When I did these three online courses, my personal growth sky-rocketed


The internet is the most empowering tool; here’s how you can use it for self-improvement

Personal growth
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Here’s a personal growth related quote that inspired me –

“Most valuable information is widely accessible. Great books of centuries past are free online. Thinkers of today argue publicly on Twitter. YouTube is a lecture hall that seats millions. Podcasts are private tutors for the masses. A golden age for the self-motivated learner.”
                                                    – @TheStoicEmperor

This tweet pretty much sums up why I believe that there is nothing more empowering than the internet. Its valuable content and online courses can help with your self-improvement goals. This is not taking away the fact that there are equally unhelpful pages on the world wide web that’ll render you no value. (Hello, clickbait!) So to make your life convenient, I’ve compiled the following list of online courses which helped me on my self-improvement journey:

  1. Anger management: We spend most of our lives being angry, and the sad truth is that we don’t even realise it. We get upset that our partner doesn’t change that one habit that ticks us off or that our boss doesn’t appreciate our work as much. Let’s not forget that a*****e who cuts us off while driving or when we used to drive thanks to the pandemic. Yes, news about the pandemic pisses us off, too; news, in general, pisses people off. All of this deserves a bunch of four-lettered colourful words. It makes us feel great momentarily but, then again, the cycle starts. I, too, was a victim of anger without realising it. It held me back in so many ways; I could not use opportunities that came my way because I was sensitive to criticism, thanks to my anger issues. My relationships suffered because I held on to grudges until someone suggested that I understand my anger and work on it. I did the anger management workshop at the Heart-to-Heart Counselling Centre in India, and needless to say, it helped me understand my triggers and manage them better. Now, life is a bit better (not the best, I still lose my shit over sexist comments) 
  2. Art Therapy: Modern life has given us a lot more than our ancestors could have imagined, but now, the problem is that our primal bodies are stuck in concrete jungles. No longer do we have to run and hide from predators who will rip us into pieces and enjoy us for dinner or the neighbouring cave clan that is violent. No, we are under threat from our landlord whenever the month’s rent is due, and there’s no running away and hiding for this one. As a result, we get stressed and anxious. So how do you safeguard yourself from something that isn’t visible? That’s where adding art therapy to your daily routine can help. The techniques employed under Art Therapy can help you cope with your stress and anxiety and release your pent-up emotions. It can also help you self-actualise and leave you feeling calmer. Now, if you just want to include a couple of exercises in your daily routine and learn about the field, the art therapy course offered by the Centre of Excellence is excellent!  
  3. Mindfulness meditation: If you want to move forward in your life, it’s important to look backwards and reflect on how you can change, and mindfulness meditation is here for that. It has helped me reflect on who I am and figure out what I need to work on. Besides, it helps me focus on my breathing, and that brings me peace. So to sum it up, mindfulness meditation is great for self-reflection, inner peace, and gratitude. There are thousands of apps and courses available on mindfulness meditation on the internet but, what worked for me was the beginners guided meditation course on Headspace. Another suggestion would be to become a member of Waking Up, a meditation app developed by Sam Harris. He offers a need-based free membership for a year.

Why online courses for personal growth? 

Online courses are, most importantly, flexible. There are days where I don’t feel my best, and instead of faking it, I would rather take a break and give myself some space. That’s a significant advantage of doing courses online. Besides, if I’m doing paid courses, they are usually budget courses instead of what I’d be paying to attend in-person classes.

The internet is a great place to get personal growth tips, and online courses are just what you need to fit into your busy daily schedule. Don’t you agree?    

The advice I followed that kept me sane and helped me reach my goals

Why using small steps to get to your goals can help

Mental health
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You, yes you. How are you doing today? That five-year-old won a DJ’ing contest, and digital nomads are ruling the world while you’re stuck at your 9 to 5 job. Well, let’s make that 9 to 9 because, work from home. It’s tough not to feel left out in today’s hustle driven, success-hungry world unless you’re a 21-year-old who has a million-dollar business or you’re discovering the cure for cancer. Self-doubt can creep in when your social media feed talks about overnight success stories and side-hustles that make tons of money. It can leave you feeling depressed. So here’s the conversation I had one fine day that could help:

*Teenage me, lying down on my bed aimlessly after an hour worth of social media scrolling* 

Dad: What’s wrong with you? 

Me: Dad, do you think I can be successful? 

Dad: Why would you say that? 

Me: I don’t know. I want to be a journalist but, we don’t even have contacts and, this other girl (shows Instagram) has 100 articles in the Times of India already! She’s a senior, of course.

Dad: So? You’re in your first year. 

Me: Still, how will I become a good journalist even in the next ten years when I don’t even have a single article in any newspaper? 

Dad: Hmmffff. I’m going to tell you something my dad told me. Don’t cross a bridge that hasn’t even come yet. Take smaller steps, plan smaller goals, and before you know it, you will be at the zenith. 

Why it worked for grandad

My grandfather made life sound REEAALLLYYY easy. He left what is now Pakistan during the Indian partition of 1947 with a 10-day old baby—evading the rioters and the scuffle of his village onto a fully-packed train. He was probably lucky to have made it alive on that journey because people killed the passengers sitting in the corners whenever a station arrived. He then took a steamer from Karachi and lived at a refugee camp in Mumbai. After that, he raised five children in a studio apartment and educated them. He passed away, leaving just enough wealth for everyone to survive. Sure he didn’t become Bill Gates but, he did pretty darn good. If he had contemplated achieving his 10-year goal, he wouldn’t have survived the next day. Smaller steps, smaller goals went a long way in helping him reach his success summit. A big bonus was that it kept him sane.

Why it helped me and maybe you too

What’s the point of a ten-year plan when you don’t know how to work for it tomorrow? Here’s how following this advice helps me: 

  1. Keeps me focused: When I have set smaller, achievable and realistic goals for myself, it keeps me focused on achieving them. 
  2. Mental satisfaction: Achieving my goals leaves me feeling mentally satisfied and makes me feel more confident about myself. 
  3. Action: The bonus here is that I have a sense of security because I’m one step closer to achieving the great life I’ve imagined by climbing smaller steps. 

So, I’d like to end this by suggesting, take smaller steps, and before you know it, you will be at the zenith.