Posts tagged how to improve your life

Top 10 Personal Development Mysteries Revealed with Lisha Yost

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Now it’s time for me to give you my take on my top 10 personal development questions. And after you’re done reading this, you can give us your take!

1. How/when did you become interested in personal development?

I’ve been fascinated by personal development my entire life, at least as early as I could be, but I probably became more interested in it in high school, when my level of consciousness allowed for being able to think this way.

2. Do you think people can change?

Yes, but people first need to recognize that a change needs to occur, and then there needs to be a willingness to change.

3. What does success mean to you?

Being content in whatever circumstances I am currently in.

4. What’s your #1 secret for success?

Being grateful for the blessings you already have. I always say that if you’re not grateful for what God has already blessed you with, why would He bless you more?

5. What personality traits do you feel hinder people from being able to improve themselves?

When there is no realization or acknowledgement that something needs to change. Also, a lack of confidence, and even a lack of organization.

6. What personality traits best aid people in improving their lives?

People who are willing to change and people who want to improve their lives are the only people who will change, and determination is what makes it happen.

7. In your experience, what aspect is the hardest for people to change or improve on?

Personality, beliefs, and habits. Personality is hard to change because we are all born with a certain temperament. Some of it is hard to change, but it’s not impossible to improve. Beliefs are hard to change because beliefs take a long time to form in the first place, so in order to change a belief it usually takes a lot of time and convincing as well. Habits are hard to change because we tend to automatically continue to do the things we’ve always done, the ways we’ve always done it.

8. What’s one thing you’ve improved about yourself that you’re proud of and has made your life better, and how did you accomplish this?

I’ve been self-employed for about two and a half years now and it was really becoming hard to balance my personal life, extended family, me-time, health, and work. I started to work later and later into the night and waking up later and later into the day. A few months ago, I said enough is enough, and I decided to create a more concrete schedule that I had to stick to in order to live a more balanced happy life. The first step was to simply start waking up 2 hours earlier. Then I was able to take care of my cats, eat breakfast, do a devotional/prayer/meditation, exercise, and then get ready for the day. I can’t tell you how much changing the first two hours of my day benefitted the rest of my day. I was able to be more focused, less frazzled, get more done, and feel more accomplished. The other thing is that I was able to stop work earlier in the night so I could spend more time with my husband and go to bed earlier. My new schedule had boosted my mood and health drastically.

9. What do you feel is the most important aspect that people should improve about their lives?

How they spend their time. If you improve how you spend your time, you can improve every aspect of your life. Your finances, your relationships, your health, everything.

10. Do you believe that anyone can ever reach self-actualization (where there is no more room for improvement)?

Personally, I don’t believe that anyone can actually reach perfection. We’re all human. But we all have a highest potential that we can reach, and I believe that everyone should strive to be the best they can be in everything they do. Not in an obsessive way. And not in a way that is disappointing to you if you don’t measure up to your (or others’) expectations. Life is hard, so there’s no reason why we should be hard on ourselves too. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t accept responsibility for where we are in our lives and take action steps on improving. To me it’s like a game. It’s fun to improve.

What do you think? Leave a comment with your thoughts!

And while you’re at it, click here to submit your answers. You just might be featured in a future blog post! Or you can even answer anonymously. Either way, the more information we gather, the more we can learn about what needs to be improved and how best to accomplish that.

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10 Top Personal Development Bloggers Share Their Advice –
Part Two

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We’re back with more wisdom from some of the most influential personal development bloggers in the world.

