Structurized personality development with the 7 Resources approach. [more...]

Personality Development and Macroeconomics

Macroeconomics deals with, among other things, resources and the optimal use of these resources. The simplist models analyze the distribution of the resources "work", "capital" and "raw materials" with the goal of minimizing waste and achieving the optimum.

Matthias Büttner has transfered this approach to developing one's personality and has defined 7 Resources that everyone has at his disposal.

In order to develop yourself in the most optimal way, you need to optimally manage and cultivate these seven resources, i.e. to nourish and develop them. An important principal here is the substitution of resources for effort.

What at first may sound very theoretical, quickly becomes very practical and supports the decisions leading toward optimal personality development.

Once you have understood the breakdown of the 7 catagories, you will quickly realize how you can apply them to your everyday life.

Personality Development and the 7 Resources

According to Matthias Büttner's "7 Resources" approach, everyone has seven resources that can be cultivated, i.e. optimally used and promoted.

In this context, a resource is a potential, a talent, an ability, a skill, or anything that you can use to reach your goals and live an ideal life.

Büttner distinguishes the following 7 resources for personality development

  1. Resource 1: Time
  2. Resource 2: Vitality
  3. Resource 3: Money
  4. Resource 4: Knowledge (Theory)
  5. Resource 5: Ability
  6. Resource 6: Communication
  7. Resource 7: Thought

These differenct resources are used to reach your personal life goals.

Resource 1: Time

Everyone has the same amount of time every day. Time is a central resource that is daily replenished and daily made available to us. We can take command of this resourse everyday. Time is a constant resource that powers the wheel of optimal distribution.

We cannot increase this resource; it is finite, restricted day by day.

However, with knowledge about time management, you can make more of your time.

Resource 2: Vitality

Under the resource vitality, health and strength are combined. Vitality means the amount of energy that we have and are able to invest in our actions.

Vitality is different from person to person. There are some people that are bubbling with drive and energy. They are fit as a fiddle and full of vitality.

Others don't have this advantage. They cannot provide as much energy perhaps because they weren't born with so much, because they are sick, because they have had a bad blow of fate or because they cannot draw strength and motivation from their lives.

The resource vitality can be cultivated and improved by investing other resources (e.g. time, money, wisdom, communication, etc.) in this resource. For example, you can go to the doctor, take medicine, exercise, work on emotional "defects", increase your motivation, and so on.

Vitality can substitute time. The more strength and energy we can put into a task, the less time we need to complete the task.

Economists say: Vitality can substitute time and vice versa. For example: If when you want to ride your bike from point A to B, you put more vitality (i.e. strength) in your pedalling, then you will need less time for the trip. In this way, you have substituted time for vitality.

You can increase your vitality by exercising, eating healthy, reduce emotional baggage, sleep more, sleep better, motivate yourself correctly, etc.

Resource 3: Money

The resource money is also different from person to person. Some people are born into a wealthy family, others have to start from nothing.

Money is a universal resource because it can be exchanged for almost any other resource in the world: you can buy time for example by hiring a housekeeper, a chauffeur or a gardner. You can buy wisdom by buying a book or attending a seminar. You can buy vitality by going to the doctor or buying medicine.

You can increase the resource money by investing more in time, knowledge or ability. For example, the more you know and can do, the higher the value of your ability will be and therefore the more money you can demand for your hourly wages. So the lesson here is: Learn more!

Resource 4: Knowledge

In this approach, the resources knowledge and ability are separated from one another. Knowledge is defined in this context as the theoritical side whereas ability is the practical side that brings out the skills needed to make something happen.

You have knowledge at your command, for example, after you have read a book. At that moment though you do not have to be in control of your knowledge. Only when you have applied your knowledge can knowledge turn into ability.

You can increase your knowledge by reading books, taking courses, attending seminars or even studying.

Resource 5: Ability

The resource ability is based on our personal predispositions: personal assets like technical aptitude, rhetorical aptitude, commercial aptitude, musical talent, talent in sports, etc.

These assets will become abilities through traininig (that is, the investment of time and vitality) and knowledge.

The resources time, vitality and ability are the building blocks for acquiring money. If you work in a job, you usually substitute the resources time, vitality and ability for money.

As a basic principle the following holds true: the more time, vitality or ability you can bring into something, the more money you can make.

You can increase your abilitities by practicing and training what you have learned.

Resource 6: Communication

During your lifetime, the number of people you know will grow. A baby knows at first only his parents but as time goes buy gets to know an ever increasing number of people.

Through these contacts, you have access to the resource knowledge that others hold. By using their knowledge, for example when you quickly ask someone a question, you save your resources time and vitality. You do not need to personally develop the knowledge from the ground up.

For example: If you are looking for an apartment, you can ask among your circle of acquaintances rather than looking in a newspaper or online.

For example: If you want to sell a product and already know an array of partners (like sales representatives) or potential customers, it will be much easier for you.

If you do not know many people, you will have to invest a lot of time, vitality and money in order to reach your goal.

