Self improvement is a continuous struggle to better ourselves; it the aspiration to transcend our weaknesses and limitations. There is no quick fix for our self development; it requires perseverance, patience and a constant aspiration to lead a better life. These are some of the factors that will expedite our progress.
1. Don’t Just Talk
It is easy to spend several hours reading and talking about making changes to our life. But, all the books in the world won’t help unless we can make real changes to our life. Books can give us inspiration, but, for every book we read it can take many years to actually understand and implement the changes in our lives. Similarly it is good to talk and articulate what we should do, but the real test is whether we can practise what we preach.
2. Discipline / regularity
Self improvement is not something that can do once a week when we feel like it. Self improvement requires a certain discipline and regularity. For many discipline brings to mind negative connotations of doing something we don’t really want to. However, the discipline here is really the motivation to continue doing the right thing. If something is good to do, there is no need to just do it occasionally. After a while our discipline to create good habits, no longer feels like discipline; we want to do it simply because this is what we enjoy doing. Our bad habits no longer seem attractive.
3. Think of others
Self improvement doesn’t mean we focus excessively on ourselves. It is a paradox of self improvement that real progress comes when we give less importance to our ego and give more consideration to others. When we think of others a little more and ourselves a little less, we will definitely make progress in becoming a better person.
4. Vision / Goals / Progress
The first requirement of self development is that we must have an aim for something better. Even if our goals and dreams are very modest, it is vital to have something to aim for. How can we make any self improvement if we are content to remain as we are? Try writing down a very simple list of 5-7 items in which you would like to improve and give them a priority in your life.
5. Gain Inspiration from Others
Self improvement is not a lonely furrow. Seek the company of like minded people. There is great power in association, when we associate with people who have a little inner peace in their own lives it is easier to bring it to the fore in ours. What is important is the inspiration and encouragement we receive by associating with others.
6. Mind / Body / Spirit
There are many different aspects of our being which are intertwined together. We should pay attention to all these different aspects. If we want to improve our thoughts and avoid negative moods, we should try to keep the body healthy as well. Regular exercise can help improve our mood, often more effectively than much pondering over different belief systems. A clear mind will definitely be easier with a fit body.
7. The Power of Happiness.
In talking about self improvement it is important to avoid making it sound like an intellectual exercise. Real self development requires a more holistic approach than merely understanding and reading. We should try to bring to the fore the capacity of the heart which embodies simplicity and joy. When we are sincerely happy, we can easily make progress. If we are miserable and frustrated everything becomes difficult. We don’t make progress through being miserable; we need to overcome any negative mindset.
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- How To Transcend Our Limitations
- How To Reduce the Ego
- The Source of Happiness
Photo: Sri Chinmoy Centre Galleries (Pavitrata)