Read Part One Here | Read Part Three Here

Now on to Part Two:

5. What personality traits best aid people in improving their lives?

 

“Making the decision to change is the best thing you can do to begin learning how to improve your life.”
- Alex Blackwell, thebridgemaker.com

“Optimism, someone with a can-do attitude and someone who is not afraid to take action and implement what they have learned in their life. Self-improvement is actually really simple. You learn something, you implement it, you repeat!”
- Brendan Baker, startofhappiness.com

“Empathy is the key. If you can understand others and put yourself in others’ shoes, it helps you to relate to them better, and hence help to pull them out of whatever ruts they may be in or to simply help them soar to greater heights. You should have a passion for helping others. The passion will shine through and drive you into acquiring any skills and doing anything necessary to help people shine. I started out with nothing but this passion for helping others, and it’s through this that I began to build all other skills to help people, be it active listening skills, powerful questioning, observation skills, increased sensitivity for others, and so on.”
- Celestine Chua, personalexcellence.co

“Optimism and curiosity. Optimism allows you to see future versions of yourself that are better and which are believable to you. If you believe you’ve reached your limits, you have. I know that sounds like motivational-speaker fluff, but it’s true. Curiosity is what keeps people trying new things. People who are interested in the world tend to develop faster. I’ve met people who have zero interest in learning anything and it’s almost impossible for them to change. That’s why people who are into self-improvement tend to travel a lot. It’s the natural pursuit of the curious person, and you can’t help but grow when you see how people approach the same human problems in different ways.”
- David Cane, raptitude.com

“Being willing to face discomfort and fear. I’m not talking about physical discomfort, but about psychological discomfort. For example, you may have a thought of fear pop up that says you aren’t good enough. Your first reaction may be to believe it, to defend yourself against it. But what about just letting it be? Why have you decided that this thought is important? What if you explored where the thought came from? Close your eyes and investigate. Become curious about your feelings and thoughts. They are only as scary as you think them to be.”
- Henri Junttila, wakeupcloud.com

“There are sixteen personality types and each of us is gifted in self-improvement if we focus on the right area of self-improvement for our type. I’m always surprised that people do not learn their type early in their career. All Fortune 500 executives learn their type because personal development is so much faster once you know it, and Fortune 500 companies don’t want expensive employees wasting their time. But really everyone should know their type and then guide their own personal development according to where they are most likely to succeed. I’ve become a fanatic about this over the years because it’s been so incredibly useful in my own journey. I teach a lot of courses on personal development, but the one about how to leverage your own personality type to achieve success – that’s by far the most popular course. You can check it out here.”
- Penelope Trunk, penelopetrunk.com

“Compassion, understanding, empathy and social awareness. These all come together to allow someone to genuinely connect, help and understand the people around them. Environment is everything. We have to surround ourselves with the people who inspire possibility. And in turn inspire that possibility in others. That’s when things start to get interesting. Do whatever you can to feel what another person’s feeling and to see a window into their world – then do all you can to leverage your talents, strengths and passions to help them in a meaningful way. The rest will take care of itself.”
- Scott Dinsmore, liveyourlegend.net

“Determination! That’s it, If you’re determined to improve your life, you will. When you make that decision and you take action, even if it’s a small action every day, you will change. When you start to see results your mind is infused with other thoughts that will bring about a more rapid improvement of your life, you start to become more positive and gain the belief that ‘I can actually do this.’ When that happens something weird and amazing happens, you start to meet people that can help you improve, little things start to happen that seem like ‘coincidence’. Your unconscious mind sets to work on improving your life as you are asking the question ‘How can I improve this situation’ rather than asking the question ‘Why does this always happen to me’. Ask your unconscious mind the right questions and you will get better answers.”
- Steve Aitchison, stevenaitchison.co.uk

“Unshakeable belief. That leads to tenacity, persistence and a willingness to do the work.”
- Tim Brownson, adaringadventure.com

“Knowledge of your Enneagram type is useful in learning about your fundamental drivers and motivations – they vary a lot from person to person. But I would say that the ability to define your goals and then remain focussed upon them is a very important skill to acquire and I think it is true that some personality types have less trouble with this than others. At my personal development workshops, I sometimes ask people to write down their three or four most important goals. Some people get right down to it; other people are left thinking about what their goals are – in other words, they don’t have any. Real goals are at the forefront of your mind and if you can’t list your goals without too much thinking, you have not yet acquired this skill.”
- Will Edwards, whitedovebooks.co.uk

6. What personality traits do you feel hinder people from being able to improve themselves?

 

