Personal development is largely based upon accepting personal responsibility for your experiences in life. Throughout every individual's lifetime there are a full spectrum of events that occur ranging from exciting achievements to limiting challenges. Within all of these, our paradigms are at work: our cultures, values, environments, beliefs, experiences and every other formative factor. Often, many of us look over the span of our lifetimes and wish that our pasts were different, because then if that were true, our present moments and futures might also be different. But there is one thing that you may have heard before, "the past does not equal the future." And this is true for the individual who begins the personal development path. There are many different approaches to personal development and ways to take a proactive approach to becoming the person you want to be, but there are some ways that are more effective than others. In my opinion, one of the most effective ways to begin your personal development is to start to develop a higher sense of self-awareness, and some of the best ways to do this are through the application of self hypnosis, guided imagery, NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) and visualization.