Self Improvement Made Easy
Self improvement made easy.
Your life made easy.
Simplifying your world to the point where you can do whatever you want and be whoever you most desire being (within reason, of course).
Sounds great, doesn't it?
The only thing is that while self improvement CAN be made easy, for some people it CAN'T be made easy. It can't be made easy that easily, that is.
Okay, enough with me trying to sound clever. My main point, quite simply, is this...
While many other personal development websites will advocate that 'in order to make the self improvement process easy, you must set goals, you must take things slowly (but start immediately), etc', I personally feel that, although such advice is all well and true, it's the wrong advice to give first.
The first morsel of advice I would give to you on the matter of 'self improvement made easy' has to do with the following thought...
However easy self improvement will be for YOU will be based in proportion to 'who you are' (not 'what you are' and not 'what you're capable of becoming'). And 'who you are' is determined by relativity. Put another way: Your perception of the world is determined almost entirely by your personal psychology.
If you're an extreme OPTIMIST living in the most overcast part of England, you'll see the world as being a far brighter place than an extreme PESSIMIST living in the sunniest region of California, regardless of whatever the 'true reality' in either of the two areas is. This is thoroughly important to note, because HOW you view the world determines HOW you interact with the world, and HOW you interact with the world determines WHAT you get back.
So even though there are a few key ideas to making the self improvement process easier than it might otherwise be, I would say the INITIAL key idea is that you get your mindset right before attempting anything else. If you don't do this (or if you firmly believe you can't do this) then self improvement will never be an easy process for you. You might achieve what you ultimately desire, but it will be an incredibly arduous road in getting there.
Being an optimist means seeing the good in whatever you're looking at. Now I won't pretend that this is easy, because - quite frankly - the world is a terrible place. Surprised I said that? Don't be. But let me elaborate on my thinking before you jump to any conclusions.
There are many sorts of extremely violent crimes being committed in this world every day; there are countries where huge volumes of people are starving and dying from diseases that, in other parts of the world, are not always that deadly; at any minute, depending on where you are, a natural disaster might strike; and so on and so forth.
That said, there are hundreds of people who do everything they can, on a daily basis, to help others unconditionally, in many different respects, in every corner of the globe; many of us have been afforded a high level of education in life, we have our own talents and quirky character traits, and we come from families that are not totally crazy; this planet offers us a huge amount of variety in way of destinations we can travel to, delicious foods we can eat, people we can meet; and so on and so forth.
So yes, this world is a terrible place... IF that's your perspective. But this world is also an amazing place... IF that's your perspective. We fine-tune reality into what we imagine it to be, then see and experience it like that. And that's possibly how it should be, because reality comprises of so much - it's so incredibly broad - that perhaps we need to limit ourselves to seeing it in one general way lest we become constantly overwhelmed by it. But now I'm merely hypothesizing. Whatever the case, NOBODY sees reality exactly as it is, so it's up to us to view it in the way that will make us most receptive to it, and which, in turn, will make the world more rewarding to us.
So being an optimist isn't about TRYING to find the good in this world, it's simply about letting yourself see it because it's right there EVERYWHERE in front of you. As for 'the bad', you shouldn't ignore it, but you shouldn't let it rule you either. 'Not over-focusing on the bad' is just as important as 'focusing on the good'.
But the topic of 'being optimistic' is a strange one for me to discuss the technicalities about, because, for as long as I can remember, I've just NATURALLY been far more optimistic than pessimistic, meaning I don't just see the glass as 'half full', I almost always see it as being at least three quarters full, and only sometimes as being one quarter empty. Returning to my initial point though...
The process of making the process of self improvement easy FIRSTLY concerns your being positive, and 'being positive' is about your perspective.
If you can get this right, then self improvement WILL be easy.
At this point - having MADE my point - I should probably wrap up this article, but I'm not going to. I'm not going to because some of you might now be developing a question in your mind that goes a little something like this...