“I’m not sure if personality traits hinder people, but fear does. Fear of the past, fear of the unknown, fear of making mistakes and even the fear of being happy can keep us stuck in a place that is comfortable, and doesn’t provide the opportunity for change and growth.”
- Alex Blackwell, thebridgemaker.com

“I don’t know if I’d call them personality traits, but again I’d say it’s self-limiting beliefs. Linked to that, a personality trait that hinders someone would be someone who is not willing to be open and not willing to learn. If someone is closed minded, it will be a lot harder for them to become aware of a need or desire to improve themselves and they would be less willing to take information they learn and actually apply it in their life.”
- Brendan Baker, startofhappiness.com

“Lack of openness. When you’re narrow-minded and you believe your way is the best way to do everything, you block out new ideas which may be better than what you have. Arrogance is another one. If you look down on others, then you can’t learn. Everyone is a fountain of lessons and you have to first respect and acknowledge them as individuals before you can truly learn from them.”
- Celestine Chua, personalexcellence.co

“Conformity and self-righteousness, although I’d call them habits more than traits. When you’re unwilling to do anything most people don’t do, you’re unable to achieve anything most people don’t achieve, and I think lasting self-improvement isn’t something most people achieve. Self-righteousness short-circuits most chances to improve because learning anything is essentially changing your beliefs, and changing your beliefs requires you to accept that you may have been wrong about something this whole time.”
- David Cain, raptitude.com

“I don’t know if I’d call them traits, but one of the things I see is that people believe they have to work hard at improving themselves. It’s easy to forget that when you came into this world (as a baby), you were already happy, curious, and peaceful. So what’s changed? Why isn’t the happiness there anymore? It still is, but it’s clouded by thoughts, beliefs, and programming (for lack of a better word). It’s kind of like believing that the sun has disappeared when it’s a rainy day. The sun is always there. We just have to let the clouds pass. When you see that your thoughts are shaping what you feel and experience, things begin to change. You realize that you don’t have to take life so seriously, you don’t have to take your thoughts so seriously.”
- Henri Junttila, wakeupcloud.com

“People are scared of being wrong and scared of looking stupid. The only way to learn is to make mistakes. The bigger a learning curve you have the bigger your mistakes are going to be.”
- Penelope Trunk, penelopetrunk.com

“I wouldn’t say it’s a personality trait, I would say it’s the inability to believe that we can change. If you’ve been stuck your whole life with a belief that ‘this is my lot in life’, then it can be difficult to make changes in your life. Believing that we can change is one of the first beliefs that anybody can work on to bring about lasting change in life.”
- Steve Aitchison, stevenaitchison.co.uk

“About the only thing is a lack of belief. Without belief everything else becomes close to impossible which is why I go to great lengths with clients to not just get their emotional buy in, but their logical one too, so I’ll explain at a scientific level why change is possible.”
- Tim Brownson, adaringadventure.com

“Well, personality is very much an individual thing but, in essence I think you can consider your personality to be, broadly, a good thing, though it’s true that there are strengths and weaknesses of every personality type. Of the various personality typing systems that I know, I am quite fond of the Enneagram and I think it is a good place to begin to acquire the necessary self-knowledge. After all, you can’t change anything if you are blind to your own weaknesses.”
- Will Edwards, whitedovebooks.co.uk

7. In your experience, what aspect is the hardest for people to change or improve on?

 

“I think the hardest thing to do is to take that first step outside of our comfort zones. While our comfort zones may feel safe, they limit our growth and keep us from finding true happiness; but when we find the courage to take that first step out of our comfort zones and into growth, a whole new world full of exciting possibilities opens up to us.”
- Alex Blackwell, thebridgemaker.com

“Mindset. Changing your beliefs is one of the hardest things you can do. When you have a belief that has been programmed within you for your whole life it can be extremely hard to see an alternative perspective. Yet, it can be done. It’s simply a matter of continually developing new beliefs, disproving your old beliefs and ensuring you are surrounding yourself with the right people and creating the right environment.”
- Brendan Baker, startofhappiness.com

