How can you tell if a person is willing to do what it takes when they start on the path to self-improvement? This is a question that has no definitive answer… it will depend entirely on the individual.
The Path of Self-Improvement Is a Lifelong Journey
I think of self-improvement as a journey. The results one will achieve on that journey will depend upon the motivating factor that caused them to begin the journey combined with their mindset about the possibilities that lie ahead.
Just for fun let’s look at four general categories of people who might begin a self-improvement journey:
What Motivates A Person to Begin a Self-Improvement Journey?
Here you will find the people who would like to have a better life but are convinced the reason they don’t have it is someone else’s fault. They tend to complain a lot about almost everything.
These people believe the conditions of the life they live are caused by external influences. They also believe that they have little to no control over anything. They feel that the odds are stacked against them.
If you were to ask someone in this category to describe what they want in life they would probably not be able to answer you. That is because they take no time to figure out what they want because they believe it would be useless to do so.
In this category, you will find people who seem to float through life. They don’t give much thought to the future or what they want from life. They drift from day to day, week to week, month to month and year to year. People in this group may earn enough money to get by and are actually content with their current reality. They have little to no desire to change anything.
Some high achievers may judge these people as lazy, but feeling content with your life is a good thing. If they feel content and find little to complain about they may have greater peace of mind than the high achiever.
In both categories one and two, it will typically take a near disaster to motivate a person to become interested in self-improvement. It could be a divorce, loss of a job, bankruptcy, serious illness, or the death of a loved one for example. It’s sad, but when an event this serious happens some people aren’t motivated to change. Instead, they feel defeated and give up on life.
For those who want to change, it will depend on whether the disastrous event has a strong enough effect on them that will determine the level of motivation to change.
In category three you will find people who have vague goals, dreams or ambitions but have no idea how to achieve them. They understand that achieving goals requires planning and following through with the best actions. However, they don’t know where to start to make their dreams a reality.
A low-level, but an innate desire for a better life may be the motivating factor to cause someone in this category to embark on a self-improvement journey. However, their motivation probably won’t be very strong.
Then in the fourth category, you have the high achievers who are willing to do whatever it takes. They are determined to accomplish their goals and live the life of their dreams. They view a self-improvement journey as a vehicle to propel them toward living the life of their dreams more quickly. Their motivation is very strong.
So, we have covered examples of what might determine an individual’s motivation for pursuing a self-improvement journey. Now, let’s examine how a person’s mindset will either detract from or contribute to their success.
How Your Mindset Detracts From or Contributes To Your Success
Our mindset is nothing more than an established set of attitudes we have about something. It acts as a mental frame that selectively organizes information that guides one toward corresponding actions. In this article, we are interested in mindset as it pertains to self-improvement which leads to success.
These wise words were spoken by Henry Ford: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t… you’re right.”
Let’s face it, the technology and information age, along with a more transitory society, has forever changed the tapestry of our society. We no longer expect to take a job with a reliable company and spend our entire working lives there. Working for the same company and retiring with retirement benefits is a thing of the past. But, that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Life in our fast-paced modern-day society gives us more opportunities than at any other time in history. We have the opportunity and information to achieve anything we want to do without the need for a lifetime “position.” Do you believe that statement is true?
Your answer to this question will reveal a lot about your mindset. If you answered “no” you need to examine the reasons why you feel that way. Then go to work to develop a more positive mindset to succeed. Your mindset is not something that is “fixed.” It can be changed. If you believe that it will be difficult to change, well, that is just another part of your mindset. But if you answered “yes” you’re definitely on the right track.
The person with a negative mindset may feel that the world is collapsing beneath their feet when they encounter a setback. It is a rare person indeed who has not had to overcome obstacles to achieve success. A positive mindset will cause one to view challenges as new opportunities for growth and learning, and to welcome them.
You Can’t Change the Past but You Can Change the Future
You can’t change the past that formed your current mindset. However, you do have the ability going forward to take control of how you view various aspects of life.
Sufficient motivation to begin a self-improvement journey coupled with a positive mindset and followed with consistent action holds the key to success. When you apply this formula, you can achieve anything.
So, we have a choice moving forward: we can be controlled by random thoughts that lead us nowhere or we can carefully choose thoughts that lead to an empowering and successful mindset and embark on a self-improvement journey. Only you have the power to make that choice. I hope you make the one that will lead to your success.