In Million Dollar Consulting, Alan Weiss makes a key point early --
If you improve 1% each day, you double in ability roughly every 70 days.
I've found this method-- incremental improvement -- is very easy to increase by focusing on it.
There's always dozens of little things you could do, that you likely don't bother doing. And probably for good reason -- they're little tiny things.
But, dedicating to grabbing 1% regularly goes a long, long ways.
I grabbed a new mini-notebook recently and I'm going to write down one structural improvement each day. Who knows with a method like this -- it might be great, or it might fizzle out after a week or two. But I've always liked the idea, and I'm thinking there'll be some gains in it, regardless of if it gets added to the general toolbox or not.
I do something similar, my daily journal only has one question that really has to be answered, "Was I better today than I was yesterday?"
There's a few other things in it but that's the most important one that I try to make sure always gets answered before I go to bed.
I can't remember what book it was from but you can relate it to your life as a whole or down to the level or a single project you're working on. Knowing I have to answer that every night has made me consciously try to find some small area to improve in everyday.
Nice. If improving yourself is too intangible, how about improving your systems 1% each day. i.e. personal/business processes. "Work the System" is a great book that gets into that, but I hadn't seen the 1%/day = double in 70 days result. That's awesome!
The problem with this philosophy, I've found, is that most of my self-improvement measures either aren't very effective or get abandoned at some point for some reason. Only a few really stick around for the long run.
Just got a comment on "Having Your Own Ethics is Lonely" by a reader. He asked one of the hardest questions about becoming successful - what happens when you're improving when your friends aren't?
I found this blog because I'm looking for advice. I've realized four years ago that I was unhappy with myself. I lived a poor, and dead end life. So I decided to look closely at my lifestyle and eliminate some bad habits and replace them with good ones. I also got a second job to make more money, and lived in relative poverty by choice. And it worked! I'm healthy financially and I've gotten a chance to learn anything I've wanted to know. I'm strong and smarter than I used to be. I think I know what God is, and everyday I work to be better than the day before. But, I can't connect with my old friends because they do all the things I dont want to be a part of any more, because they dont care to do well for themselves as much. In a way, to put it bluntly, they're not usefull to me. I'd rather make friends with people I truely admire and respect. I dont feel like I can tell them that I basically think they're bad people. They've done nothing to harm me personally, but I want nothing to do with them. What do you think?
Indeed, that's one of the hardest parts about becoming successful.
Most people don't like to change after they get established. If you improve quickly, it can upset and turn off old friends and cause breaks in friendship.
Perhaps the worst time is when you're still on a shaky ground with your old improvement. I remember one time, I was going through a super healthy kick. Lots of gym, weights, very clean and healthy diet. But with one of my buddies, we always ate junk food together when we got together. Pizza, chicken wings, burgers and fries, stuff like that.
Self Improvement is a beaten up term. Such a pure and noble meaning, yet it's been dragged through the mud to connotate seminars in low end hotel conference rooms and people who chant, "I manifest everything for life's highest purpose", but live otherwise unremarkable lives.
Self improvement has a stigma to it. It's embarrassing to be into it. So embarrassing, in fact, that some of its modern day figureheads have tried to rename it. Personal Development. Lifestyle Design. Self Actualization. Fluffy euphemisms, some of which admittedly do sound pretty cool.
But I'll come out and say it. I love self improvement. I don't need to call it anything else,I like it for what it is.