Remember the buddy system from way back when, maybe during your days at summer camp or school field trips? The idea was that kids would be safer if they were at least in pairs, keeping an eye out for each other.
I would like to suggest that all of us who have embarked on the journey of personal development should also be using the buddy system. That may sound a bit corny, but stick with me and I think you’ll see why it makes sense.
1. Two Heads are Better than One
You might also recall the age-old saying that two heads are better than one. I know it’s a cliché, but how do you think something gets to the status of being a cliché in the first place? Because there’s at least a kernel of truth to it, that’s why! You can try to do all your personal development work in a vacuum, but you’ll be more successful at it if you have a buddy or partner to work with.
You can bounce ideas off of each other, share the joys and challenges of personal development, and generally support each other in your efforts at self-improvement.
Accountability. Now there’s a word many of us really don’t like to hear, let alone apply to ourselves, right? We love to hold other people accountable to all sorts of standards we dream up for them, but we suddenly fall silent and begin feeling very uncomfortable any time the accountability spotlight is turned towards us.
After all, who wants to shine a nice bright light on our own failures and shortcomings? But the plain fact of the matter is that unless we find a way to hold ourselves accountable to hopes, dreams, goals and objectives, they will remain unachieved.
When you first put yourself on the path of personal development you might have done a lot of different goal-setting exercises. And laid out some ambitious plans for things you wanted to Accomplish.
How many of those have come to pass? If the answer is something like depressingly few, then maybe it’s time to think about finding a personal development buddy or partner.
3. A Buddy is Different than a Coach or Mentor
Keep in mind that when I speak of a buddy or partner, I do not mean a personal coach or mentor. It’s great to have those, and if you do, more power to you. What I’m thinking of is different from that. Even if you have coaches and mentors, I think you should also have a PD buddy or partner
The role of a coach or mentor is to be the one who teaches you, inspires you and pushes you to new heights. But when it comes to the day-to-day grind of personal development, what you also need is a partner. Think about it this way: Back in college or high school, did you have study sessions with another classmate or group of classmates? Many of you did.
Did you have those study sessions with the teacher? Probably not. That’s the difference between a coach/mentor and a buddy/partner. The PD partner is a person who’s also the journey and with whom you can share the ups and downs while also holding each other accountable (in an encouraging, supportive, positive kind of way) to achieve your goals and objectives.
None of this personal development stuff is rocket science, but we all need some support to really make progress. We can’t do it completely alone, in a vacuum. What fun would that be, anyway? Nearly everything in life is quite a bit sweeter when you’re sharing it with someone else, so let’s apply that to our personal development work as well.
Who should be your personal development partner? It could be your life partner It could be a close friend It could be someone you don’t know very well at all but who you know is also on the personal development journey. It just needs to be someone who can be supportive of what you’re trying to accomplish.
So now I’m really curious. Do you have a PD buddy or partner? Please share in the comments section how the experience has been for you. If you don’t have a PD partner, I hope you’ll be willing to seek one out and give it a try. If you do, please let us know how it goes by sharing your experiences in the comments area!