In a world fixated on financial success and material wealth, there’s a group of individuals who prioritize something far more profound – personal growth.
These seekers of self-improvement use self-discovery, inner development, and their drive to become the best versions of themselves.
While each person’s path is unique, there are key personality traits commonly found among those who place personal growth above monetary pursuits.
1) They’re internally motivated
Let’s start with their motivation. People who prioritize personal growth over money are typically motivated by intrinsic factors rather than external rewards.
In other words, they’re motivated by the sense of personal fulfillment and satisfaction they derive from their own development.
Their deep passion for learning and curiosity about the world is all they need in life. They view personal growth as an ongoing journey rather than a destination.
My good personal friend was a former corporate employee. One day, he decided to leave his high-paying job to start a small organic farm.
The farm doesn’t make much money, but he finds immense fulfillment in working with nature, producing healthy food, and contributing to sustainable practices.
He views this work as an opportunity for constant learning and personal growth.
2) They see money as a byproduct
Money is very important, I think you can agree with me on that. But is it the most important thing in the world?
Everyone will give you a different answer, and most people will claim it isn’t, even the ones that have a lot of it.
People who value self-improvement over money see it as a byproduct of personal growth and not the main goal.
They still like to have money, but their entire lives don’t revolve around it. If they don’t earn much, so be it.
There are many examples of this, even among wealthy and successful people.
Oprah Winfrey, for instance, always prioritized personal growth and self-improvement in her endeavors and has taken her audience on the journey.
Richard Branson has achieved substantial financial success. But his motivation stems from a desire to challenge himself, take risks, and positively impact the world through innovative ventures.
They also have the following thing in common.
3) They’re intentional in their actions
People who prioritize personal growth over money typically do so intentionally. This doesn’t mean every action they take is ideally in line with this value, as we can all behave inconsistently at times.
If you’re similar, you’re already on the road to more personal development and success.
Here are some examples:
A small business owner consciously sets aside a portion of his income every month to attend workshops to learn about new business strategies, leadership, and personal development. All the while, he could be splurging that money on luxury items.
A software developer working at a big tech company realizes that she’s more passionate about teaching and mentoring.
She decides to leave her high-paying job to become a coding instructor at a local school. While she takes a significant pay cut, she finds the new role more fulfilling and rewarding.
They are also open-minded, above everything else.
4) They’re open-minded
You can’t grow if you aren’t open-minded and willing to take in new experiences, perspectives, and ideas.
I always like to mention the primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall. She’s renowned for her open-minded approach to studying chimpanzees.
Her willingness to immerse herself in their natural habitats and observe their behaviors without preconceived notions allowed her to do something remarkable. She made groundbreaking discoveries and challenged long-held beliefs about primate behavior.
Another great example is Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. He was open-minded in developing a technology that would revolutionize communication and information sharing.
He saw the potential of connecting people globally and creating an open platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange.
5) They love learning
What all people that seek personal growth have in common is the eagerness to learn.
They are curious about the world and seek out opportunities to gain new knowledge, skills, and experiences. These directly contribute to their personal and intellectual growth.
There are many ways to learn new things and skills. You don’t have to go through formal channels anymore. In today’s world, we literally have all the information in the palms of our hands.
It’s a shame that most people use their smartphones, which are pocket computers, to endlessly browse social media.
They have access to all the world’s knowledge, something that people in the past couldn’t even imagine happening so soon, yet they don’t care about it.
Let’s see what else separates them from the others.
6) They fix and improve things
There’s an inevitable thing that happens once you acquire enough knowledge on a topic, field of expertise, or your personal life.
You start seeing cracks in the area you know enough about. That simply requires you to fix and improve upon it.
It’s because personal growth enthusiasts tend to have a problem-solving orientation. They approach challenges and obstacles as opportunities for growth and development.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed or discouraged by problems, they actively seek solutions and strive to fix and improve the situation.
Arguably the best example of someone who dedicated their life to personal and societal growth is Nikola Tesla.
Although he was eccentric, he had a vision of a world powered by renewable energy and aspired to harness the power of nature for the benefit of humanity.
Tesla dedicated much of his life to conducting research and experimenting with new ideas, and constantly seeking improvements in various technological fields.
His commitment to personal growth and learning enabled him to make groundbreaking discoveries and push the boundaries of science and technology.
7) They have a flexible approach to life
We often see the most personal growth in times of hardship. It pushes us to think out of the box and do whatever it takes to not only survive but thrive.
Rather than clinging to familiar routines or resisting new experiences, they approach life with a flexible mindset, ready to explore uncharted territories.
A famous example I can think of right off the bat is that of Elizabeth Gilbert. She’s the author of the bestselling memoir “Eat Pray Love.”
She embarked on a personal growth journey following a difficult divorce. Her experiences led her to explore spirituality, self-discovery, and new creative endeavors.
Her ability to adapt her writing style and explore diverse subjects in her works reflects her commitment to personal growth and transformation.
She also has this next trait.
8) They have a high level of emotional intelligence
Gilbert, and others that value personal growth over money, have a high level of emotional intelligence.
It’s a vital component of personal growth, encompassing the ability to recognize, understand, and manage your own emotions and effectively navigate relationships with others.
Likewise, in a world where many people put up a fake persona of themselves, recognizing which people are worth our time is a real skill.
By leveraging their emotional intelligence, they nurture open communication, resolve conflicts with empathy and understanding, and build strong support networks.
This next trait is similar but equally important.
9) They want to contribute positively to the world
Individuals who value personal growth and have emotional intelligence engage in regular reflection and introspection.
They often decide that what they really want is to contribute positively to the world.
An interesting example would be an entrepreneur who, after some introspection, realizes that they value making a meaningful difference in the world over making money.
They may choose to start a social enterprise or nonprofit organization rather than a profit-driven company.
Their past experiences and values would also help them come up with innovative solutions to social problems instead of solely focusing on profit-making ventures.
We definitely need more people like that in the world.
10) They’re open to feedback
Feedback, whether positive or negative, provides valuable information that can help us in our quest for personal growth.
It helps us understand our strengths and weaknesses and identify gaps in skills or knowledge.
By receiving feedback on what didn’t work, we can make adjustments and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.
Apart from that, we can develop new perspectives and ideas, leading to innovative solutions and approaches.
As you can see, people who value personal growth over money have a unique set of traits and values that separate them from the rest of the population.
They see money as a byproduct of their personal growth and not something they should solely strive for.
What are your thoughts about this? Do you agree with that? Do you know what the key elements of a happier life are?