This weekend I was involved in a discussion in which we spoke about the power and importance of meekness, humility, and willingness to change and adapt to improve. Although I’ve been taught about these things multiple times in life, there were a lot of important life lessons that were made evident to me on this particular occasion.
#1 there are always more/better ways to learn/improve
It is essential in life to not settle when you believe that you are good at/in an aspect of life. I can almost 100% guarantee that there are a plethora of ways in which you can improve, no matter if you’re amazing at what you do. The worlds greatest basketball player still misses shots, the worlds greatest chef could still improve flavour, and the worlds greatest artist could still create brighter, more eye catching pieces of art. Try different techniques, work harder, or approach your problems from different angles to find these ways to improve. If you hear a good piece of advice, take it to heart and try to find an aspect of it in which you can better yourself or your performance. If you get an 85% on a test, work for an 86% on the next one. If you make one person laugh, aim for two. If it’s good, why not make it better?
#2 be happy with where you are, but never content
Very closely related with the first lesson, this one urges us all to come closer to pure happiness. Although we should each all be working harder and more to improve each aspect of our lives, don’t let this negatively effect you. Don’t use this an excuse to get discouraged or down on yourself. Looking and aiming for self improvement does not entail being unhappy with where you are now. It is essential that we are happy with ourselves now, proud of our accomplishments and excited about our achievements. However, we need not be content to settle, as mentioned previously. There is no need to accept that we have come as far as we need to- we will not be the best versions of ourselves until the day that we die. We can, however, be the happiest version of ourselves every day between now and then. Be pleased and impressed with yourself, but always look for more ways to advance.
#3 acceptance of one’s current situation/attitude is essential to growth
Accepting where you are now in accordance with growth is one of the most important steps in improving oneself. Both action-wise and attitude-wise, it is important for us to be honest with ourselves, self check to discover where we are, and go from there. If you know that you need to improve in an area but aren’t quite eager to do so just yet, be honest with yourself about that. Recognize that the understanding is there, but that the desire is stuck in traffic. There is no need to lie to ourselves and pretend that we are overly keen to start working on a particular area in our lives when really we don’t even want to think about starting.
#4 work on a desire to change prior to attempting said change
Desire for change must come before the change itself does. After #3 has been completely for the particular area of growth, finding/working towards a desire is the next most important step. Whether you spend time searching for motivational quotes or pictures, or just self talk yourself into wanting to, acquiring desire must precede acquiring change. There is no point in forcing oneself through a growth process, dragging your feet, and complaining the whole time. Work towards the desire first so that the growth process is actually enjoyable without being forced.
#5 trust, don’t stress if you don’t have control
If the particular aspect of you that you think you need to work on is beyond your control, don’t. If you’re frustrated about the shape of your hands, or the way your laugh sounds, forget about it! What would be the point in stressing over something that is beyond your control? On the other hand, if there is something that you can do about an issue, do all that you can and then be content. If your weight is something that you struggle with, try to eat healthy and exercise when you can… but beyond that, don’t stress it. Once you have done all that you can, trust that it will all work out, and stop stressing.