“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” ― Ernest Hemingway
I’m somewhat of a self-improvement junkie. Brian Tracy, Anthony Robbins, Earl Nightengale, Zig Ziglar. I consider self improvement and motivation to be sciences, much like fitness and nutrition. Like any fitness or diet journey, in the world of self improvement you have to set clear and measurable goals, you have to progress over a period of time, and you have to remain positive, even throughout the struggles and difficulties. Life is an endless pursuit to become the best, strongest person possible, and in this post, I’m going to give you some self improvement and motivation tips that I’ve learned over the past couple of months. In these months, I’ve read and listened to content from some of the most influential individuals in the self help industry, and their words have permanently altered my attitude of mind and my outlook on life, and hopefully some of the lessons and tips below will help you do the same.
My Favorite Self Improvement and Motivation Tips and Lessons
1. You will never come across the perfect circumstances. You must create them.
To many sit around and wait for the perfect circumstances to arise before they take action. For example, someone who wants to get into shape but cannot afford a gym membership. Now, obviously this is unfortunate, but there are many ways to work around it. So, this person should not wait until they can afford a gym membership, they should do the best they can with what they have available to them. This applies to any aspect of life. You can’t wait for the perfect circumstances, as they will never come. Create your ideal circumstances, take action, and work towards your goal.
2. You reap what you sow.
This phrase is most used as a reference to biblical text, but it is also considered a law of the universe; Newton’s Third Law of Motion. The law states, “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” In basic terms, you get out what you put in. If you want to achieve a goal that you’ve set for yourself, you must put in the work required. You cannot expect heat without putting wood into the fireplace, just as you cannot expect results if you don’t put in the time and effort. Understanding that you’re in complete control of the outcome of any circumstance is a very powerful state of mind, and if you use it to your advantage, you will get what you want. It’s undeniable.
3. Give more than you expect in return.
Not much reasoning behind this except for the fact that it feels awesome to give. I don’t consider myself to be the most giving and selfless human being in the world, but it feels damn good to give something of value without expecting anything in return. This doesn’t even have to be related to business or your life goals. It could be just making an amazing breakfast for your wife or husband one morning or cleaning the kitchen. Small actions go a long way.
4. “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt
5. You become what you think about.
This is the most profound lesson I’ve learned, and interestingly enough, it is taught by almost every self improvement expert I have come across. You can transform your reality with your thoughts. It may sound too good to be true, but the mind is extremely powerful, beyond our measure. If you have a set goal or an idea of the person you want to become, you must achieve these things in your mind first and foremost. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “You can do anything if you put your mind to it.” Well it’s true, and no one uses it to their advantage. We tend to take our mind for granted because it has always been available to us, but it’s the most powerful too your have in your arsenal.
6. “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” – Zig Ziglar
Similar to the point above, you must have a good attitude. If you have a positive attitude, success will come. It doesn’t matter where you start, how much you know, or who you know, your attitude and what you think about constantly is what will determine your success.
7. Work your face off.
8. It’s not enough to work hard, you must work smart.
9. In order to work smart, you must have specific goals.
Earl Nightengale likens not having a goal to setting a ship out to sail without a captain or a destination. If you don’t know where you’re going, you cannot get there. Write down your goal and be as specific as possible. I like to keep my current goal on an index card so that I can carry it with me and look at it throughout the day. This keeps me focused and motivated to continue working towards it. Having a clear goal provides a sense of purpose and makes you excited to get out of bed in the morning. If you don’t already write down your goals, try it out. It could change your life.
Meditation is a great way to relax and separate yourself from the craziness that life throws at you on a daily basis. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just sit down in a quiet place and focus solely on your breathing for a bit. Practicing meditation consistently has made me more level-headed and grounded than ever. Give it a shot.
Visualization is very similar to meditation, except when you’re visualizing, you visualize (confused yet?). Meditation is intended to allow you to clear your mind and focus on your breathing, while visualization is simply picturing a situation in your head. I like to visualize my goals every morning right after I wake up, and every night before I go to bed. This keeps the goal in the forefront of my mind and keeps me focused and inspired.
12. Everyone is great in their own way. Don’t judge.
You never know what someone else is going through, and you never know what someone’s life goal is. Don’t judge someone just because they’re doing something that you don’t agree with.
13. Don’t determine your self-worth based upon material objects.
This has been a huge one for me. The minute you realize that your self-worth is based upon your own thoughts rather than what you possess, it will be a weight lifted off of your shoulders. Material objects are great and they can lead to short-term excitement and happiness, but what we have possessed since the beginning of our lives is what matters most (your mind, your personality, your individuality).
14. Positive affirmations.
Positive affirmations may seem a bit corny, but they work damn well. If you’re feeling down or you’re having a rough day, positive affirmations can definitely provide a little pick-me-up. Brian Tracy recommends to stand in front of any mirror, look yourself in the eyes, and recite the phrases “I like myself” and “I feel terrific” with belief and feeling. Again, it sounds a bit corny, and I wouldn’t recommend doing it in public, but it can make your confidence skyrocket.
15. Follow your passion, and stop watching fucking Lost (watch the video, you’ll understand).
16. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Seriously. Joke around, play like you did when you were a kid. Life’s too short to be serious all the damn time.
17. Surround yourself with people who are better than you.
The best way to learn is to surround yourself with people who make you look like you suck at your job (this isn’t to be offensive, but it’s true). You have to be constantly soaking up information from those who have “made it” in your field of work, or else you will be behind the curve. For me, the fitness and nutrition industry is highly saturated, so I have to be constantly learning and making adjustments or else I’m going to fall flat on my face. Surround yourself with awesome people and pick their brains often.
In my opinion, reading is the best way to train your mind. Whether you’re reading a book related to your field, a self improvement book, or just a fun fiction book, reading is very important. If you don’t like to read, I would recommend audiobooks and audiotapes, especially while driving or working out. I always have an audiobook on in the car, and it makes long drives much more worthwhile.
19. Act the part.
Whatever you’re trying to become, whatever goal you’re trying to reach, act the part. If you’re trying to become more confident, you have to fully believe that you’re confident and then you have to act like it (not in a cocky way, but you have to believe in yourself). Act as if you’ve already achieved your goal, and it will become so engraved in your mind that it must come to fruition.
I hope you guys enjoyed this post, as it was very fun for me to put together these self improvement and motivation tips. If you have any tips or lessons that you’ve learned that you would like to share, please feel free to post them in the comment box below. Also, if you have any questions, drop them in the comment box or shoot me an email via my contact page. If you liked this post, please share it using the social media buttons below. Also, if you want weekly updates from the blog sent straight to your email inbox, sign up for my newsletter using the form below.
Keep getting better!