A heart-shaped holeWhen it comes to personal development there’s no shortage of good “how to guides” out there.

A quick search online or in your favourite bookstore will reveal a surprising abundance of advice on subjects as diverse as how to manage your time effectively, how to lose weight, reduce stress, improve your communication skills, increase your confidence or create a life of bliss.

I will admit that there’s rarely a universal or one size fits all solution that suits everyone but my point is, when it comes to personal development, it’s rarely a lack of knowledge that stops me from taking action. If anything, knowledge – the “how to” bit – is quite literally, the easy part.

So, if we have the knowledge, what gets in the way?

Let me ask this another way: If we’ve already got the “how to guide”, how come we’re not all our ideal weight, physically fit, stress free with tidy homes fit to grace any lifestyle magazine and an abundance of time to spare?

The most common reason is that we don’t follow through with actions.

We know what to do – maybe not perfectly or completely – but we fail to act upon our knowledge.

We don’t make time to manage our time – we are more concerned that we will upset/disappoint/annoy others if we cut them short, don’t visit or fail to make time for them. We don’t plan our meals and buy food to support that plan, instead we buy what we need on the way home from work when we’re tired, grouchy and hungry. Despite being really busy we continue to say “Yes” (or at least, fail to say “No”) to things we know will increase our stress levels…

When it comes to taking action we discover, our heart isn’t in it.

Until we are fully committed – willing to put our heart into it – the knowledge, the how-to will be a false promise. Even worse, the guilt of knowing that we haven’t yet transformed can be more of a burden.

So take a minute today as you have your cup of tea or coffee and ask yourself, what would it take for you to be ready to embrace one change, just one call to growth? No “shoulds”, no guilt, just one thing… if you could be motivated by love for you and your higher self, what would you do today?