It’s no secret that successful people live very different lives, or they do what most of us won’t do in our everyday lives. There isn’t much difference between a homeless man and Richard Branson; it’s what they do with their time that makes the difference.
You might be wondering: “What are other qualities most successful people have and how do I develop them?”
Well, today I will share with you 21 self-improvement ideas you can use today to improve your day.
All you need to do is take a few minutes of your day to pick one or more of these personal development ideas and exercise them.
Ready? Let’s do it.
1. Understanding the power of your mind
In order to better your life, you have to understand how the mind works. And in order to understand how the mind works, you have to understand Dr. Thurman Fleet’s ‘Stick person’.
In order to better your life, you have to understand how the mind works. And in order to understand how the mind works, you have to understand Dr. Thurman Fleet’s ‘Stick person’.The mind is controlling the body. If you want to improve your results in your life, you’ll be wise to study this concept.
The mind is controlling the body. If you want to improve your results in your life, you’ll be wise to study this concept.
For more explanation on this concept, watch Bob Proctor explain the stick person:
Conscious mind (your thoughts)
Your conscious mind is your thinking mind. This is where your thoughts take place. The conscious mind can choose thoughts. It can accept or reject any thought or idea. It’s worth to remember that we think in pictures. And those pictures are turned over to the subconscious mind.
Subconscious mind (your feelings)
The subconscious mind cannot reject any thought or idea that is expressed through the conscious mind, it can only accept what the conscious mind is giving. It cannot differentiate between what’s real and what’s imagined.
This is the place your results in life comes from. Whether your results are mediocre or success, this is where the cause is hidden. It’s called ‘paradigm’.
Paradigms are multitude of habits that are fixed in your subconscious mind. In most cases, it’s other people’s habits, your parent’s, family’s, teacher’s, etc. That why most of us is getting the same results as our parents.
There are millions who spend years and a lot of money in school, many of them even earning doctor’s degree, doing dumb jobs earning no money. It’s because their programming/paradigm or as T. Harv Eker put it, their money or success blueprint is not set for high.
I encourage you to watch the video from the link above for more information. There’s no one better to explain this concept than Bob Proctor.
2. Become more decisive & stick with them
It’s probably here you can see the most difference between a homeless man and the most successful people. Giants in every industry are decisive. They decide to do something and do it.
Napoleon Hill in his classic, Think And Grow Rich, wrote an entire chapter on decision.
Napoleon Hill opened the chapter by writing: ”Accurate analysis of over 25.000 men and women who had experienced failure, disclosed the fact that lack of decision was near the head of the list of the 30 major causes of failure. That is no mere statement of a theory – it is a fact.”
Steps to be more decisive
Decide what you want
This one is easy, become aware of what you want and write it down on paper or your laptop. When you write a goal or an idea, it makes more real, I won’t go deeply on this there are many books on this like Write It Down, Make It Happen – Henriette Anne Klauser.
Start before you’re ready
Bob Proctor in Six Minutes To Success, said: ”If you were to talk to anyone who knows me, they’d know that I make decisions on the spot about big things. I make the decision to do things before we’re anywhere near ready to them. I always figure, if you start before you’re ready, you’ll pull everything together.”
Start before you start over-analyzing things.
Change the plan, not the goal
”So often in life, it seems things get worse on the way toward getting better. Be prepared for that sort of development. Problems belong to the process.” – Price Pritchett, You2
And he also wrote: ” Halfway through the surgery, it looks like there’s been a murder in the operating room. If you send a rocket to the moon, about ninety percent of the time it’s off course – it ”fails” its way to the moon by continually making mistakes and correcting them.”
Be prepared for obstacles. Whenever you start anything, there will always be some tough times. When that happens, you might have to change your plan, not the goal. If the goal is worth it, don’t change it.
3. Stand guard at the negative channel to the brain
All of the self-improvement coaches will tell you how maintaining a positive attitude is in order to improve your life and in attracting what you want.
When you get up in the morning
Start your day by saying thank you. You can say ‘thank you’ three times, you can list ten thing you are grateful for or start your own gratitude exercise.
Use positive language
It’s surprisingly amazing how little changes in your language can have the influence in the way you think and how you feel and act.
