Before improving yourself you first have to self analyze yourself and determine your strengths and weaknesses, what you want to improve, what your immediate and ultimate goals are, how you are going to go about improving, and finding the time and place to do the improvement on a scheduled basis.
Strengths and weaknesses are primarily mental ability, physical skills, a combination of mental and physical skills, and relationship skills.
Perhaps the best place to start is to broadly determine whether you are an introvert who likes to do things largely on your own or an extrovert to whom engagement with other humans is an important part of a daily routine. For an extrovert social skills are very important but to be respected and maybe even admired you have to have a good personality which means that you have to be trustworthy, have integrity, be dependable, and competent in what you do. Having integrity means that you are honest and moral or ethical.
If you are the pretentious type or like to break the rules if that gives you an advantage then it is time to do something about this weakness. Stop pretending to be someone you’re not and stop trying to outwit the social system by being immoral, behaving badly, or breaking the rules with dishonest behavior. In the long run you will not be respected by others if you are a rule breaker or unethical. The sooner you become a straight shooter and try to be a good human the more you will benefit a satisfying happy lifestyle and not be trapped in a dysfunctional lifestyle filled with tragedy and misery.
Trustworthiness, integrity, dependability, friendliness, empathy, and competence are important for almost everyone hoping to improve themselves. To gain and maintain respect you must be trustworthy and have integrity which basically means that you are honest, moral, dependable, and competent.
Organizational ability is a strength which is important in almost any task so it helps if you are disciplined and like to work in an orderly environment. If you are disciplined and orderly then your strength may be in task prioritization where you determine the importance of one task compared to others and then create a task completion schedule and proceed with dedication, determination, and enthusiasm to achieve it.
Being disorganized is a weakness which can only be cured by starting to clean up your room or house, maintaining good hygiene with clean clothes, and scheduling your time by sleeping, eating, working, and relaxing at regular times during the day. In other words set up an orderly daily routine where your behavior becomes a daily predictable set of good orderly habits.
In almost anything that you set out to do you will be making some mistakes along the way so it is important if you can easily learn from your mistakes and not repeat the same mistake over and over again. If you are a quick learner then this is a definite strength. If you are a slow learner then this is a weakness and you should shy away from areas where an ability to change or adapt to change is important.
Another strength is relationship, communication, or interpersonal skills often called emotional intelligence which is important in managerial fields, family, friends, and acquaintances. If you are an extrovert then that can be a strength but even introverts can have successful relationships with important humans in their life such as a boss, child, spouse, or close friend.
If you come from a large family and had many friends in school then that can be a world of interpersonal experience which will come in handy in a managerial role where you are managing many humans. Of course an ability to remember names relatively easily and little details about a human is also a vital skill or strength for a leadership position.
Communicating well is a strength which really only comes from practice. If you are socially shy and not very confident with humans then let others do most of the talking. Don’t be afraid to be a good listener and brave enough to ask good follow up questions relevant to the conversation. If you don’t have much to say then let others do most of the talking and stay engaged by asking a lot of relevant questions. Humans that talk about themselves and what they are doing will feel important and sense that you care about what they think and do and will respect your attitude if not your persona.
It is hard to be creative or analytical if you don’t know much about your subject matter with which you have had little personal experience. Creativity and analysis are advanced skills which you gain once you approach mastery in some area or field.
Then there are many jobs or skills where creativity is not that important. If you are a stock clerk or auto mechanic creativity is not as important as it is in being a web or dress designer. If you are learning new skills such as the use a power tool or learning to play basketball creativity is not important. If you enjoy trying something new and experimenting with things then a creative field may be something you should look into.
Weaknesses are not having integrity, not being organized, not being a good conversationalist, not being friendly, and not being competent. Fortunately you can work on these weaknesses and improve them with time, effort, and dedication. If your weakness is that you have a poor memory or are clutsy then unfortunately you will have to live with these weaknesses and chose a job where these are not severe handicaps and associate mostly with other humans who have poor memories or are clutsy.
If you want to improve one of the most important things is to begin setting short and long duration goals to achieve. It then becomes important to realistically assess your ability to reach these goals. The most tragic thing in life is to set such high and lofty goals for yourself and then realize through repeated dismal failures that you were just not talented enough or don’t have enough natural ability to reach them.
If you have a poor or average memory then don’t dream about becoming a celebrity, doctor, scientist, president, CEO, systems analyst, programmer, etc. where outstanding mental ability is a necessity. If you think that by hard work you can achieve anything you want to be then you will be severely disappointed or suffer from premature burnout if you try to push yourself much beyond your natural abilities.
The wise human makes a realistic appraisal of his or her brain power or natural abilities and makes them match the goals which they would like to achieve. If you have poor or average coordination or muscle memory then don’t dream of and try to become a sports superstar. You will fail miserably and live with bitter resentment the rest of your life.
For many skills that you want to improve it is usually a matter of working hard at it or spending a lot of time, energy, effort, and determination on it with practice and more practice until you reach the level of competence which you desire.
If you want to improve your personality or change your bad habits then that is one of the hardest things to do since you need self awareness, desire, courage, enthusiasm, planning, and doing. You will have to research and find out what bad and good habits are and which ones apply to you. Then you will have to determine which of your bad habits you want to eliminate or reduce considerably and replace with some of the good habits which you already have or would like to have.
You will need courage, enthusiasm, and a desire to set up a schedule for your good habits and then follow through with determined action on a daily or weekly basis. Of course it helps if you become aware of what your worst bad habits are and work on them first by replacing them with your best good habits first. Later you can concentrate on eliminating bad minor bad habits and introducing some new good habits which should help you to become a better human.
For self improvement to be successful you have to find out WHAT you want to improve and then determine HOW MUCH time, energy, effort, and money will go into the improvement based on a planned schedule. Following through with the planned schedule is the hardest part because it requires desire, courage, enthusiasm, and determination to achieve the plan. If you have the right attitude and a written down plan then doing it should be a lot easier to do.
Without self improvement an average life will probably remain rather mundane and even boring. If you improve then your life should get better in some small or big way. If you are burdened with many bad addictive habits such as severe drug use, alcoholism, gambling, pornography, promiscuity, hedonism or thrill seeking, then your life at some point may become a living hell.
I did not write this article for humans with bad severe addictive habits because if you have them then you really need real professional advice and action to rehabilitate yourself if rehabilitation is even possible.
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