How to Self Improvement

The Art Of Self Improvement  

There’s no doubt about it: Self Improvement is big business. No matter where we look we seem to see men attired in business suits and fancy haircuts. Sporting dinky little ear-piece microphones, they speak to us as though we were attending the annual general meeting of their multi-national self-development business which, I suppose, isn’t that far from the truth.

They speak to us in sound-bites; “I’m gunna show you how…”, “you just need to follow my plan: no thought required; just follow the plan”. Success and winning, they preach to the audience, are a sure thing.

But is self development a sure thing? If, like me, you believe self development is a life journey that is never completed, you know that the only sure thing is that the search for self development is far from being a sure thing. The journey will entail more failures than successes, more loss than gain and more self-doubt than we think we can endure. The only way to improve one’s self is to challenge the habits and assumptions we have gathered along the way. To go out on a limb with no guarantee of finding what we want takes courage. No ‘success plan’ would contemplate such a course of action!

So, if we can’t get succor from the self improvement ‘gurus’, who can we turn to?

The answer, I believe, is to look to the people who have always explored every single aspect of the human condition. They did not always find the answer, but they all had courage. They are of course, the world’s artists.

How can a painting help us toward our goal of self improvement you might ask? Well, some paintings help to bring serenity and a feeling of inner peace; I feel this whenever I look at an Impressionist painting, especially paintings by Berthe Morisot. She was never recognized as a great artist during her lifetime; she was relegated to the category of “feminine” artists because of her usual subject matter

What Does It Mean To “Self Improve?”

Self Improvement has become mainstream. In the last few years, since I have been writing articles and submitting them to article sites, I’ve noticed that the category of “Self Improvement” has been showing up lately when it was never there before. To me, this is very good news.

But what does it really mean to “Self Improve?” What are we really improving when we self improve? And what “self” are we improving?

We each have two “selves” – our wounded self and our core Self. Our core Self is our true self, our natural soul self – our essence. Our core Self is our passion, our joy, our gifts and talents, our ability to love, our creativity. We come into this life as our core Self, and when this Self is loved and valued by our parents, we continue to naturally grow our God-given gifts and talents and manifest the fullness of our beings. This Self wants to improve by learning the skills necessary to fully express itself.

But when this Self is not seen and valued in the way we needed, we create an alternative self, a self we hope will have control over getting the love we need and avoiding the pain we can’t handle – a self to help us feel safe. This is our false self, our wounded self, our ego self. This self is filled with the false beliefs that we absorbed as we were growing up – beliefs that end up limiting our true, core Self. This self does not needs improving – it needs healing.

The term “self improvement” can sometimes be a bit misleading, because we do not want to improve our wounded self. We do not want to improve on the ways we lie, manipulate, and avoid in our attempts to have control over getting love and avoiding pain. We don’t want to improve on our many addictions to substance and processes. We don’t want to improve on our anger, our compliance, our withdrawal and our resistance.

We want to heal it.

Healing and improving are not the same thing.

We can certainly self-improve when it comes to skills. We can improve in sports, in art, music, writing, cooking. We can improve our health and wellbeing by improving our diet and exercise program. We can improve in the knowledge we need to be more successful regarding work and money. We might be able to improve our relationships by learning new communication skills. But what if acquiring new knowledge and skills does not improve our health, or our ability to earn money, or our relationships? And what if learning new skills does not bring us more joy and inner peace? It may mean that we need to heal the underlying fears and false beliefs that cause us to be anxious, depressed, stressed, guilt-ridden, shamed, withdrawn, angry, blaming, or sad.

Sometimes Self Improvement just means practicing a skill, and others times it means that we need to participate in a deep healing process. For example, many people try to improve their health by losing weight and exercising. But if their food addictions are covering over unhealed pain, they might not be able to just change their diet. They might need to open to a healing process in order to eventually improve.