Whenever someone asks you how you are, don’t answer them with good old ”fine”. Say instead ”great” or ”fantastic” or as Zig Ziglar suggests: ”Outstanding but I’m improving” or ”Supergood but I’ll get better”.I can!
Develop an ‘I can’ mentality. When you start to think ”I can’t, it’s too hard”, replace the thoughts with ”I can”, ”I can do it” or ”I can and I will”.
If you do it repeatedly, your confidence will start to increase. The voice inside your head plays a huge role in your daily results.
4. Identify your strengths and weak spots
If you don’t know where you are, it doesn’t matter where you’re going. That’s why identifying your strengths, and weak spots are crucial.
Our energy tends to the areas we feel more powerful. We do what we feel confident in, and what makes us proud.
A chain is only as strong as its its weakest link
If you know your strengths, you can work on improving them. If you become aware of your weak spots, you can start to work on improving them as well or hire someone who is good at what you can’t do.
Here’s what you can do
I want you to write down what you consider to be your five greatest strengths from a human resources point of view. For each item you list, brainstorm two things that you can do to make those even stronger. I borrowed this from one of the Six Minutes To Success daily videos.
You can ask your family and friends which strengths and weaknesses they see in you. If you can’t do it in person, use email. Sometimes it can be hard to ask somebody for feedback in person.
For me personally it was hard because I have always been a shy person, and I didn’t like finding out if someone see some weakness in me. So I used email when I asked some of my friends.
If you work for someone, ask your boss for feedback. Bosses are good at giving feedbacks.
5. Make a to-do list before you go to bed to maximize your results
Tonight, before you go to bed, take a time to write 6 of your goals for tomorrow. These six goals should be the most goal achieving things. Not stuff like pick up bread on the way home. Write things that will move you closer to your goals in your life, your job, business, etc.
When you get up in the morning, start with number 1, you don’t start on number 2 before you’re finished with number 1. If you’re done with number 2 you go on to number 3, and so on.
If you don’t finish the list, move the rest to the next day.
6. Stop complaining
Beau Pinto’s funny motivational video says it all. This is how you look when you complain about things you can’t change:
We all complain. We’re just conditioned like that. Even if you’re the happiest and the most positive person, at some point you’ll be complaining about something.
I complained a lot, not out loud though. But that doesn’t make it better. Many of us complain and don’t even realizing it, it’s just a habit.
Become aware of it
Whenever you start to complain, become aware of it. Then you can change your thought and direct them to positive thinking. There’s always positive in negative. ”Seek and you shall find.” Find the positive.
Be less judgmental
Before you judge other people, try to walk a mile in their shoes, try to understand why they are doing the things they do.
Here’s the deal:
Let’s take a burglar as an example. He or she is stealing because the idea of in order to have more, he or she has to take it from others.
7. Read books
There’s so much more to a book than just reading. – Maurice Sendak
There are many benefits of reading, mental stimulation, entertainment, tranquility, better writing skills, vocabulary expansion, etc.
The most important lesson you can learn from books is the author’s mindset and knowledge. How do they think about happiness, success, relationships, life?
The bottom line is:
You can learn all about anything, but if you don’t reprogram your mind, it doesn’t really matter how much knowledge you have. Shifting your mindset is really important.
8. Surround yourself with successful people
Jim Rohn said: ”You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Who do you spend your time with?
Negative, depressed and pissed off people will pull you down. Just being around them for a while, you will start to feel like them.
You can completely leave the negative and depressing people, or dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend with them.
Sometimes you can’t leave them completely, like family members. But you can reduce the time you spend with them.
9. Do a thing 3 times you haven’t done
Do a thing you haven’t done three times. Once to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not. – Virgil Thomson
How many times have you tried something big and never done it again because it made you uncomfortable?
There are many things I wish I’d done few times more, but didn’t because they scared the s**t out of me.
Scary and uncomfortable things and obstacles are required in your personal development journey.
10. Make a vision board
We all remember the story of John Assaraf and his giant mansion from The Secret. It’s a great example of the power of a vision board and visualization. Visualization is an important part in self-improvement.
You can make vision boards as John Assaraf did, by taking pictures of the things you want to have, achieve in your life, etc. and putting them on the vision board.
Christine Kane has a great article about vision boards and how to make one. She wrote about three types of vision boards, the I-know-exactly-what-I-want, opening-and-allowing, and a theme-vision board.
