Many people think of self-improvement and assume it just means some sort of self-help for those with problems. They think of psychologists psychoanalyzing patients or touchy feely books about loving yourself.
Years ago I stumbled upon some books that looked at self-improvement differently. One of the first books that I read related to this was Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. This was the first time I broke away from thinking that anything related to self-improvement must just be for those with problems and realized that everyone could look to improve.
This started to open a new door for me. Suddenly things that I wanted in life seemed achievable. I could see how areas I felt were weaknesses could become strengths and areas of opportunity could be explored.
It provided hope. It allowed dreams to form into realistic goals. Sometimes this meant taking the dream and finding the why behind the dream and then chasing that. Sometimes it meant starting with a smaller version of the dream to gain experience and knowledge first. But it gave hope that things could change for the better and that I was the one who had control.
The fact that all of us are responsible for our lives and all of us are determining our own future is a foreign concept to most. Instead they feel the government, their boss, the president, the economy, etc. is the one with the control. They completely miss their own part in the system and the fact that they have incredible freedom to choose the life they want. It might just mean they have to react to the things around them differently.
Self-improvement, to me, is simply the will to keep changing for the better. Combined with systems thinking, it becomes a way forward. By systematizing areas that you improved, you can then move on to new areas. You can better understand what is necessary in order to see the results that you are after.
Wherever you are in life, take a moment to reflect on the things in life that you could do if you could improve. If you could become a better communicator, a better leader, more knowledgeable, more caring etc. how could that improve things?
Then form a plan to move confidently towards the things you desire. The plan will change and you will change but stop feeling like a victim that is being controlled and start to see that you are able to change and improve and grow. This will help you realize your potential and find success and happiness that might seem foreign now but that are completely within your grasp.
This provides hope. Hope is what we all need to keep us moving forward. With hope, and a willingness to do the hard work necessary to improve, the sky is the limit and you find success and happiness beyond what is possible if you don’t actively work to improve.