The most important thing you can do to significantly improve your life in almost every aspect is to develop a life philosophy which places investing in yourself at the top of your priorities.
Investing in yourself means taking control of your lifestyle in such a way that the time you have is used in ways which make you a better person. Becoming a ‘better person’ simply means to improve in ways that you know will benefit yourself, and even others, in the long-term.
When we hear of ideas like this, we often tend to think it will require drastic change on our part, sometimes to the point of fatigue. The reality is, however, that small everyday changes are what lead to extreme self-improvement, similar to what one might call a self-improvement Butterfly Effect.
By identifying what we value in ourselves and others, we can begin to take small steps towards becoming someone we consider the ideal. There are no shortcuts or easy fixes, true self-improvement requires legitimate and conscious investment in yourself.
Identifying What you Value
This is perhaps the easiest part of the whole process as most people have something in life for which they yearn for. Identifying what you value can lead to something as simple as wanting to become great at the violin or to become a skilled conversationalist, or perhaps something more complex such as growing power, status, or money.
The more complex the value is, the more you will have to break it down into simple practical skills, for example, if you want to become powerful you will need to become proficient at making alliances. This could be further broken down into learning how to become charismatic in conversation and during speeches. It is here where we have reached the core of the value which can be improved, in this case, conversational and public speaking skills.
Naturally, depending on yourself and your current situation, you may find a different skill you believe needs more attention than charisma within the example of attaining power, this is normal as we are all unique individuals with different improvement needs.
You can go through this process with whatever it is you want to become proficient at in order to further invest in yourself. This is when you can begin considering the three areas of improvement you can use to spur real personal growth.
Invest in Yourself Through 3 Main Areas
There are three main areas where you can improve the skills that you value, all three are extremely important in the journey of investing in yourself. Neglecting any one of these areas will likely lead to a weaker grasp of what you are trying to improve, meaning you may never become a true master.
This is by far the most important area in learning any skill, this is because it is first-hand experience of how your current skill levels work to achieving the goals you have for yourself.
A good example of this is someone who wants to become great at long-distance running. They have identified that they need to increase their cardiovascular endurance if they ever want to run a marathon well. By actually getting out there to run, and fail, they can truly see the gap between themselves and their ideal. Slowly this gap will close with consistent and dedicated practice.
The importance of this area cannot be understated, investing in yourself requires you to perform, not just understand. What would be the point in reading and researching conversational finesse without actually seeking conversations for experience? It would be a waste of time and would serve little purpose.
No matter what type of skill you choose to improve in order to invest in yourself, you must get out there into the field and work to improve your performance.
A vital supplement to practice is the understanding of your chosen skill’s theoretical underpinnings. It is not enough to simply do, you must immerse yourself in all the details and information that come together to allow such a skill to exist. You should absorb this information through books, articles, conversations, stories, and anywhere else that will allow you to sap more useful information.
Don’t allow yourself to be boxed into one way of thinking, or into exploring just one field’s interpretation of something. Derive your theory from all different sources and perspectives to understand links between complex ideas, and ultimately how this skill functions the way it does.
Slowly dedicate more of your time to reading and research, always have something available to get lost in. A good habit to start from is reading for just 20-30 minutes per day.
This area is perhaps more abstract, but is certainly important in becoming proficient in a skill within your journey of self-investment.
Thought acrobatics are simply your limitless thoughts concerning your chosen skill. These thoughts can be literally anything, from how one might use their charisma to seduce the perfect mate, to how charisma could play a part in starting off the events which end human civilization on Earth. Regardless of how beige or bizarre these thoughts or images are, they are important for a number of reasons.
One reason for their importance is that these thoughts allow you to imagine your developing skill in all different types of scenario, as well as the infinite possibilities that are open to someone with proficiency. It’s important to see every skill as fluid rather than rigid as aspects of each skill can be applied in different situations.
Another reason is that it keeps your mind active and focused on improving your skill, like a well-trained and strong muscle. Keeping your mind primed for self-investment keeps it open to taking in even more experiences and knowledge which can only serve to help you. Always keep your self-investment outlook at the back of your mind, everything you do should benefit you in some way or another, and every experience is an opportunity to grow.
Developing and maintaining a life philosophy based on self-investment and improvement will afford you the resources and direction in life to become a master and subsequently reach your personal goals.
It doesn’t matter what your values are, or what skills you need to improve to embody those values, everyone can become a better version of themselves through adopting a more helpful mindset and life philosophy.
Do you place self-investment and improvement high on your list of priorities?
What skills are you currently working to master?