Vision board apps
You can find many vision board apps online by searching ”vision board app”.
They have over 2.1 million users. I am a member, and I got to tell you this is an amazing piece of software.
You simply drag and drop pictures you want to use out of the gallery or upload your own pictures. Select the music you like or upload any music from your computer. Select the affirmations you want to use or write your own words. And download the video and voilá, you’re done.
Jack Canfield’s free vision board app
Jack Canfield have a free vision board app, it seems easy to use. I haven’t used the app but if you are looking for a free vision board I recommend you check it.
11. Take risks
The biggest risk is not taking any risk… In a world that is changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks. – Mark Zuckerberg
I bet there were many times where you wish you were a little braver, trusted yourself a little more, and taken some risks?
I think we all have those. Often we know what we want, but we let fear stop us.T. Harv Eker in one of his Secrets of the Millionaire Mind seminars, said: ”What you have to do to be successful and wealthy and rich, is completely different than what you need to do to just be comfortable.”
T. Harv Eker in one of his Secrets of the Millionaire Mind seminars, said: ”What you have to do to be successful and wealthy and rich, is completely different than what you need to do to just be comfortable.”So, we all know that comfortable does not lead to rich. On the other hand, if you go for rich, you probably end up mighty comfortable.”
Let’s take a look how we can become a better risk taker. Here are author Margie Warrell’s four tips.
Acknowledge your fear
The first thing you have to do is acknowledge your fear. If you don’t own your fears, they can own you.
Tame your fear
The second is to tame it. If you turn on the TV or open the newspaper, there will be headlines saying what might happen if we do the thing we’re afraid of. That’s just your imagination gone wild.
Harness the power of fear
Instead of thinking about all the bad things that could happen, think about the cost of inaction. What’s the price of not doing the things you fear.
Step through it
Just do it. Trust in yourself. As the Chinese proverb says:”The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”.
12. Get a mentor
What you want in a mentor is someone who truly cares for you and who will look after your interests and not just their own. When you do come across the right person to mentor you, start by showing them that the time they spend with you is worthwhile. – Vivek Wadhwa
Most of us don’t want to learn from going through the pain of making mistakes, because it can be one of the most painfully and costly way to learn.
Mentoring is a relationship between two people with the goal of professional and personal development. Your mentor should be more experienced person who will share his or her knowledge.
13. Learn from your mistakes
If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit. – William J. Clinton
I think William Clinton’s quote says it all. You can only learn from your mistakes if you admit them. So many of us start to blame other people instead of taking responsibility.
You don’t have to be ashamed of your mistakes; you did what you did with the limited knowledge you had. Now you know better.
14. Why perfectionism is bad
I used to be a perfectionist. Sure, my results were not perfect. But every little thing I did, I wanted to do it perfectly, although the goal was not perfection.
The goal was not to mess up so others wouldn’t criticize me. Over the years, the fear of criticism grew.
If you’ve read my first review of Six Minutes to Success, you might remember what I shared with you. I couldn’t even submit a post on Facebook because I was afraid what other people would think of me.
It started with perfectionism and ended up with fear of criticism.
Don’t strive for perfection, but you don’t want to leave the trifles either. God is in the details, as Ludwig Mies van der Rohe said it.
There’s good and bad perfectionism. PsychCentral wrote about good perfectionism vs. bad perfectionism. You can check it here
15. Become an optimist
Optimist vs. pessimist
Here’s what one of my favorite author, Brian Tracy, have to say about optimistic and pessimistic people:
”There are three basic differences in the reactions of an optimist and a pessimist. The first difference is an optimist sees a setback as temporary while the pessimist sees it as permanent.
The optimist sees an unfortunate event, such as an order that falls through or sales call that fails, as a temporary event. Something that is limited in time, and that it has no real impact on the future. The pessimist, on the other hand, sees negative event as permanent, as part of life and destiny.
The second difference between the optimist and the pessimist is that the optimist sees the difficulties as specific, all the pessimists see them as pervasive.
The third difference is that the optimist see events as external, while the pessimist interprets events as personal. When things go wrong, the optimist wants to see the setback as resulting from external factors over one has little control. For example if the optimist is cut off in traffic. Instead of getting angry or upset, he will simply downgrade the importance of the event by saying something like: ”Oh well, I guess that person is on a hurry to get to work or something like that”.