'But if everything's SIMPLY about your perceptions, then why should you try and improve yourself at all? Why not just get into the habit of PERCEIVING everything as being absolutely wonderful, and then you can enjoy life no matter what it really might be... no matter how unhealthy you are, no matter how many dreams you have yet to accomplish, etc?'
And often, when somebody says 'good question', they say this because they don't have a 'good answer'. Hopefully mine will be.
As much as your happiness is dependant on 'who you are', and 'who you are' is dependant on 'how you perceive (or learn to perceive) reality', perceiving the best in reality is easier when their is MORE that is good in your own personal reality to perceive as being better. To revisit the example I gave a short while back: Yes, that extreme optimist living in the most overcast part of England sees the world as being a far brighter place than that extreme pessimist living in the sunniest region of California, regardless of whatever the 'true reality' in either of the two areas is, because it's more about the perceived reality one creates for oneself than the actual reality of life, but still... if that extreme optimist were the one living in the sunniest region of California, then he/ she would be even HAPPIER than if he/ she was living in a gloomier part of England (granted he/ she prefers, as a high priority in life, living in a sunnier climate to one that isn't).
Being happy isn't enough, you see. To begin with it is (and it's actually VITAL that you achieve this state of mind), but then you have to strive for more. And when I say 'being happy', I mean that your GENERAL STATE should be one of happiness, because obviously nobody can be happy all the time, as life occasionally presents us with very unfortunate predicaments that we'd sometimes quite possibly be clinically insane if we were to smile at. And 'being happy' means that you're AT LEAST more happy than you're not when you're going about your general day to day existence.
It is the great contradiction in life that, as a rule of thumb, most of us RESIST change because we're scared of it (even though it excites us), yet we HATE monotony (even though it's easier to live a more monotonous risk-free existence than not). Which brings me to the second point in this article...
Creating And Reaching Your Goals
Here's where I tell you what most other websites will tell you on the matter of 'self improvement made easy'.
Make a list of goals you would like to reach. And don't be shy about putting anything onto that list, because this is all simply theory to begin with.
Once you're finished with this list (which you can obviously come back to and update at any time), first look at those goals that you can likely reach in the very near future; secondly, look at those goals which you'll more likely only be able to reach in a few months or a few years time; lastly, look at those goals which it's unlikely you'll ever reach because maybe they're the sorts of goals that it's not humanly possible for anyone to reach, or some other reason.
Focus your initial efforts on the goals which you can reach in the near future. In other words, first get into the HABIT of achieving goals by working on goals that will be more quickly and easily achieved, even if it's merely a goal of 'saving on your electricity bill by being just that much more careful with the amount of electricity you use.'
Consider however you might most easily and realistically reach those short-term goals, then set out a game plan. As with your 'list of goals', your game plans can also always be reworked at a later stage as your ideas evolve, so don't worry about getting it 'perfect' the first time around.
What's thoroughly interesting is this TED video clip which entirely contradicts the above idea of belonging to a goal-setting community, because studies have revealed that sharing your goal setting ideas is actually the worst thing to do. I highly recommend you watch this three and a half minute clip because it's important to see differing points of view on a matter, especially when both points of view seem particularly valid. What I personally think is that it all just goes back to balance. Keep your goal-setting challenges private, to a degree, but share your goal-setting ideas also with a community of people who can support, inspire, and sometimes egg you on when and if you need it.
The following link is a short video clip which talks far more precisely and intelligently on the matter of goal setting than any and every other website I've personally seen dealing with the matter, so for a 'self improvement made easy' video clip, I can't recommend any other talk more-so than this one.
As Matt Cutt touches upon in the above clip: Don't just set goals to accomplish certain feats, also set goals to rid yourself of character defects or other less minor negative (or just plain unnecessary) aspects in your life.
