Self Improvement Requires Tenacity

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One thing I’ve learned about self improvement is that you can’t change your life by reading a book, joining a gym, or attending a personal growth seminar. The cold, hard truth is that we are creatures of habit, years of conditioning, and our environment, and that our natural tendency is to continue the habits, thoughts, and reactions we’ve become accustomed to — even if they’re self defeating or counterproductive.

Although most people don’t salivate at the sound of a bell, many of us are like Pavlovian dogs, responding automatically to external stimuli and not really taking the time to adjust our conditioned responses and reflect on our behavioral patterns.

There is good news in all this though — at least for people who are willing to make a sustained effort to improve themselves and their lives. It’s not easy, but it IS worth it.

One of my favorite quotes is by the Russ Harris, the author of the book “The Confidence Gap.” I think if you can accept this truth and work with it, then personal growth, empowerment, and greater success is almost inevitable. I wrote this quote on an index card and reflect on it several times a week:

“We can choose the pain of stagnation, or we can choose the pain of growth. There is no such thing as a pain-free life.”

Another powerful saying I wrote down as a reminder has been attributed to Liam Linisong:

“A year from now, what will you wish you had done today?”

Here’s a slightly different twist on the same theme — one that’s worth mentioning:

“Do something today that your future self will thank you for!”

One additional motivational quote I’d like to add is this one, which has been attributed to American pastor Robert Schuller:

“What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”

All these motivational quotes can literally be life changing if you reinforce them on a daily basis and resolve to approach life in a proactive rather than reactive way.

Since the fear of failure is one of the biggest enemies of success, that quote can be a powerful way to circumvent — at least for a moment– the debilitating effects of fear.

The actress Bette Davis once said “Old age ain’t no place for sissies!” While that may be especially true for the challenges of aging physically, I think it also applies to life, in general.

Whether you adopt and internalize the motto “No pain, no gain” or “Only the strong survive,” you can begin to make quantum leaps in life when you accept personal responsibility and create an action plan to rise above whatever plateau you’re stuck on.

Something to consider:

In all likelihood, it’s your own limiting, subconscious beliefs that are blocking the money, success and personal breakthroughs you want, need and deserve.

The good news is…

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Thanks for tuning in.

Your feedback is welcome!

Wishing you all the best!

–Joel

*PS.: This blog contains links to select products and services for which I am a compensated affiliate.

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Tips For Taking Charge of Your Life

girl-2573111_640Problems, adversity, and frustrations can sometimes (but not always) be “blessings in disguise.” Frustrations, mistakes, defeats, and setbacks can inspire you to mentally step back, reassess your situation, regroup, and devise a plan to make positive improvements and changes in your life.

Here are two things that I believe everyone needs to remind themselves of every day — if not every minute:

  • Personal responsibility: “I am responsible for the direction of my life,  the choices I make, the thoughts I think, the actions I take, the words I speak, and the path on which I walk in life. The future condition and quality of my life rests firmly on my shoulders and I’m not going to relinquish that control to anyone else. I’m also not going to waste time, energy, and opportunities by blaming someone else for my frustrations or problems.”
  • Continual forks in the road: Every moment in your life in a crossroads — an opportunity to change your direction, make new and different decisions, solve problems, break through barriers, and discover opportunities. As Deepak Chopra states in his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, “You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.”

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Another philosophy that I find inspiring is that of Dr. Wayne Dyer (1940-2015), author of life-changing books like Your Erroneous Zones, The Power of Intention, You’ll See it When You Believe It, Your Sacred Self, and dozens of others.

One of his inspirational quotes that I frequently reflect on is “You don’t get what you want, you get what your are!”

What does that mean?

Well, here’s my interpretation of those wise words:

  • You get out of life what you put into it.
  • Our happiness, success, and the impact we have on the world is the result of the thoughts we cultivate, the personal values we live by, and the habits we develop. As creatures of habit, our individual and cumulative habits are what determine or destiny and shape our reality.
  • Our outer world is a reflection of our inner world — our “inner world” meaning our thoughts, feelings, beliefs, mental images, thought patterns, and the way we communicate with ourselves (both silently and out loud).

So in order to take charge of our lives and not allow external forces and influences to dictate the the content and quality of our lives, we need to be the “master of our fates and captains of our soul.”

In the poem Invictus, English poet William Ernest Henley (1849–1903) wrote those memorable words in the form of a powerful affirmation:

“I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”

Not a bad mantra to remember and repeat to yourself several times a day, every day!

I hope you’ve found this blog post to be both inspiring and thought-provoking.

Feel free to follow (subscribe to), share, or comment on this blog.

Peace and best wishes!

–Joel