If you are really trying to self improve but find yourself stuck and unable to progress, or find that you have no joy or inner peace, you might want to open to the possibility that unhealed pain and beliefs are blocking your progress and causing your pain. It is easy to improve yourself when there is nothing blocking the way. But if you have old false beliefs about your adequacy and worth, these beliefs may be blocking your ability to take loving action in your own behalf. All your efforts to self improve will not bring you the satisfaction you are seeking if you have beliefs that are keeping you limited in fully expressing your true, core Self. If you are stuck, then you need to seek out a healing process, such as the Inner Bonding process we teach, that will move you out of the fears and beliefs that limit you. Healing these fears and limiting beliefs will open the door to improving your life in all ways!

Ground Yourself in Gratitude

Deep in my memory there is an intense, black and white picture of a mother squatting next to her small son surrounded by barren land in Korea. The caption underneath reads, “Where will their food come from now?” Printed by our Sunday Journal many years ago, it made me feel sad that they didn’t have any food and lucky that I was born in America and did not have to worry about food. In fact it never occurred to me to even think about where my food came from. It was a blessing I took for granted.

Life seemed simpler then. As children, we played all day long worry free, at the vacant corner lot. Men listened to the ball game on their front porch after a hard day at work. The smell of dinner lingered from the kitchen stove. Neighbors said hello to each other as they passed by on their early evening walk. Television had just been introduced and most people did not have it. We listened to music and loved to sing and dance.

Today, rushing seems to be the norm and life is much more complicated. Children cannot go outside to play even in front of their own home without fear of being taken or shot. Many parents are in front of the TV after work, eating fast food purchased on the way home after picking the children up from Day Care. The local and national daily news reports tragedy, crime and murder
twenty-four hours a day. Obesity is a national crisis and though we live longer, our quality of life is questionable.

Those of us who remember, long for those simpler times, wondering if they are gone forever. Unable to turn back time we beg the question, “Is there anything that will make our lives and the lives of our loved ones simpler? Can we slow down on this fast-paced road to the slaughter of stress? Is there a magic formula? Does it have a name? Is it simple? Remember, I don’t have
much time.”

If you are speeding through your life, chances are you are whining and wailing and missing out on the blessings that are right in front of you just like I was. Imagine a tiny shift in your perception moving you into a state of joy. Something to reactivate your thinking and make your life work again. Living in gratitude and counting your blessings is that something. Each moment
counts when we are grateful for it.

Everything begins with a thought. Thoughts are mental whispers that give direction to our lives. They set the tone for our day. Check it out. When you first wake up in the morning are you thinking happy thoughts, inspiring thoughts, uplifting and healthy thoughts? Are you seeing the world partly sunny instead of partly cloudy before you even open your eyes? Or, are you, like so
many others feeling tired and grumpy because you’re already focusing on unpleasantries before your feet reach the floor?

If you would like to snap out of those doldrums while still warm and cozy under the covers, think of five things that you are grateful for in the very first moment after you wake. If you have difficulty coming up with something, hold your breath for a minute or two. Or, imagine yourself being newly blinded or having lost the ability to smell. What if you had experienced an auto accident the day before that had left you paralyzed from the neck down and this was your first
day of awakening to it? What if you were that woman or her son that had been born in a Country torn apart by war? Can you see how much you have to be grateful for even before you get out of bed?

But there’s more to it than that. Before long you will realize that everything is connected to everything else. Take for example a beautiful flower. Without its stem and leaves and a root system that grows in the ground, loving the sun and the water, it just wouldn’t be. It is the same with us. We have a mind and a body, food to eat, clothes on our back, a home to live in, a place to work, furniture to sit on, money to purchase things, and friends and family to share with. The list of things we have to be grateful for is endless.

Counting our blessings is such a simple concept that most of us miss the importance of it. Instead of focusing on all the good in our lives, our lopsided perceptions have us moaning and complaining about things we can’t do anything about. Taxes, the weather, the raise we didn’t get. The American way, that many of us so often find fault with. But what if, just what if, you had been that women or her son, whose memory pops up every so often in my mind? Where do you think you would be today? How much would you have to be grateful for? Is it possible their experience of gratitude would be more sincere because they had less and appreciated more?