There are some jobs where the resource communication is crucial, like for sales representatives, real estate agents, politicians, etc.

In order to build up the resource communication, you can invest time, vitality and sometimes even money. You might go to parties, register yourself in online communities, scroll through your address book, etc. You might also improve your conversation skills, learn smalltalk, look for entertaining or interesting topics. You can even look for new contacts by joining a club or an organization and keeping up your contacts there. It is easier to keep up contacts than to build up new ones.

Resource 7: Thought

The resource thought is a skill that can also be catagorized under the resource ability.

Powers of thought and existing thought patterns supplimented by mental impressions like mission statements, dogma and and patterns of belief have such a central influence on the development of personality that one single catagory here makes the most sense.

"I think therefore I am." "You are what you think."

With the help of the resource thought, many other resources can be substituted.

You can increase the resource thought by spending time on the topic. For example, you can read books about positive thought, how to strengthen your memory, etc. and you can practice the art of positive thinking.

How Can You Apply the 7 Resources Approach?


What is your current status? Where are you today? Do you have resources free that you can apply somewhere?

Personality development profile

Personality development: Profile

Above, three possible profiles are displayed that are meant to only schematically clarify how to use the profile. For example, a student has more time than he needs and enviable vitality, but little money and only few resources under wisdom, ability, communication and thought.

A 30 year old has less time than he needs, but has a good level of vitality and good financial resources due to his good knowledge, ability communication and thought.

The older one gets, the less vitality one can employ. Often, however, large financial resources have been accumulated, as well as knowledge, ability, thought and communication abilities.


When you know your profil, then it will become clear to you which resources are available and can be invested in other resources. The 18 year old student has a large amount of the resources vitality and time. He can invest these resources in the resource money by getting a job. He could also invest in the resources knowledge, ability, communication and thought. If he studies at a college, then he is investing in all five resources.

Personality development profile

Investment diagram of a young person

The 60 year old has to invest his resources in vitality: he goes to the doctor (time and money), researches information about health and uses his contacts to compare experiences.

Personality development profile

Investment diagram of an older person

Personality Development: Profile

The goal is to build up and expand your personality in a structured and efficient way. Where do you currently sense gaps? Where are you well positioned?

To best apply the concepts of 7 Resources, it is helpful to determine the direction in which you want to go. What are your goals? How do you need to develop yourself in order to reach your goals?

Here we can use the example of the 30 year old. He checks his profile in relation to the prospect of another job. The resources time and money are in this case neutral and the demands on his vitality are satisfactory. His amount of communication and thought are adequate, however he is lacking in knowledge and ability.

Personality development gap

Gap analysis for a 30 year old

In the following graphic you can see that the 30 year old now needs to invest in some resources. He should invest his free resources vitality, money, knowledge, ability, communication and thought in the resource time. He will need these in order to build up his resources knowledge and ability. As a concrete example this could mean: he invests money in timesavers (household helpers) and/or in time management. Then he will have the capacity, together with the resources vitality, knowledge, ability and thought, to invest in the resources knowledge and ability.

Personality development gap 30

Use Number 2: Recognize Connections

Every resourse is important. The application of resources can also be thought of as a mathematical function: All resourses are like a product.

Personality development formula 1

If one factor has the value of zero, then the sum is zero. You can also see this as one factor is able to balance against the others. If time is running short, you can balance it out with an increase of vitality.

Example: Goal=Maximum Salary

An example is the easiest way to make this clear: An important goal in your life is the maximization of your salary. What is the best thing to do to achieve this?

1. Analyze the market. Or if you want to keep your current job, analyze the demand structure of your employer.

2. Analyze your current status.

3. Now check all 7 resources to see if an improvement in a resource would have an effect on your salary.

Personality Development Check

Resource 1: Time.
Can you earn more money if you dedicate more of your time?

Resource 2: Vitality.
Can you earn more money if you apply more energy or vitality? This is possible for people who get paid by the hour, for example.

Resource 3: Money
Can you earn more money if you invest in better work materials? A faster computer, better software, a multifuntion telephone? Can you maybe hire a personal assistant to take some of your work for you? This is possible for self-employed people, for example.

Resource 4: Knowledge (Theory)
Can you earn more money if you build up your knowledge and apply it to ability? Knowledge and ability are generally the biggest drivers of productivity.

Resource 5: Ability
Can you earn more money if you aquire new skills? If you improve your skills? If you make yourself into an expert in your field or trade?

Resource 6: Communication
Can you earn more money if you build up your communication skills? Play team sports after work in order to get to know more interesting people at your company? Do you need to improve your communication style? Improve your open communication? Give more convincing presentations? Be friendlier and more charming in your relations to colleagues?

Resource 7: Thought
Are you lacking the right attitude? Are you lacking the knowledge of how to succeed? Is it hard for you to think positively?

The Result

Now you have a clear plan. Now you should know what you need to do.

Further Examples Will Follow

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