3 Ways To Stop Screwing Your Self Improvement

Get Out Of Bed

Self improvement books should be no more than 15% of your total reading.

There you go right to the point, no beating around the bush. No fancy lead in.

Quit reading so many self improvement books.

Unless you’re a self help book critic or teaching courses on the subject, there is no reason to read them all. There are a vast world of books to read and you will find help in your personal improvement from a variety of sources. Those other books will help you in your journey more than reading nothing but self help material.

Learning about self development and understanding the core principles makes for a strong foundation – that doesn’t mean reading every book on the market. There is typically one prominent book each year that brings something truly new to the table. If you haven’t found your one magic book that speaks to you, keep reading and you’ll find that one.

Outside of that, stop reading about improvement and improve.

Read about other things, other skills that you need. The whole purpose of self development is that it leads to improving yourself in a tangible way that you see better results and outcomes in your life, and you feel good about your improvement and your added successes.

The problem is that for some it is akin to reading about fitness and never getting out of bed.

Get to the root of your issues.

Dig deep and do the hard work. Work through what you are trying to solve for. What are your goals? Then break it down into manageable steps that you can start taking action immediately and consistently.

If you cut into a beautiful cake and the center is uncooked or super dry, it doesn’t matter how amazingly the cake was decorated. Getting good at making beautiful fondant is a great skill for a cake artist and baker. Doesn’t matter much if you can’t bake the actual cake. 

Many times when I’m helping someone with their development and as I’m asking questions to help challenge their thought process, we typically make a breakthrough as we get closer to the root of the problem. You see, we all like to stay away from pain. Our internal systems are designed around the pain/pleasure response.

The best breakthroughs come when we are willing to dig past the surface layer and begin to look directly at our issues. If you spend time making goals, and working on improving skills, and you don’t get to the root of the issue – you’ll still make progress.

Speaking of getting to the root cause, many, many times we miss the most basic parts necessary in making meaningful change in our lives. Start with the basics first.

Big Basic Four -Daily Energy Fundamentals

At this time of year it is very common to make commitments around fitness, our activity levels and our eating. This is a good start. Yet, we tend to not see these commitments through because we are focusing on the wrong thing, losing weight and being in better “shape”.

I’m on a personal kick to improve my energy levels. I find that I don’t have the energy always to keep up with what I want to achieve each day. My mental energy is lagging because of my physical condition.

Instead of making a huge push in one area of my life like getting on the treadmill every day for 3 hours. Which works in the short run but not effective in the long run as I’ll end up burning out, getting bored, or injuring myself.

What I’m doing right now is working on the Big Basic Four.

  • Sleep
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition
  • Activity

Each of these are interconnected in important and interesting ways.

What I eat before bed, how well hydrated I am, and if I’ve pushed my body with energy enhancing activity all contribute to how well I sleep.

How well I stay focused on eating more nutritious and energy enhancing foods, depends on how much energy I have to push off temptation. This is one of the ways that not having enough sleep can really impact my other Big Basic Four.

The moral of the story

Knowledge is good. Don’t let it become an addiction and substitute for getting off your ass and making it happen.

Dig past the surface layer and go after the real issue – you’ll multiply the results of your efforts.

The big stuff isn’t always the issue. Keep those basic and daily energy fundamentals in mind. Get good sleep, drink lots of water, put good nutritious things in your body, and do fun activities that keep you moving.

It may seem silly that we have to be reminded of such things, but it is the simple things that are at times the toughest to remember. We take for granted the simple and basic stuff.

Quick read on self management


Science on the mysteries of sleep


Dark Side of Self Improvement

When we secretly believe there is something wrong with us.

We are not broken. We are just at a different stage of our development. Don’t fall to the Dark Side and follow someone else’s path.

The Dark Side of Self Improvement | Suzanne Eder | TEDxWilmington

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