Self Improvement And Success Go Hand In Hand

How do you know if a person is willing to attain self improvement? This is a question with no definite answer. It will all depend on the individual.

Many people have goals, dreams or ambitions but do not know how to go about achieving them. They may have thought about what would make up self improvement and their ideal life, but have no idea how to even begin to make the plans and take the actions required to make them a reality.

Some people have a vague idea on how to go about self improvement. These are the ones that believe that if only they had a better job, or had been given better opportunities, or met the love of their life, or whatever else, everything would be fine and they would be happy.

They feel that their happiness or lack of happiness is decided by external factors and their thoughts and actions are of little consequence.

Some believe that if only they had more money they could have whatever they want and be on their way to self improvement.

They may have spent little time thinking about what they actually want from life, and do not really believe there is anything they can do to create their fuzzy version of utopia anyway, apart from buying more lottery tickets.

Other people do not even know what they actually want from their lives and may even have little idea what would really makes them happy. They seem to just drift from day to day, week to week, month to month, and year to year, and do little more than just about get by.

They may have seemingly secure jobs and be earning enough to live relatively comfortable lives. They seem happy enough and have no great ambition to achieve anything more from their lives than they currently have.

Is self improvement important?

The reality is that throughout our lives we are all constantly growing and developing. Circumstances make us grow and develop, even if we do not make the conscious decision to do so.

Up to a certain age, we learn through formal education and we continue to learn through our experiences for the rest of our lives. We have to learn and grow to deal with everything that life throws at us. We all have to go through self improvement.

Modern life moves at a dramatically faster pace than at anytime in history. For anyone living in modern society there are more opportunities to do anything that you want to do with your life than ever before.

But there is also more competition than ever before, and ever changing technology means that there really are few, if any ‘jobs for life’ anymore. It is now normal not only to change jobs quite often throughout our working lives, but even to completely change careers and industries.

Because the workplace is so competitive, people who are ambitious and hungry for success know they need to learn new skills and knowledge to keep ahead of the pack. To attain this, self improvement is needed.

These are the people that will be most likely to keep their jobs, or progress within their chosen field, or that will be readily employable in different organizations or industries.

A commitment to self improvement and personal growth may well be the deciding factor in how anyone’s future will turn out.

How To Get Exactly What You Want

J. Paul Getty was quoted for his formula for success: “Rise early, work hard, strike oil.” I’m a huge supporter of the practice of rising early (and if you’re not, you probably should be). But regardless of when you wake up, the other two actions in this formula are “work hard,” and “strike oil.”


When I first ran across this quote ten years ago, I had to laugh, because it looked like Getty was saying you have to work hard and hope to get lucky. But a decade later, I can see the more relevant meaning, and I’m about to share with you why Getty’s concept, perhaps more than anything else you might ever read, could be what gets you everything you want for the rest of your life.

It’s all about your expectations

In short, it all comes down to your personal expectation as to whether or not you’re going to strike oil. That’s it. That’s where it all starts. I can say this because that’s how reality works – you’re not going to get anything if you don’t work hard to achieve it. But you’re not going to work hard in the first place unless you have a strong enough expectation that you’ll be successful (or at least be successful at learning from the experience).

This is just how life works. Your motivation to take action, and to follow through until the job is done, is directly proportional to your belief that you will succeed. (Side note: In some cases, the belief in success isn’t even necessary – instead, you might be motivated by the fact your action will serve a higher cause, such as a ‘failed’ protest sparking a larger public awareness down the road).

If you break this concept down to the simplest parts, what you have is this: When you believe strongly enough that you will succeed at something, success is practically guaranteed – not because your belief creates the result, but because you don’t give up taking action on a massive level until you get what you want.

When you believe that success is inevitable, you are able to put aside the idea that “failure,” in the conventional sense, is a bad thing. Instead, it’s just a specific attempt that you can learn from. Another life lesson to be accepted and consumed, not feared.

When you believe that success is going to be the end result of you never giving up, then you are going to attack your objective with a greater energy, a greater passion, a greater work ethic. You’re going to be excited about what you’re doing, because you know that it matters. You know that whatever it is you’re doing, it’s adding value that will eventually translate into the result you want.