When I first began to focus my attention on gratitude, I was amazed at life’s new meaning for me. I felt I was seeing and hearing things for the very first time. The early morning song bird was singing just for me. The flowering crab apple trees in spring were like fourth of July firecrackers standing still so I could enjoy them all day long. I welcomed the gray clouds with each falling rain that provided relief for our parched earth. And the pure white of winter snows
was renewing and refreshing. But my newfound love for the abundance of nature could not compare to the newfound love I felt in my heart for my family and friends. By seeing their good in a new light and expressing my gratitude for them, each relationship is more comfortable, feels more loving, and we are having more fun. Remember the words of Abraham Lincoln, “A person
is just about as happy as he makes up his mind to be.” And by choosing gratitude you will be happier. You will begin to notice your good just by paying closer attention to it. In my opinion it’s insane to live without gratitude.

And finally, the real secret of gratitude is that the more you are grateful for, the more you will have to be grateful for. Life is a gift, be grateful for each present moment.

7 Great Tips to Self Improvement

Did you ever think that life could be a whole lot better and more rewarding than what you have right now? Do you want to learn more about the techniques on improving one’s self?  If yes, then read on.

Do you want to learn more about the techniques on improving one’s self?  If yes, then read on. There are basically 7 easy ways to plan for your self improvement. The following steps will help you achieve self improvement, so be sure to implement them.  Tip # 1 Wake up early in the morning This first self improvement tip might be very simple and quite obvious to you, but you’ll be surprised to know that there are only few who actually spend time and effort to apply it.Waking up early in the morning is not that hard, if you have discipline in yourself. To be able to do that, you should always have an alarm clock beside you.You must be fully awake and avoid morning sluggishness. For this purpose, you can exercise, do some stretching and have a cold shower after. And if you feel that you are fully alert, you can go outside your house and have a view on the sunrise.This easy but immeasurably fulfilling act will boost spirits and assist you to self improvement. Tip # 2  Eat your Breakfast This is enormously the most important thing to do after waking up in the morning. To keep with your self improvement plan, you must have the energy to do the entire task.  You can take bread, cereals, oats, milk or fresh fruits.Eating breakfast is also a better way to lose weight. Studies prove that those who skip their breakfast have a larger chance of consuming more on the next meal. And, gaining weight won’t definitely help in self improvement.Tip # 3 Always wear a smile In every place you go, you must always smile and have an eye contact on the people you meet. Curving your lips a bit is just simple. It is worth the smile, each person will give back to you. This will help boost your spirit, especially when you see more people smile at you.Tip # 4 Do not delay any of your duties and appointmentsThe greater you put something else off, the more these things pile up. And these will only pressure you.The best thing to do is to set a schedule of those important things you need to do. This would also save some of your time.Tip #5 Have a note or to-do- listHave a summary of the things you need to do. You can do these after you go to bed, to prepare yourself. A to-do-list should contain those important and urgent things you need to accomplish by the end of the day. It will also serve as a reminder to those vital things you usually forget. Tip # 6 Forgive and ForgetThis is definitely one of the best things, we as human could ever done. If you had a fight with your friend or relatives, and you know that you hurt their feelings, make apology. Saying “I’m sorry” is the hardest thing to do, but it’s the best cure for the person you hurt.  You can show your sincerity by talking to that person. You’ll feel a lot better when you know that everything is fine now.This is by far the most important step in self improvement.Tip # 7 Take the effort to do something good and kindEven in an ordinary day, you could buy your friends a flower or a card, just to let them know how special they are.  Don’t be shy to let your family, friends and relatives know that you value and love them.  Help teach your niece or neighbor how to write or readFree Reprint Articles, and do “grown up” things.These are the simple yet valuable things you could do to gain self improvement.Just remember that self improvement can be greatly achieved by following these simple steps. But this doesn’t end here. Life is a work in progress. You can always do more and explore more along the way.