Life is full of challenges, many of which are beyond our control. But, when it comes to personal behaviour, and how we react to situations we have no excuses and this is where self-improvement and personal growth come into play.
I believe that Self-improvement is one of the most important of all human virtues. If there is something that should be undertaken by everyone it is “personal development.” Self-improvement is the “advancement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts.”
It takes one’s willingness and one’s own efforts to reach self actualisation. No one can be successful or reach greater heights, without first improving themselves. That’s how important the subject of self-improvement is to our lives.
If you keep doing the same things you will continue getting the same results. If you want to improve and grow, you must change what you do and do it differently, the choice is entirely yours.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily agenda.” – John C. Maxwell.
Very true, if you want to change your life and start living a better life you need to change the way you do things. You need to make self-improvement and personal growth the primary focus for your life.
Learning how to make self-improvement a priority and primary focus for your life, will help you move forward with confidence and strength toward your goals.
It will ease the pressures of life. You will enjoy your life’s journey even more.
In my many years of consciously practicing self-improvement, I have summed up the many principles into 7 that have been very beneficial to me.
Know Your Purpose
The number one principle is knowing your purpose. What is your God-given purpose on earth? What is it that you were designed to give the world?
Look, you like it or not, you have a purpose why you are on earth. It is therefore, your responsibility to know and discover what your purpose is in life.
Are you wandering through life with little direction, hoping that you’ll find happiness, health and prosperity? Identify your life’s purpose or mission statement and you will have your own unique compass that will lead you to your success every time.
Knowing your purpose in life makes you live your life with integrity. It helps you make the right choices and decisions knowing that they will help you achieve your goals.
When you know your purpose you will stick to your lane. Yes, you will be faced with challenges, but they will only serve to make you a better person.
“There’s no greater gift than to honour your life’s calling. It’s why you were born. And how you become most truly alive.” – Oprah Winfrey.
Knowing your life’s purpose helps you find your true passion and this becomes an important factor for you to achieve something extraordinary.
Whether it is a dream you have had from childhood or a newly found way of life, the passion will drive you to reach your goals.
Your life’s purpose is the compass for your life. There is no wrong purpose if it’s what you were created for it is the right one. I believe that God created each one of us to contribute positively to the improvement of the world.
Know Your Values
What do you value most? Make a list of your top 5 values. Some examples are security, freedom, family, spiritual development and learning.
As you set your goals, 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.
Look we all have values. Values “are the principles that give our lives meaning and allow us to persevere through adversity.” We live our lives according to our values. The values you hold determines the quality of life you live.
Know Your Needs
My number 3 principle is knowing your needs. What are your needs? Needs are the things that are necessary for making your life easy, without which life would be impossible for you.
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? Make sure you address these needs before anything else.
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!
Knowing and meeting your needs is a fundamental human right. It is your responsibility to ensure that you know your basic needs.
Life is much easier to navigate through when you know your needs. Generally, our lives revolve around our needs.
Once our basic needs are identified and are met with satisfaction, life opens up more opportunities for self-improvement; opportunities to grow beyond just our needs.
We focus on how best we can contribute to humanity without worrying about ourselves.
Know Your Passions
You know who you are and what you truly enjoy in life. 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 honour the people who have inspired you to become the very person you wanted to be.
Knowing your passions brings back some simplicity in your life that can lead to new freedoms in your everyday life.
There are many benefits that come with knowing your passions. When you are fully aware of your passions you live an authentic life free from the pressures of other people.
You follow what your soul is telling you. You become the original you, that you were designed to be. Knowing your passions brings greater self-awareness and confidence which in turn improves your productivity levels.
Often times when we follow our passions we make a career of out of them. We get paid doing what we love.
There is a difference between an artist whose main driver is making money and one whose main purpose is appreciating and enjoying their work.
Live From the Inside Out
Increase your awareness of your inner wisdom by regularly reflecting in silence. Commune with nature. Breathe deeply to quiet your distracted mind.
For most of us city slickers, it’s hard to even find the peace and quiet we want even in our own homes. In my case, I often just sit and play some classical music. There’s sound, yes, but music does soothe the soul.
They say all growth comes from within. What we are outside is a reflection of what we are inside. When we live from the inside out, we live from a sense of our own worthiness.
Honour Your Strengths
What are your positive traits? What special talents do you have? List five, if you get stuck, ask those closest to you to help identify them.
Are you imaginative, witty, good with your hands? Find ways to express your authentic self through your strengths. You can increase your self-confidence when you share what you know with others.
“Make the best use of what is in your power and take the rest as it happens.” – Epictetus. When you work from your strengths you work with confidence and with less effort.
Being of Service to 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; your spirit; your essence.
The rewards for sharing your gift with those close to you is indeed worthwhile, much more if it were to be the eyes of a stranger who can appreciate what you have done to them.
Being of service is really a joy because that is what humanity was designed for.
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. Self-improvement is a personal choice and decision.