“All the evidence that we have indicates that it is reasonable to assume in practically every human being, and certainly in almost every newborn baby, that there is an active will toward health, an impulse towards growth, or towards the actualization” ~ Abraham Maslow. Life naturally dictates that we move from point A to point B to point C. None of us will remain at the same point or place. It is therefore in our nature that we seek self-improvement in our daily lives. Yes we all grow as nature dictates the difference however, is growth that benefits not only you as an individual but society at large.
Self-improvement and success does not come easily; it comes with hard work and perseverance. It takes time to build and nurture the right mental attitude and character to achieve self-improvement. There can never be self-improvement without personal growth. You see personal growth follows knowledge; action follows inspiration; opportunity follows perception. The distinction between success and failure lies in what kind of growth one has attained. To achieve better personal development and success we must strive to improve ourselves holistically.
So what does it take to be a cut above the rest? I have drawn below a list of tips that have been very beneficial to me as I walk on my success journey. These tips can be practiced one per week in order to get maximum benefits.
What is your intended life’s purpose?
Many people fail because of a lack of a well-defined purpose in life. The first and foremost important tip is having a written down life’s intended purpose. Before you even begin on your journey of personal development it is very important to know what you want achieve with your life. There is no hope of success for the person who does not have a central purpose, or definite goal at which to aim. If you are wandering through life with little or no direction – hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity; identify your life’s purpose or mission statement and write it down, this will give you your own unique compass that will lead you to your north every time.
This may seem tricky at first when you see yourself to be in a tight or even dead end. But there’s always that little loophole to turn things around and you can make a big difference to yourself. Having a written down life’s intended purpose really takes a lot of excess baggage and makes you focus on what you want to achieve. Just imagine how light you will be when you have your life’s goals in your hands. This I believe is the beginning for self-improvement and personal success. Your life’s purpose gives you a measure and direction of your achievements otherwise you will have no yardstick to measure your success. It is therefore important that you invest time researching your persona; knowing your weaknesses and strengths; knowing what flows naturally from you. Remember that we were all created with unique talents for the benefit of humanity.
Do you know your values?
The second on list of tips is about knowing your values. I am sure that we all have values it is just a question of having the right ones. What do you value most? You will realise that as you list down your values they will be closely related with your life’s purpose. Make a list of your top 5 values these should be the ones that comes to your mind right away. Some examples are security both financial and personal, freedom, family, spiritual development and learning and peace. Check your goals against your values. If the goal doesn’t align with any of your top five values you may want to reconsider it or revise it.
Your values will mainly consist of your strengths and weaknesses. This might be the right list to use when deriving your life’s purpose. The values we have are a direct reflection of our inner self. Remember you are what you think and your thoughts form your character. The qualities of your values are mainly determined by what you feed your mind. In essence your thoughts have a direct bearing on your values. In order to enhance your self-improvement process I encourage you to feed your mind with the right stuff. I have always said that one of the best ways to renewing your mind is by reading and listening. Ensure that you acquire as much knowledge as possibly can and take action.
Knowledge increases your personal self-improvement rate. Remember that your value is established entirely by your ability to render useful service or your capacity to induce others to render such service. In relation to establishing what you value most do not forget to attach value to your personal skill set with respect to your life’s purpose.
Know your needs
The next tip is about knowing your needs. We all have needs and these have to be me. Unmet needs can keep you from living authentically. Take care of yourself. Do you have a need to be acknowledged, to be right, to be in control, to be loved? There are so many people who live their lives without realizing their dreams and most of them end up being stressed or even depressed for that matter. List your top four needs and get them met before it’s too late! The say necessity is the mother of all inventions.
It is very important to differentiate between your ‘wants’ and your needs. Having needs does not mean they are all important. We humans have a lot of unnecessary ‘wants’ that we think are needs. Some needs are a waste of resources. You should be able to categorise your needs into necessities and non-necessities. I will give you an example of owning a car, yes a car is a necessity but, what type of a car meets your needs? Such reasoning will help you make right decisions as you strive to reach your personal goals. As you walk the journey of self-improvement there is always going to be challenges that will come your way in the form of ‘wants’. The body may want something that may not necessarily add value to your progress.
What are your passions?
We all have passions, don’t we? The next tip is about knowing your passions. Knowing your passions is key in determining what you want to achieve in life. Do you know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life? The answer to this question might just be what your intended purpose in life is. Review it and compare it with what you have written down as your intended life’s purpose. Obstacles like doubt and lack of enthusiasm will only hinder you, but will not derail your chance to become the person you ought to be. Express yourself and honor the people who have inspired you to become the very person you want to be.
You see having a clear mind about your passions and synchronising them with your life’s purpose makes your work easier and enjoyable. Self-improvement is not a punishment it is about living life the way you want it. I always advise people to make their passions a career. If you intend to be successful in business make sure your business is around your passion. This way you will be doing what makes you happy every day and earning a living from it.
You live from the inside out
There is a world within which is governed by the mind and the world without which is the reflection of the world within. Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Learn to commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind. The bible says “as a man thinketh so is he in his heart”. Your character and habits are a true reflection of what your world within is about.
What appears without is what has been found within. In the world within may be found infinite Wisdom, infinite Power and infinite Supply of all that is necessary, waiting for unfoldment, development and expression. Therefore, it is very important that the world within is fed the right stuff. Remember we said that this world within is governed by the mind. Your mind is therefore your greatest asset. Learn to safe guard it. One of the best ways you can help safe guarding your mind and enhance your self-improvement skills is by reading motivational books and thinking positively.
Explore your strengths
Remember I talked about knowing your weaknesses and strengths when writing your life’s purpose? Well it is now time for me to pay special attention to your strengths. What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List three – if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify these. Are you imaginative, witty, and good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you can share what you know with others.
Your strengths are your weapon to self-improvement. Work to sharpen them on a regular basis. This does not mean you neglect your weaknesses. These too need attention. Remember you are improving yourself holistically. The benefits of improving your weaknesses are immeasurable. Always find new ways to explore your strengths and put them to good use. Personal development is about achieving your goals and learning to share them. The only way you can improve your skills set is by exploring your strengths.
Service to humanity is key
Service service service. We were created to serve each other. There is no greater satisfaction than to serve others. When you live authentically, you may find that you develop an interconnected sense of being. When you are true to who you are, living your purpose and giving of your talents to the world around you, you give back in service what you came to share with others. The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed rewarding, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.
All these invention and technological advancement we are experiencing are intended to serve humanity. People must learn to appreciate serving others before themselves and this begins with you and me taking the first step. “Be the change you want to see in the world” ~ Mahatma Ghandi.
Self-improvement is indeed one type of work that is worth it. It shouldn’t always be within the confines of an office building, or maybe in the four corners of your own room. The difference lies within ourselves and how much we want to change for the better. As we take our journey of personal development success let us endeavour to learn to serve one another for the betterment of our planet. Remember we only have one home and it is our responsibility to make it a better place for all humanity. Peace and love, “standout tall and be counted.