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Published on July 28, 2020

5 Keys to Self Improvement That Will Pave a Path to Success

5 Keys to Self Improvement That Will Pave a Path to Success

What does success look like in your life? Is success attaining a certain position, securing a specific income or, creating experiences with those you love?

While success can take many forms, there is one part of the journey that is always the same – that is your need to improve yourself to achieve your goals.

When you master the 5 keys to self-improvement, you position yourself on the path to success. Each of the below keys to self-improvement will help you change your life if you commit to implementing them daily.

1. Faith Is Undefeated

Think back to a time when you were successful in trying something new. If you are like me, then success may not be the most accurate way to describe your first attempt. Nevertheless, you took something from that experience that helped you the next time around.

Each experience brought you closer to your goal until you achieved it. Each time you fell, you had to decide whether you were going to quit or try again.

This is no different than a baby learning to walk. A baby is going to fall down ample times. Yet, they maintain their faith in their ability to walk because they see others walking around them.

For a baby, it is that simple. As long as they can see someone walking, they have no reason to believe they cannot. Fortunately, babies tend to be surrounded by people who reinforce that belief. Every time a baby falls, they have someone there to encourage them to get back up. No matter how many times they fall to the ground, someone is there to cheer and encourage them.

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One of the most important keys to self-improvement is to believe you can be successful. Regardless of how difficult things may be, know that if you keep going, you are going to achieve your goal.

2. Become Your Biggest Fan

To help you maintain your motivation to continue when things become difficult, it is important for you to forgive yourself.

Studies show there is a positive correlation between self-compassion and self-improvement.[1] People who have an “accepting approach to personal failure” tend to be “more motivated to improve themselves.”

If you see failure as nothing more than a part of the path to success, then there is no reason for you to become discouraged when you fail. Those who are kind to themselves and engage in positive self-talk will look for lessons in moments of misfortune. They will look for opportunities in times of disaster.

Self-compassion is one of the keys to self-improvement because you do not see failure as a sign of your own inadequacies. Instead, you see failure as an opportunity to grow and improve yourself. You recognize where you are today is due to the information you have obtained to this point.

All that means is you need to gain more knowledge on how to create the life you want. Most people quit before they can create their dream life because they see failure as a sign they do not have what it takes.

The truth is you have always had the abilities, you just need to learn how to use them. By being compassionate and kind to yourself, you give yourself the necessary time to become a master.

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3. Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand

There are two types of people in the world. There are pilers and there are filers.

I happen to be a piler. I tend to keep records in small piles around my house. I know the contents of each pile and have a plan to work through the pile in due time (regardless of what my wife says).

Others are filers. They prefer to list their action items and love checking things off each day. As a result, using folders and filing things in a cabinet tends to make more sense to them.

The good news is you are not being asked to change who you. Whether you are filer or a piler is not a point of contention. The goal is for you to find a way to bring consciousness to your daily choices.

This could be as simple as you having a note in your pocket that says, “does this improve the quality of my life?”. Or it could be as detailed as making a checklist of the activities you need to engage in each day to accomplish your goal. Either way, you need to find a way that works for you to bring your actions to the forefront of your mind.

4. Recalibrate Regularly

Have you ever worn loose clothes for a few months and became oblivious to the fact that you have gained some weight?

Yea, me too. You feel normal and all of your clothes fit (or so you think).

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Then when you attempt to put on a suit or jeans, you realize you have gained some weight. Well, what happened? Why weren’t you able to notice the weight change until it was significant?

It was your loose clothes that kept you from noticing the changes in your body.

The best way to notice when your size changes is to wear clothes that are your actual size. What this does is bring immediate awareness to the situation. As uncomfortable as it may feel, wouldn’t you rather notice the change when it is small and manageable?

The problem is no one likes the feeling of falling short of their goals. As a coping mechanism, you will naturally avoid anything that may cause you to feel like a failure. However, by avoiding things when they are small and manageable, you are creating a bigger problem for later.

Instead of evading the problem until it becomes unavoidable, make small periodic adjustments to stay on the path of success. You will know what decisions created those immediate results and you can change things before you drift too far.

Actively deciding what actions you will take each day is one of the most profound keys to self-improvement.[2]

5. Change Your Self-Image

Your mind cannot distinguish between fact and fiction. It is going to store and categorize each experience the same way. That is why you feel such strong emotions when you are watching movies.

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You felt sadness and disbelief when Thanos first snapped his fingers in Avengers Infinity War. You felt relief and joy when Marlin was finally able to reunite with his son Nemo. Even though you knew these events did not really happen, it did not change your very real reaction.

