not only be a very rewarding experience for yourself, but it can also help so many others in your community as well when you volunteer your time to sit on one of these boards.
Finally, ask at your local church or library about groups that might meet in your area. They often know of several that might interest you. Another great resource for finding groups that meet to talk about personal development issues is fraternal organizations such as the Knights of Columbus, Lion’s Club and others. These groups often have chapters in every community, large and small, and can be a wonderful way to get involved and help improve your life and that of others.
There is a world of resources out there and they may at times be hard to find, but with a little detective work you could be well on your way to finding the local support you need as you continue your journey of improving and developing your personal skills.
Written by David B. Bohl