“They care too much about what others think. I recently coached a client and helped her to break through the need to care about others’ opinions. Most of the time, our need to listen or care about what others think/say boils down to us looking for affirmation from them. But if we realize that there’s no need for external validation, we are complete as ourselves and it’s about finding our power from within, this need for validation will disappear. ”
- Celestine Chua, personalexcellence.co

“Expectations. We grow up with fairly certain expectations of where we’re headed, and we are constantly reinforcing it to ourselves. If you’ve always expected to be poor, every decision you make reflects that expectation and so that’s where you’re headed — you’re always correcting the course so that you end up there. It really takes some active imagining to be able to see that vastly different versions of yourself are possible. That kind of visualizing is pretty unpopular outside new-agey circles, but it’s a really powerful thing to experiment with. It is possible to get a quite immediate sense of what it would be like to be wealthy, for example, even if you’ve never been wealthy. And once you’ve caught a glimpse of it, it can be believable to you, and then you feel a freedom to make choices that seem out-of-character at first, but which reinforce a different outcome than you were initially expecting.”
- David Cain, raptitude.com

“Noticing your thoughts and how they affect you. It’s like talking to a fish about water. It doesn’t understand, because water is all around it. The same is true for thoughts. You think you are your thoughts, but that in and of itself is a thought. When you look closer, you see that there’s an awareness of thought, which means that you cannot be thought, because thought arises in you. Here’s a way to look at it: there’s a dance floor and there’s a dance. You are the dance floor. Your thoughts are the dance. Truly seeing this is incredibly liberating, because no problem (thought) is bigger than you. You can only overwhelm and scare yourself by the thoughts you choose to believe in. This doesn’t mean that you’ll never feel fear, because you will. The difference will be in how long the fear sticks around and how much “power” it has.”
- Henri Junttila, wakeupcloud.com

“People expect things of themselves that are not appropriate to who they are. For example, if you are highly creative then you should not go to graduate school — those are analytic, well defined paths inappropriate to someone who is an out-of-the-box thinker. But it’s so appealing to have a well-defined path to follow that lots of people who should not be going to graduate school go. By the same token, lots of people who are analytic, system-oriented thinkers want to start a company, but startup ideas do not generally emanate from that type of thinker. Some people are great at thinking of ideas and some are great at executing them. You need to know where you fall — either spot is fine, but no one is equally strong in both. It’s not how the human brain works. It all comes down to personality type, really. If you know your personality type and you create a path for yourself based on knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses, you are likely to avoid common pitfalls of personal development.”
- Penelope Trunk, penelopetrunk.com

“Again I would say beliefs. Most of us think that a belief is there for life and we don’t even stop to look at the beliefs we have about ourselves, the world and other people around us.”
- Steve Aitchison, stevenaitchison.co.uk

“That’s quite individual, but if I had to name one thing I would probably say procrastination. Chronic procrastinators are tricky clients at the best of times. Having said that it really depends on what’s causing the procrastination. Is it overwhelm, is it a lack of knowledge, is it a lack of vision? etc. All require a different approach.”
- Tim Brownson, adaringadventure.com

“Changing any aspect of your personality is difficult because your personality is essentially a collection of behavioural habits. We develop these habits to assist us in all kinds of situations. We don’t have to think about how to act, we simply react, and those reactions are the product of past actions that have been habitualised. It’s true that they save us a lot of thinking time but sometimes, it is a lot wiser to carefully consider all of your options before acting. It is also useful to recognise that certain behavioural habits – a product of our personality – are useful when dealing with certain groups of people. But those same habits can also be extremely unhelpful when dealing with other groups. So acquiring the ability to be adaptable in situations is very useful, but I would say it is also a difficult skill to acquire.”
- Will Edwards, whitedovebooks.co.uk

 

What do you feel hinders and assists people in being able to change for the better?

Please leave your thoughts in a comment. Let’s discuss!

Next week we’ll be sharing Part Three of our interview series. You won’t want to miss it, so sign up below to be notified when that’s published and ready for you to read and learn from.

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