What a world we live in. The information age, as it’s being called, provides us with exactly that: information. For bettor or for worse, any question we have, any answer we require, or any ailment we’re trying to cure, is at our fingertips.
I mentioned that all this information could be for worse, but how is that so? How can more data and facts be a bad thing? Ah, well, with more information comes more opinions, and with more opinions comes a more convoluted message of…well, anything.
When we leverage this information to focus on self improvement, we are often thrown into sensory overload. There are so many books, articles, events, speakers, and armchair therapists, that it’s easy to become overwhelmed. With this in mind, it’s much better to improve more by learning less.
Self improvement: Uncovering personal values
The key to lasting self improvement is to uncover the core values and principles that govern your life, not to follow the latest improvement fad. This way, as you move through life, you’ll be able to navigate your way to personal success based on those values and principles.
Much like an ocean, all the self improvement tips and tricks, although helpful, are like ripples on the surface. It’s our personal values rooted deep in the depths of our psychological ocean that are ultimately used for self improvement. When we uncover a new value or principle through life experiences, we are literally self improving. We then use that newfound core value to propel our lives forward, further uncovering more values, and therefore, further improving ourselves.
By focusing on personal values and principles, you start a cycle of self improvement that never stops.
Personal growth: Back to basics
Self improvement and personal growth is an ongoing process, and one that can’t be rushed. Even though a lot of people are looking for a magic bullet or quick fix, it’s literally the process of self improvement that causes us to grow in the first place. To grow as a person is to be process oriented, and to do that, it’s important to get back to basics.
Once we begin to uncover and focus on our core values, personal growth is simply a matter of following those values. This way, we’re oriented toward the process of finding what resonates with our core self.
By getting back to basics, we’re reminded that true self improvement happens when we take our life’s principles, and test them with experiences. If your experiences resonate with your values, you know that you’re headed the right direction. If they conflict with your values, you’re telling yourself that you either need to adjust your course, or reevaluate your governing principles.
Personal growth is as easy as that.
Self Discovery: Learn, and then forget
Although achieving lasting self improvement is as simple as uncovering our personal values and getting back to basics, there’s an important linchpin that holds the entire paradigm together: experience.
The only way we can improve ourselves is if we put ourselves out there and try to learn from the world firsthand. This way, we can build on our experiences and get a good understanding of our core values and where we’re headed. Think of an experience as a stress test for your governing values. Pass or fail, you grow.
But, with all the self improvement information out there, it’s hard not to get inundated and give up. Because of this, it’s important to learn as much as you can…and then forget it all.
Well, not all, but definitely everything that doesn’t resonate with you. The truth is that a majority of information out there won’t resonate with you; it’s when we lose sight of this and try to account for everything that we actually stunt our personal growth. But, paradoxically, the only way we can uncover our values and get back to basics, is to go out and experience it all.
With that in mind, keep what you enjoy and discard the rest. Forget all the tips, tricks, and fads, and follow your core values and principles. This way, you’ll be on a path to self improvement that you paved, and not on a path someone paved for you.
Evan Tarver is a business development specialist with dynamic experience in the technology industry. He believes that people should be doing what they love, loving what they do, and getting paid for it all!
The key to true happiness is continuous self improvement. Connect with him to read his weekly articles on self improvement through professional excellence and receive your free e-book: 52 Quotes to the Life You Love!