Often we accept the way “things are” because “it is what it is”. How can we change in the midst of daily commitments and distractions? Like me, you probably aspire for something deeper and more meaningful.
Working your way through bills, the demands of marriage and family, or managing a business requires focus and enthusiasm. How can you find time for self-improvement when you’re pelted with the problems of keeping the lights “on”, paying the mortgage, and keeping the cars running. This is enough burden to squelch aspiration.
Well, don’t give-up or give-in. After writing checks or completing a proposal, get out your journal and answer these 10 self-improvement questions. You just might initiate dramatic and unexpected change to reach your self-improvement goals.
Answer each question by writing face-paced answers. Don’t have a brain-freeze; let the inspiration of all your aspirations excite you to write freely and openly. No one is watching, judging, or criticizing your ideas. Just write! You should answer these questions with pen and paper. If you don’t, your effort is wasted; your memory will lapse, and you will forget the details.
Here are the questions:
1. What do you’really want to do? What activities define and excite you? When you were ten years old, what did you dream of doing?
2. Without hesitating, list the action-steps to make your dream come true? Doing creates ideas. What are the tasks or series of actions that will lead you to your dream job or experience? List each step carefully. Take time to research what others have done or are doing to achieve your goal or purpose. For example, if you want to teach college English, talk to a local college English professor. Ask, “What did it take to get you here?” “Is this what you wanted?” “Is this what you expected?” “What disappoints you the most?” “What surprises you the most?”
3. Pay attention to your day-dreams. Look out the window (best do this at home privately). Let your mind wander and meander. What are the symbols of your day-dreams? Write them on a pad (later enter them into your journal). Pay attention to feelings, longings, words, pictures, and what you hear others telling you. Write what you see in your mind’s eye.
4. Now, pay attention to your night-dreams. Before closing your eyes at night, tell yourself, “I want to remember my dreams.” If possible, wake-up naturally (no alarms, no Blackberry, no hotel wake-up call). Keep your eyes closed until the feelings, images, symbols, and characters of your dream come to the front of your memory. Once you can recall your dream(s), open your eyes, take your pen and pad (always keep them by your bed), and write without constraint. Your English teacher is not correcting this essay, so just let the words flow.
5. Now back to your journal to ask yourself, “Have I done enough for myself?” Or do you avoid taking care of yourself by caring too much for others? Does caring for others encourage you or arouse anger and discontent? Put this heading on a page in your journal: “What I will do for myself today”. Write this page daily. One day, you may stop at Starbucks for a Frappaccino. Another day, you may get a haircut by a “big city” stylist.
6. Am I happy where I am today? Happiness is a choice. Every day find reasons for your happiness. What pleases you? How can you bring happiness to others (what you do for others often comes back to you as happiness).
7. What could I do to make myself more socially or sexually appealing? When did you have an annual physical? What is your optimum weight? What is your Body Mass Index (BMI)? How’s your blood pressure (quite important for manly expression,if you get my point)? When did you have a colonoscopy? How often do you poop (important health question)? Aerobic exercise works; when and for how long do you get yours? Find a stylish friend, and ask them to review your wardrobe. Is this the time for a make-over? Again, keep track of all this in your journal. Four categories of social and sexual freedom merit your attention: physical stature, intellectual acumen, social skills, and spiritual awareness.
8. How much money or how many “things” would you like to have? Money is not all that matters, but money buys what matters in this world. Every person in every culture understands this rule of the universe (no need to tell me about naked folks in the hinterlands; they have their special rules of exchange and status too). Journal time again. Answer this question: Given what I “really want to do” (question 1), what am I really willing to do to get paid for what I “really want to do”? (You might write that question in your own words more briefly.)
9. What motivates you? As with the prior 8 questions, this one you must resolve yourself. Look at all the times you did a task, made a commitment, or fulfilled a task with boundless energy. What were the circumstances? Write them in your journal.
10. At this point you might be clearer about “What Really Makes You Tick.” You can be, do, become whatever you choose. Remember, self-improvement is physical, philosophical, and practical. Life is not a dress rehearsal. You determine what matters and in nearly every instance, the outcome is in your power to do what you’really want.
Echievements – where authors write often and write well…where you read wisely and act boldly.