That unwavering belief lets you focus your thoughts on questions like “How can I … ?” rather than “Why can’t I … ?” The perspective of certainty gives you the ability to see obstacles as not these things that stand in your way, but instead as challenges that fuel your growth.

I’ve paid my dues

I experienced this myself as a ten year old kid in Brooklyn, New York. A horrible turn of events led to my mother getting murdered, my father going to prison for life, and me ending up all but homeless until I was taken in by a relative who was both an alcoholic and a drug user.

Years later, after I escaped the constant surroundings of drugs and violence, people remarked to me how surprised they were that I had avoided getting involved in drugs, alcohol, or any of the gang activity that was so pervasive during those years. Rather than any of that, I pretty much was a straight-A student who stayed out of (too much) trouble.

I always found it a bit humorous that while some people believed it was a solid foundation of strength that kept me on the straight and narrow, the thing that really kept me safe was that I didn’t really accept the idea that I could get involved in any of those things in the first place. I just didn’t know any better – I thought I was supposed to avoid them!

I just didn’t see it as possible or reasonable for me, so I never thought about it. Those things were problems “other people” got involved in, but not me. In fact, I viewed the daily challenges I faced as tests that were there to make me stronger, so one day my life could make some kind of difference. And poof – that’s exactly what happened. :

The point of all this is that all of my actions were driven by a firm belief that I would succeed eventually. That I would get through it all and come out okay on the other side. That I would strike oil. And it’s no different than the mindset you have to adopt to make any of your goals/dreams/objectives a reality.

There’s an old saying, “What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” While it sounds good on the surface (and it is, don’t get me wrong), it’s not perfect. Sure you could say what you would attempt if you knew you couldn’t fail, but that doesn’t help you when your brain is shouting, “Hey dummy, you’re probably going to fail, don’t you realize that?” The original question is a good start, but it needs to be taken a step further.

Instead of wishful thinking about what “could” happen, I’ve found a better question is more along the lines of “What will you attempt knowing that you will ultimately succeed, despite all the ‘failures’ that are sure to come along the way?”

Because, face it, life is going to throw some pretty rough stuff over to you. You’re going to have a lot more “go wrong” than you’d ever hoped for. But striking oil is about drilling deeper, even if you hit a few rocks along the way. In fact, the expectation is that you have to do a lot of drilling before you tap into that pocket of oil.

So let’s talk about setting expectations. An expectation, in it’s most literal sense, is a certainty that a specific result will occur.

If you’ve got a major goal that want to achieve, you need to have at least five things straightened out before you can really attack it full force.

#1 – You have to have the expectation that you, specifically you, can achieve this goal.

This one is a biggie. People typically have a lot easier time believing something is “possible” than believing it’s “possible for them.” They don’t fully believe that they will be capable of achieving a goal because they are missing something – the time, the talent, the resources, whatever. They have an unwritten expectation that they will not be one of the people who “has what it takes.”

That’s a load of garbage. If you believe that, even just a little bit, then it’s going to seriously damage your ability to take action. You’re never going to give 100% and stick with it until the job is done. If this is you, you need to fix this first. (Stay tuned for an upcoming article on how to do just that. I’ll link to it here when it’s ready).

#2 – You have to have the expectation that you will close the resource gap, no matter how wide it is.

This one is also a biggie. It’s easy to look at a large goal and feel like the distance between it and you is too wide. After all, how can you compete with the biggest successes in the world, who are already established? You can find out how by studying the people who do it every day, like skinny, broke college kid Michael Dell who took on IBM and Hewlett-Packard (and is still winning). If you’re reading this years from now, a hundred other stories just like his will have come and gone.

You have to, have to, have to believe any resource gap can be closed. A lack of time, money, manpower, connections … it all doesn’t matter, because there’s a number of creative solutions out there that you’re going to come up with to overcome all that.

If you don’t believe the resource gap can be closed, it won’t, because you won’t take full-out action to make it happen. But if you have the expectation that it will eventually be resolved, guess what’s going to happen. (Again, stay tuned for an upcoming article on how to do just that. I’ll link to it here when it’s ready).

