Self-improvement is any activity that stretches and engages your mind, improves your attitude, enhances your skills, or motivates you to action. Unchecked and undisciplined, the human mind tends to gravitate to fixed patterns of thought and activity. You might call it “being in your comfort zone” or, more bluntly put, “stuck in a rut.”
The exciting news is that a conscious effort to expand and activate your mind through continuous self-improvement helps you engage in so many ways. For example, expanding your memory will help you with reading speed and comprehension. Studying mathematical concepts often stimulates creative thinking. Improving interpersonal communication skills boosts your self confidence. In addition, each of these activities, stimulates your mind to greater activity.
Self improvement must be continuous and consistent. One of my favorite stories is told by Zig Ziglar who, when about to give a motivational seminar, was asked by a reporter. “You may pump up these people today, but where will they be in 3 weeks? In short, is motivation permanent?” His answer, of course, was, “no, motivation is not permanent, but then neither is bathing–and I highly recommend it.” The message is clear: a daily dose of positive, upbeat self-improvement is essential.
I know a man who decided at 37 to go back to college and finish his degree majoring in English Literature. He found that the college experience stimulated his thinking about other areas of his life. Before he graduated, he had developed a business idea and started what has become a very successful retail business. What does English literature have to do with retail business, you ask? Nothing. But, the schooling was a catalyst that got his mind active again. You can learn to engage your mind in the same way.
It doesn’t matter whether you choose to learn to speed read, work on your attitude, speak a new language, practice public speaking, or expand your vocabulary. The main thing is that you engage your mind and then take action. Pick something that interests you and then go after it with all of the mental power you have. As you expand and stretch your mind, you will be amazed at the increased capacity you will have to think and reason through problems, motivate yourself, create new ideas, and discover innovative solutions.