The pessimist on the other hand has the tendency to take everything personally. If the pessimist is cut off in traffic he or she will react as though the other driver has gotten up that morning and driven through traffic, and deliberately acted to cut him off to make him upset and angry”.This is taken from one of Brian Tracy’s youtube videos.s.
This is taken from one of Brian Tracy’s youtube videos.
16. Help others
I’ll share another Six Minutes to Success daily lesson with you.
Here’s what Sandy Gallagher, Bob Proctor’s partner in Proctor Gallagher Institute, said in one of the Six Minutes to Success daily videos.
”If you seem to be attracting an inordinate personal problems, here’s a fairly simple solution to many of them: Forget yourself. That might sound strange, but it usually works. Just forget yourself. It’s really simple. Just try thinking of someone else who has a greater need as yourself, and then get busy helping them. That’s it; that’s all you have to do.
The late Bill Wilson, he found his work wonders for him. That was about eighty years ago. And he was a very sick alcoholic, and he had all the problems that came with that. And he believed that his situation was hopeless, but he found someone in worse shape than himself, and he helped that person. And together, they started Alcoholics Anonymous. Their basic concept of ”help someone else” has been copied successfully by numerous other groups.You see, when someone has personal problems, they tend to focus their attention and their mental energy on themselves and their problem. And they make it grow. See, they put all this emotional energy into the problem, but little if any into the solution. And that just make the problem grow worse.
You see, when someone has personal problems, they tend to focus their attention and their mental energy on themselves and their problem. And they make it grow. See, they put all this emotional energy into the problem, but little if any into the solution. And that just make the problem grow worse.Instead switch your thinking and begin giving your attention and your energy to helping others. Once you starve the problem of that energy that it needs to live, you’ll usually find that it just withers away.”
Instead switch your thinking and begin giving your attention and your energy to helping others. Once you starve the problem of that energy that it needs to live, you’ll usually find that it just withers away.
You can never be too kind, say hello to a stranger on the street. Give a homeless person something to eat. Help organizations. There’s a lot of things you can do, pick one (or more).17. Impression of Increase
17. Impression of Increase
I love this one. And I bet you’re going to love it, as you start to use it. You can read it in Wallace D. Wattles book, The Science of Getting Rich. That was the book that inspired Rhonda Byrne to make the hit movie, The Secret.
Wattles talks about leaving people the impression of increase. Here’s a piece of that chapter: ”Increase is what all men and all women are seeking; it is the urge of the Formless Intelligence within them, seeking fuller expression.”
We all want more. More happiness, more friends, more love, more money. We want more of everything. Help others by leaving the impression of increase.
I had a bit of trouble of implementing this one because I’m an introvert or shy person.
I love Bob Proctor’s quote when he explain this principle: ”Just make them feel better because you were there.” It doesn’t have to be a big thing; it could be as small as ”I like your shoes”. Just be sincere.
Think about some of the people you’re going to meet today and how you can leave them the impression of increase.
18. Law of Forgiveness
The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. – Mahatma Gandhi
Feelings of resentment and anger can lower your positivity. Negative emotions can do a lot of damages. They cause illness; they send people away from you.If you suppress anger, it will build up until you explode. If you keep suppressing anger, it turns into depression.
If you suppress anger, it will build up until you explode. If you keep suppressing anger, it turns into depression.Whenever you get angry, write down how you feel and burn it. What makes you angry? Write it in details, don’t suppress it and burn it. As you burn the paper, release the feeling with the flames.
Whenever you get angry, write down how you feel and burn it. What makes you angry? Write it in details, don’t suppress it and burn it. As you burn the paper, release the feeling with the flames.James Allen wrote an amazing book in 1902 called As A Man Thinketh. It’s a short book, but it’s just amazing. In the last chapter, Serenity, he wrote:
James Allen wrote an amazing book in 1902 called As A Man Thinketh. It’s a short book, but it’s just amazing. In the last chapter, Serenity, he wrote:”Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. It’s presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.”
”Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. It’s presence is an indication of ripened experience, and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.”So, you don’t have to get angry because of anybody. Nobody is in charge of how you feel. It’s what your thoughts about what happened that makes you angry. Think about it, it’s never what ‘they’ said, it’s how you think about what they said that makes you angry or sad.