#3 – You have to have the expectation that you will find a solution to every problem that will inevitably come your way. Every one.

You can’t guarantee a problem-free life. But you can guarantee that you see a ‘problem’ as an opportunity, so rather than being drained by the challenge, you are energized. Chew on this and decide how you’re going to make this shift in thinking. (In the meantime, bookmark this post and check back later to find a link to an upcoming article on how to do this.)

#4 – You have to have the expectation that every action you take matters. Every damn one.

This is critical. When you think taking action won’t matter in the long run, you simply won’t do it. But when you recognize that action accumulates – that the pyramids are built brick by brick, and every one matters, you’ll be willing to take action even when you don’t feel like it and your heart’s not in it.

Remember, everything you matters. If you don’t think it does, then you need to make that shift as well. Stay tuned for an article on that.

#5 – You have to believe that you can accelerate the process of getting to your objective.

This one’s my favorite. As you improve the discipline of following through and taking action on a consistent basis, you’ll want to find new forms of leverage to make the journey to completion a lot shorter. This is what “Million Dollar Leverage” is all about.

By holding onto the firm expectation that you can find ways of leveraging all your resources, you’ll be subconsciously looking for ways to make that happen, and as a result you’ll find a lot more of them. And that will get you to your goal faster. Much faster.

So, I hope I’ve sold you on the power of expectation to get what you want – to strike oil, whatever that means to you. If not, then read this article again and again until it sinks in. And then put your expectations to the test and get them correctly aligned. It’s a bit of work, but if you do it you’ll start seeing better results than you’ve ever seen before in a lot less time than you might imagine (unless your expectation is to see results right away :).

So get a pen an paper and get your expectations put in writing so you can drill them into your brain and use them to your advantage. Do it now – you’ll thank yourself for it.

The essential keys to self improvement and motivation

What are the three keys to self improvement and motivation?

1. INSPIRATION.

Inspiration is critical to staying motivated and improving oneself. If you are not interested in your business, your motivation level will never be high and you will not be able to sustain interest for very long.

 

Take an honest look at your inspiration level. Are you excited about going to work or is it an obligation? You would be surprised at the number of people who choose a business that looks good on paper, but in reality does not interest them in the least.

These individuals will grow weary and uninterested pretty quickly because they have no inspiration or passion to sustain them during the difficult times they will encounter as a small business owner.

If you do not like your work, then think how you can re-focus your small business to better match your needs. Or consider making a change entirely. Without inspiration, there will not be motivated to even try self improvement.

2. SETTING GOALS.

Short and long-term goal setting is vital for any business owner. If you do not set goals, you would have no definite purpose on which path of self improvement to take.

How could you possibly be motivated if you were unsure about the direction of your company?

Take the time to put your goals in writing. A business plan may sound daunting, but it is really nothing more than goals, strategies, implementation and a budget. Write your own business plan and update it at least annually.

Include “mini-goals” that can be accomplished in a matter of hours, days or weeks as well as the more ambitious “grand-goals” that may take years to complete. Refer to this plan throughout the year.

But can a business plan really help motivate you? Of course. Written goals will make you feel more professional and certainly more connected to your business. It will also free you from having to reinvent your business goals every single day.

3. NETWORKING.

Another key factor in getting and staying motivated is networking with other small business owners. No one person knows all the knowledge.

However, when a number of people begin working together, the challenges will just be there waiting to be conquered.

In fact, the isolation of working alone is of one the most difficult parts of being an entrepreneur. You can never be on your way to self improvement without the help of others. Mutual support is motivating.
Make it easier on yourself by connecting with others either in your community or online. Even when businesses are not related, you will often find common ground and ways to work together.

Many successful entrepreneurs report that finding the right networking group was a turning point in the growth of the business. Working together, a networking group can help its members generate more qualified sales leads and solve problems faster and more efficiently.

Sharing ideas, expertise and experience is also an invaluable aspect of motivation and self improvement.
Your own personal team of business owners will help re-energize you when the burdens of running your own business seem too much.

With your networking team to rely on, you can accomplish more in less time and probably have more fun in the process. You will feel motivated to accomplish self improvement when you know you are not alone.