Now, how can you use this fact as one of your keys to self-improvement?

Olympic athletes share how they use visualization as a form of training to help ensure they are ready to compete.[3]

Much like a movie, they visualize themselves competing and winning at the Olympics. If they visualize themselves losing, they perform the action again until they can see themselves winning. Each time they visualize themselves competing, they become more and more confident in their ability to win.

As I mentioned previously, the reason this technique is so powerful is that your mind cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. As a result, each time you visualize yourself accomplishing your goal, your mind starts to believe your goal has already been accomplished. As silly as it sounds, that belief will pave your path to success in gold.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of how you define success, you must grow to accomplish your goals. To put it another way, your current mindset has helped you create the life you have lived thus far.

he changes you want to make in your life require you to change your mindset. The 5 keys to self-improvement discussed in this article will help you do just that.

More About Self-Improvement

Featured photo credit: Hu Chen via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Why Working 9 to 5 Is Outdated

Bristol is the most congested city in England. Whenever I have to work at the office, I ride there, like most of us do. Furthermore, I always make sure to go at off hours; otherwise, the roads are jam-packed with cars, buses, bikes, even pedestrians. Why is that? Because everyone is working a traditional 9 to 5 work day.

Where did the “9 to 5” Come From?

It all started back in 1946. The United States government implemented the 40 hour work week for all federal employees, and all companies adopted the practice afterwards. That’s 67 years with the same schedule. Let’s think about all the things that have changed in the 67 years:

  • We went to the moon, and astronauts now live in space on the ISS.

  • Computers used to take up entire rooms and took hours to make a single calculation. Now we have more powerful computers in our purses and back pockets with our smartphones.

  • Lots of employees can now telecommute to the office from hundreds, and even thousands of miles away.

In 1946 a 9-5 job made sense because we had time after 5pm for a social life, a family life. Now we’re constantly connected to other people and the office, with the Internet, email on our smartphones, and hashtags in our movies and television shows. There is no downtime anymore.

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Different Folks, Different Strokes

Enjoying your downtime is an important part of life. It recharges your batteries and lets you be more productive. Allowing people to balance life and work can provide them with much needed perspective and motivation to see the bigger picture of what they are trying to achieve.

Some people are just more productive when they’re working at their optimal time of day, after feeling well rested and personally fulfilled.  For some that can be  from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m; for others, it could be  2 p.m. to 7 p.m.

People have their own rhythms and routines. It would be great if we could sync our work schedule to match. Simply put, the imposed 8-hour work day can be a creativity and morale killer for the average person in today’s world.

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Productivity and Trust Killer

Fostering creativity among employees is not always an easy endeavor, but perhaps a good place to start is by simply not tying their tasks and goals to a fixed time period. Let them work on their to-do list at their own pace, and chances are, you’ll get the best out of your employee who feels empowered instead of babysat.

That’s not to say that you should  allow your team to run wild and do whatever they want, but restricting them to a 9 to 5 time frame can quickly demoralize people. Set parameters and deadlines, and let them work at their own creative best with the understanding that their work is crucial to the functioning of the entire team.

Margaret Heffernan, an entrepreneur who previously worked in broadcasting, noted to Inc that from her experience, “treating employees like grown-ups made it more likely that they would behave the same way.” The principle here is to have your employees work to get things done, not to just follow the hands on the clock.

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A Flexible Remote Working Policy

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer famously recalled all her remote workers, saying she wanted to improve innovation and collaboration, but was that the right decision? We’ve all said that we’re often more productive in a half day working from home than a full day working in the office, right? So why not let your employees work remotely from home?

There are definitely varying schools of thought on remote working. Some believe that innovation and collaboration can only happen in a boardroom with markers, whiteboards and post-it notes and of course, this can be true for some. But do a few great brainstorms trump a team that feels a little less stressed and a little more free?

Those who champion remote working often note that these employees are not counting the clock, worried about getting home, cooking dinner or rushing through errands post-work. No one works their 9-5 straight without breaks here and there.  Allowing some time for remote working means employees can handle some non-work related tasks and feel more accomplished throughout the day. Also, sometimes we all need to have a taste of working in our pajamas, right?

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It’ll be interesting to see how many traditional companies and industries start giving their employees more freedom with their work schedule. And how many end up rescinding their policies like Yahoo did.

What are your thoughts of the traditional 9-5 schedule and what are you doing to help foster your team’s productivity and creativity? Hit the comments and let us know.

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