So, you don’t have to get angry because of anybody. Nobody is in charge of how you feel. It’s what your thoughts about what happened that makes you angry. Think about it, it’s never what ‘they’ said, it’s how you think about what they said that makes you angry or sad.I remember Bob Proctor quoting someone in Six Minutes to Success: ”Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies; it’s a dumb game”.
I remember Bob Proctor quoting someone in Six Minutes to Success: ”Resentment is like taking poison and hoping the other person dies; it’s a dumb game”.If you don’t know how to forgive, you can start by being willing to forgive. The Universe, God, The Tao or whatever you want to call it will start to respond and help you to find the way. Use affirmations, such as:
If you don’t know how to forgive, you can start by being willing to forgive. The Universe, God, The Tao or whatever you want to call it will start to respond and help you to find the way. Use affirmations, such as:
- I easily forgive others and me am willing to forgive
- I am willing to forgive
- Forgiveness of myself and others releases me from the pastI forgive and set myself free
- I forgive and set myself free
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Forgiveness is the solution to almost any problem. You can not do anything about the past, the best thing you can do for yourself and others is to forgive yourself and others.
Here’s a youtube video of Bob Proctor explaining the Law of Forgiveness
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
19. Dream big
It doesn’t take any more time to dream a big dream than it takes to dream a small dream. – General Wesley Clark
You want to be like these two spiders. As Les Brown say: ”You’ve got to be hungry”. Most people go for what they think they can do, instead of what they want.
You won’t get a chance to live your life again, so why not go for what you really want.
You don’t have to know how you’re going to do it. I love what Jack Canfield said in The Secret. ”Most of us have never allowed ourselves to what we really want because we don’t see how it’s going to manifest.”
And just right after that Bob Proctor said: ”If you do just a little research, it is going to become evident to you, that anyone that ever accomplished anything, did not know how they were going to do it. They only knew they were going to do it.”
If you don’t know what you really want in your life, meditation is a great way to know. If you haven’t done any meditation exercise before, just sit down with your legs crossed, place your hands on your thighs, take three deep breaths, and just focus on your breathing.
Meditation doesn’t have to be hard. Just focus on your breathing for 15 minutes a day will get you started. Never mind if your imagination gets away, just get your focus back to your breathing.
There are many forms of meditations, different poses, etc. But if you’re just starting, the basic focus on your breathing will be good enough.
21. Have fun. Having fun is a big part in self-improvement
On your own
Challenging yourself is a great way to have fun on your own. Set an audacious goal and take action on that.
Take a free online class to learn a new skill. Visit Lurn.com, there are over 200 different courses in 15 different categories. You can find many free online courses by searching in Google.
Find a new hobby
This is what got me into blogging, well to earn extra money too. What would you like to do? Take a hike, start running every morning.
Hang with the right people
This is what got me into blogging, well to earn extra money too. What would you like to do? Take a hike, start running every morning.
The first three years, I hated my job. Couldn’t stand my negative co-workers, they were always gossiping about each other even at customers. If I had the courage to quit, I would have done it at that period. Thankfully, I was introduced to The Secret, and my mindset changed. Don’t get me wrong, there are still pretty hard times at work.
The BLS survey
You’ll probably spend most of your time at work for many years to come. It’s only fair you make it fun. Bureau of Labor Statistics made a survey.
As you can see on an average work day, the Americans spend 8,7 hours working and on related activities. I don’t know about other countries, but I guess that we would see similar results. I’ll say it would be a wise decision to make your work more fun.
Take your vacation or having fun mindset to your work
If you can take your mindset from when you’re having fun alone or with others and apply it when you work, you can transform a boring job to a fun job.
Mark Twain said: ”The secret of success is making your vocation your vacation.”
Make your co-workers laugh
Try to make your colleagues laugh whenever you get the chance. We all know laughter releases stress, breaks the tension, builds morale and so on. Tell jokes. Tell a funny story about yourself. Download a funny youtube video and show it to them.
So what now?
Are you ready to implement one or more of these 21 self-improvement ideas?
If so, then you can download the free pdf file I made for this post. I’ve written these 21 self-improvement ideas as a pdf file. I’ve added 2 more ideas that I didn’t have room for them in this blog post.
All you have to do is fill out the form below and I’ll send the 23 self-improvement tips along with my Time Management eBook.
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