Wanted: Lasting Improvements
“There is no value-judgment more important to man – no factor more
decisive in his psychological development and motivation – than the estimate
he passes on himself.”
- Nathaniel Branden
Year in, year out, we make resolutions, don’t we? Why do we fail in
our resolution to improve ourselves? Out of frustration, we seek out various
self-improvement programs and books. Has it occurred to you why the
number of self-help books is on the rise?
Many people nowadays read self-help books and enroll in some new
self-improvement program. They wanted to lose weight, quit smoking, begin
exercising, read faster, improve their personality, or learn new skills. Most
people embark on such programs because they are discontented with
themselves. They believe that if they can modify something in themselves,
they will experience contentment.
People’s experiences led them to believe that if they implement any
external changes within themselves, they will feel better on the inside. When
they receive honors, degrees, and accolades from peers, they feel good. This
led to the belief that a good feeling does complement accomplishment. They
conclude that by changing things on the outside, by becoming what other
people like them to be, their inside world will change.
It is surprising that most people got it all wrong! Actually, it works the
opposite way. CHANGE MUST BEGIN FROM WITHIN.
The process starts with a change in thoughts and way of thinking. This
change of thought often leads to a change in lifestyle. You can improve the
way you think, notice a shift in your behavior and perspective, and start to
see yourself in a better light.
While you may have initiated that conversion of the inner world, it
needs to be sustained to avoid going back to the old ways. As you read
along, you will be introduced to simple, useful, logical, time-tested
procedures that thousands of successful people have applied to change selfdoubt
into self-confidence. Some are daily exercises to build up your selfimage,
while others are reminders of universal laws to help you stay on the
right track when you become too reactive to successes and failures.
Just a reality check: Changing the way you feel about yourself cannot
just happen overnight and will not happen without any exertion. Quick fixes
do not work. Lasting inner change requires time and effort.
Our society is enamored with instant solutions and quick fixes.
Perhaps we can learn from an old proverb about the Chinese bamboo tree:
“After the seed for this amazing tree is planted, you see nothing, absolutely
nothing, for four years except for a tiny shoot coming out of a bulb. During
those four years, all the growth is underground in a massive, fibrous root
structure that spreads wide and deep in the earth. But then on the following
year, the Chinese bamboo tree grows up to eighty feet!” From this we learn
the virtue of patience and a deeper appreciation of lasting change.
The good news is that confidence is a product accessible to everyone.
While initially we were not born with it, this trait can be taught, nurtured and
built over the years, at any stage in life.
Dr. Karl Menninger once wrote, “Fears are educated into us, and they
can, if they wish, be educated out.” Confidence can be educated into us too.
The first of success book please read