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I Took a Free Udemy Personal Development Course — Here’s What I Learned

Jen Glantz is an entrepreneur who tried out a free Udemy course on creating your dream life.
The course shared tips on how to live with intention and use past regrets as motivators. 
Glantz says the lessons were insightful and inspired her to start healthy, meaningful new habits.

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Many of my habits and hobbies changed during the pandemic. I found myself spending too much time alone and didn’t have a lot of plans or events to look forward to. In April, I decided I needed a self-help activity that I was excited about to help get my life and personal goals back on track.

Jen Glantz outside with microphone and headphones

Author Jen Glantz.

Daphne Youree

I wasn’t very inspired by flipping through self-help books and didn’t have several thousand dollars to spend on a life coach, so I decided to hunt for a good personal development course online. My criteria for the course was simple: I wanted one that was free, highly rated, and didn’t take more than a few hours. 

On Udemy, I found a free course on creating your dream life that was 1.5 hours long, had been taken by over 3,800 people, and had a 4.5-star rating. That was enough to convince me to give it a try. The course shared actionable tips and exercises to help you find your purpose and live with intention — here are my main takeaways.

1. Get clear on your purpose 

In the introduction, the instructor explained how important it is to have a clear purpose and live with intention. This really spoke to me because for some time now, I’ve felt like I’ve just been drifting through life and using my time in a wasteful way. 

The instructor said to live with purpose, you should build a life plan that incorporates what you want to accomplish today, in the near future, and in more distant years. 

Personally, I know how I want to grow my business and what I want to do next with my career. But it had been a while since I’d admitted these goals out loud and outlined actionable steps to achieve them, which resulted in a lack of follow through.

2. Take inventory on your regrets 

The first activity in the course was a confession of regrets that prompted the question: What did I wish I had accomplished and experienced that I haven’t yet? 

Spending 15 minutes creating a regret list quickly allowed me to visualize how much I’ve put off when it comes to making changes in my career and how much time I waste on things that don’t bring value to my greater purpose (like being on social media or binging TV shows). This helped me take a step back, sort out my overall priorities for the near future, and make decisions on habits I need to change so I can take more control of where my life is going.

3. Start living your ideal future now 

Another section of the course walked us through an exercise where we wrote down what we’d do if we won the lottery. After jotting down my ultimate list of purchases and life changes, the course asked me to pick just five things that excite me and write down why I want those things.

Then, the instructor said to think about each of the five items and brainstorm ways I could begin to experience the feeling they would bring me right now, with the resources I currently have.

This changed my perspective on how I can be happier on a daily basis. My dream life doesn’t have to feel so far out of reach. Rather than waiting for the next big thing to happen in my life, I can make small changes to bring those same feelings into my life anytime I want. 

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