One of the most unique and powerful gifts we all have is the ability to improve ourselves every day, in every way. It is the ultimate opportunity to have the emotional, intellectual, and physical faculties to identify and execute change. We can study a little every day, either by reading or listening or watching something that will support us to make shifts in how we take care of ourselves and our future. Even the smallest steps can quickly compound into vast improvements in who we are, how we act, how we react, and how we attract.
The Japanese call it Kaizen … or constant improvement.
Let’s look at some areas of our lives where small daily improvements can add up to huge differences over time:
What could be more important? Take care of your body; it is the only one you get. It could last well past 100 years of vitality and wellness. Here are a few things we can do every day:
Make one better decision about what you eat. Drop the sugar or salt you usually add to your food. Enjoy one less beer, or one more helping of fiber or greens. Move away from white flour. Drink more water. Put a gallon of water in the refrigerator and make it your goal to consume it every day. Rethink how you look at food: from a source of pleasure to a source of necessary fuel. Food is fuel. Bad fuel causes engine failure. Good fuel wins races.
Stop buying the things at the grocery store that do not support your health. If they are not in the kitchen, you are likely to NOT eat them.
Add one more physical activity. Walk the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Walk to the mailbox. Hire a personal trainer. Stretch. Do something fun and physical.
Take time to relax … even 20 minutes can make a difference. Give yourself permission to lie in the hammock or take a quiet bath.
It is our ticket to freedom, fun, adventure and contribution. Anyone can become wealthy. The level you need for freedom is different from others. Find your number. How much in assets and income do you want in order to live life to the fullest? Then do these things every day:
Add value to YOU as a professional. It does not matter if you are a chicken chopper or a rocket scientist … add value to your income-earning self. Learn something new that has value to your clients or employer. Add a new skill. Develop a new distinction. Form a new habit. Offer more of your professional self than you have before. You will earn more every year.
Save more. Save more of the money you spend now. Look for ways to get the same value for less money. Buy a three-year-old car versus brand new. Eat out once less each month. Exchange full cable services for the basic. Anyone can figure out how to save $100 a month off just his or her existing expenses. One hundred dollars saved and invested over 30 years equals hundreds of thousands in wealth. Just $100 a month!
Invest more in appreciating assets and less in depreciating assets. More appreciating assets like real estate, home improvements, your professional value, stocks and bonds. Less depreciating assets like autos, entertainment, gifts and impulse purchases. Just by shifting a few hundred dollars you will add hundreds of thousands to your net worth.
Building a residual income, even part time, adds significant wealth. Five hundred dollars a month in residual income is, in itself, “worth” $50,000. The added $500 a month you invest in real estate or stocks can be worth hundreds of thousands over time. Residual income can come from a solid Network Marketing business, an online business, or writing a book about something for which you have a passion.
How You Act
Are you kind? Are you compassionate? Are you generous? Do you take or give credit to others? Do you speak encouraging words? Do you speak about people’s strengths to others? Do you work enthusiastically? Do you do what you say you will do? Do you tell your truth when it could be a contribution? Do you listen to empower others?
How you and I act creates our value in the world … to the people around us like family, friends, coworkers and clients. When we act with excellence, speak with excellence, listen with excellence, and behave as excellent a person as we can in the moment, we are valued, we are attractive, we are trusted and we are loved.
Do these things every day to improve how you act:
Make a commitment to say something kind every day … then increase it to every hour.
Make the same commitment to do something kind every day. “Pay it Forward.”
Make the same commitment to listen to someone … really listen to what they are saying, what they are not saying, what they really want to say, and how they feel. Listen to someone at the therapeutic level once a day.
Audit your conversations. Develop the habit of asking Request personal prophecy yourself after each statement, “What was my motive in saying what I said and how I said it? Was it to contribute to the person, or to make myself look good?” Then ask yourself how you feel about someone who speaks to make themselves look good, more important than you, or more “right” than you.
Make a bold request every day that will improve a relationship, business productivity, or will improve another person. For example, make a bold request that a friend or loved one stop speaking negatively about him or herself – battering their own poor self esteem. Or make a request that your spouse do something that you know will improve your love and relationship. When bold requests are made out of the context of support and improvement, they are often the tipping point that leads a person to act with excellence.
How You React
If actions are those things we think about (however briefly) before doing them, then reactions are those things we do without thinking. They are our built-in boomerang over which we may feel we have no control or personal responsibility. Most people react in negative and destructive ways.
We can develop new “reactions” by developing new interpretations and habits. Here are some examples:
When someone speaks down to you, what do you think and how do you feel about it? What is your reaction? Do you think they think you are smaller and less than them? Do you think they may be right? Do you react with anger and retaliation, or do you shut down? What if when someone spoke down to you, you “interpreted” that they, themselves, feel small and could really use a lift up. This new interpretation gives you a perfect opportunity to engage yourself in improving how you act (See steps 1-5 above).
When someone is late do you think they disrespected you? How do you retaliate? What if you interpreted the lateness was due to a life in overwhelm, a sick child, or someone being late for them? Do you see another opportunity for steps 1-5 above?
When someone in authority tells you “no” or tells you to do something versus asks, how do you react? What if you interpreted that this leader is working on their path of compassionate leadership; that they have more responsibilities than they can often handle and they need support. Again, see steps 1-5 above.