What I'll next say on the topic of goal-setting is that it's NOT a matter of winning or beating anyone else. Life, in this sense, is not like a competition or a game. In fact, I'm not even going to attempt providing an analogy for what life is, because - as I've previously stated - life is too broad and magnificent a thing to pigeon-hole as being similar to any one thing. It's simply too complicated to be explained in terms of something else. What life is (as opposed to what life's LIKE) is whatever YOU want it to be.
So what do you want it to be?
Once you know the answer to that question, then you can begin goal-setting from there (granted you're first in that optimistic frame of mind I began off this article in discussing).
Self improvement concepts are, for the most part, easy to understand; it's just they're not always easy to put into practice.
When businesses send employees on courses, it always amuses me because generally the people who go on those courses come back feeling incredibly excited about what they've learnt, and are sincerely wishing to put into practice the new concepts that they've been exposed to, but then a week passes and the course is all but forgotten. Maybe it's simply a case of 'out of sight, out of mind', but whatever it is about human nature that creates this situation - time and time again, with so great a quantity of people - it prompts me to say just one last word on goal-setting before moving onto the last section of this article.
To begin with, I spoke about being positive, and now I've spoken about the importance of goal-setting. However, I think that you should not concern yourself so much - when first setting goals - on what goals to achieve, as much as you should concern yourself simply with JUST TRYING TO ACHIEVE THEM. Get into the GOOD HABIT of being the sort of person who can GET INTO good habits. Once you've done this, THEN start focusing on the more important (or most important) goals in life. The smaller (more easily attainable) goals are therefore the ideal goals to first start out in trying to achieve, therefore.
A Final Point About The First Point
For you to become far more positive than you are, one technique you can try your hand at is simply ACTING far more positively than you normally otherwise would. ACT as though you're highly optimistic about your life and the world, although I wouldn't go so far as to suggest you act with 'dumb optimism'. IMAGINE yourself to be the sort of person who can't help but to see the good in most everything and everyone (including yourself). You don't have to verbalise your 'happy thoughts' to the world, just mull over it in the recesses of your mind as often as you are able to. You needn't specifically act for an external audience, in other words; rather be your own audience that you are acting for. Sometimes it's not about becoming an optimist, it's about unbecoming a pessimist, and I think this technique of simply 'acting happy' helps with that process. It is my contention that children, mostly, are quite naturally highly optimistic (about their abilities, what the world has to offer them, etc), and then many of us slowly lose almost all of that wonderful trait with the passing of time. Maybe it's because it's an unconscious trait, so when it starts to vanish, we don't (or perhaps can't) consciously realise it, therefore we don't know to do anything about it. I don't know. But I do know that if you PRETEND to be happier than you are, then eventually the attitude will quite likely become a real one. I can't guarantee it will, of course, but you've got nothing to lose in trying this approach. Even if you only try it for a week. If, after that very short period of time, you find that you're even just a tiny bit happier than you generally are, then it is very likely working for you.
If you wish to attain more techniques in your attempts at becoming optimistic (or becoming more optimistic), then may I suggest you read my article The Heart Of Self Improvement. This should provide you with a fair number of other adequate ideas on the matter too.
And now: This article in a nutshell...
1) Change your perspective of reality and become optimistic.
2) Create some RELATIVELY small goals to achieve in your life, so that you will more likely and more easily achieve them, and this should help get you into the habit of 'getting into the habit' of moving forward in achieving bigger goals.
3) Create bigger goals you can achieve, and then achieve them.
Self improvement can be made easy, although it may be an easy process that takes some time. And the concept of 'self improvement' itself is a goal you'll never come to the end of, because one's self improvement can never end. Even if we were all immortals, I'd imagine we would still never be able to become perfect beings, and perfectly content beings in every respect. But that's a good thing! It means that there's always something to live for!
OTHER RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
* The Heart Of Self Improvement
* Self Improvement Gyming
* Self Improvement Quotes
* Free Self Improvement Downloads
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