Personal Development Tests —
A Reality Check

So—you're checking out personal development tests. Or at least looking for some information about them. Although I can't help you with that specifically, I can ask you an important question. What is it about yourself that you want to test? What attribute(s) would you use such tests to measure?

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Do you want to test your talents, potential, or self-knowledge? Your quality of life, or how you measure up as a human being? The number of goals you’ve attained or dreams you’ve brought to fruition?

Or do you perhaps want to assess your employability—or even your money savvy? (Forget testing sex appeal: too subjective!) Any of these attributes personal development tests could, in theory, measure. Still (big surprise), tests vary in effectiveness. Even worse, they sometimes lead to comparisons. And those can quickly turn you into a fall-guy. How? Read on...

But first another question. Are you St. Francis, Einstein, and Elizabeth Taylor at forty (or the male equivalent thereof) rolled into one? If not, there’ll always be somebody somewhere who’s a little kinder or smarter or better looking than you. Or who’s richer, more talented, or somehow “cooler” than you...or has a better job. But that has nothing—nothing—to do either with you or with what you do with your life.

And there's the crux of it: everyone travels a particular path. Yours is not the same as those of your siblings or your friends and acquaintances or some total stranger on television or in the newspaper. And the moment you even think of comparing yourself with them (or listening to such comparisons) is the moment you stumble.

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Why? Because you’re comparing apples and oranges. We all use a different yardstick to measure our success. Just as you cannot judge your own success or your worth as a human being with the gauge of another, neither can you assess somebody else's with your own. It won’t compute.

Plus, Einstein hit it about dead center when he observed that not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted. (Not even with personal development tests.)

Instead, why not keep faith with your own vision and your own path? If you feel you simply must measure yourself in some way, do so against your own starting point instead of where someone else appears to stand.

Or measure your progress against some goal you’ve set for yourself. Otherwise, you risk sliding into jealousy, shame, or at the very least, a perceived inadequacy. With a good start, any one of those can cut you off right at the knees.

And still you want those personal development tests?
Then, check out the advertisers at Google. Some of them can most likely give you a hand with this. But please be sure they're helping you measure the right things.

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