First off, I’ll start with a story of the beginning of my own self-improvement journey.
2 years ago, I found myself in Lagos. I didn’t grow up here. I got a pre-NYSC opportunity that I pursued and I landed in Lagos. And among other circumstances, I think being in a new environment spurred me into my self-improvement journey.
I learned a valuable lesson in that period of my life. One that set me off on a highly intentional and driven journey to continuous self-improvement. I’m not sure where I got it from though, but I have it in my notes and I still go back to look at it.
I learned that “Everything God gave to me is raw and my gift to God is what I do with the raw materials he has given me. So it is my responsibility to develop myself and bring forth good fruits/products”
After learning this lesson and struggling to understand myself and my life purpose, I dived deep into personal development and self-improvement. I set a lifetime goal for myself, identified what was important to me and broke the goal into action points.
I decided what I would do to improve mentally, spiritually, emotionally, physically and professionally. I drew up like 4 actions/activities I would do for each area of my life. Then I performed a time calculations. I figured out how much time I had left in a day after working, being in traffic and sleeping. I found that I had 2 hours every day to do other things to improve myself. I realized that I had more than enough free time to invest in me.
The next thing I did was to draw a habit checklist outlining how I would spend each day improving myself. With a goal, action plan and checklist in place, I began my self-improvement journey. And a whole new Mary was born.
I shared this story because self-improvement changed my life and I wanted to give you a glimpse of how it all began. Something you should know about self-improvement is that it is an exciting and never-ending journey. You get to enjoy the process and not get carried away or distracted by a destination.
From my own experience and journey, what I share next is how you can use self-improvement to change your life.
Change involves moving from a point A (where you are) to a point B (where you want to be). Now, the only person capable of changing your life is you. That’s the truth. Sure, someone or a situation may cause you to desire change, but the responsibility of accepting and facilitating change lies solely on you. True maturity starts the day that you take responsibility for your life. That’s when improvement and growth can take place. Responsibility breeds empowerment.
Using Self-improvement to change your life involves 3 things. First, you have to come to terms with where and who you are at the moment (Self-awareness). Next, you identify who and where you want to be (Vision/purpose). Last and most importantly, you resolve to become this better person and take the necessary steps to get there (Action).
Developing self-awareness is learning about ourselves and our abilities. It’s coming to know in detail who you are and what you are capable of. It is accepting that you have the responsibility to improve or change your life. No one will do that for you. Once we learn to take greater degrees of responsibilities for ourselves, we become automatically empowered to overcome any challenge that life throws our way. This is where you identify Point A (Where you are)
With self-awareness comes a sense of purpose. When you come to terms of who you are and where you are, you can then move on to determine for yourself who and where you want to be. How would you like yourself to improve? How would you define success? What desires and goals do you have for yourself? Where do you see yourself in the future? What kind of person do you want to be? By answering these questions, you identify Point B (where you want to be)
Third and Final Step
Once you have identified these two points, then change can begin to happen. Remember that change and growth mean moving from point A (where you are) to a point B (where you want to be). However, you cannot get to point B without performing an action. You cannot change without doing. Moving is a verb. You have to take action. No one else will improve your life for you. Sure, people will come along the way who will help open doors and work with you. But real improvement and change start from you.
Those are the three steps to change your life through self-improvement.
We are always on a journey of growth and self-improvement. And until you commit to the process of growing and self-improvement, nothing is going to change about your life. And that my friend, is the truth!