First, I want to say a big thank you to all those people who liked, shared and re-tweeted my last post about some of the problems with the self-improvement industry. I also enjoyed receiving your emails and comments too. It seems that I did manage to connect with something that many people are feeling.
The danger of writing a blog post like Why Is Self-Improvement Total BS? is that it can come across as a negative rant. As I’m trying to improve myself and develop as a human, I was worried that this would be unhelpful as I would be focusing on a negative.
But… I feel very strongly that I want my development to be real and genuine and not just me ‘brainwashing’ myself into a relentlessly positive and upbeat robot that is incapable of having passionately held beliefs.
That’s why I don’t think it was a negative post (and thankfully, most of you seem to agree!). If we look honestly at the world and find things that we don’t like then we have three options:
1. Ignore it (…and carry on. The ‘That’s Life! Get over it!’ response)
2. Avoid it (find alternative solutions or ways around the problem)
3. Change it
In the case of self-improvement, I can’t really do Option 1 (to be honest, I don’t like this option in most cases as it feels like you are giving in and living in someone else’s world)
So, I hope that my article is a mixture of Options 2 and 3. I am committed to changing my life and working consistently and persistently on developing myself, so the fact that there are a lot of people out there who are only interested in getting you to open your wallet is an issue for me. So I chose to share that with others because I hoped they would have the same thoughts. And it turned out, you did!
Back to ‘Thank You’
With that said, this week I have found a great way to feel incredibly positive and genuinely content and I really want to share it with you.
I have found the power of Gratitude.
You may have already heard somebody say something along the lines of ‘You need to be grateful for all you have in your life’?
So had I. And like me, I’m guessing you too had a similar thought: ‘Yeah right! Sure! I’m grateful, okay? Can you tell me something that might actually be useful now?’
But I have been reading Brendon Burchard’s awesome book “Motivation Manifesto” and he believes 100% in the power of saying ‘thank you’. This is not just about being polite, although that is definitely a totally cool way to behave!
It is about realising how blessed we are, no matter what our circumstances. You can have lots of areas of your life that you want to change, but it will help you hugely to spend some time reflecting on the things you are currently happy about in your life (however few things that might seem!)
Or realising that you should be happy about a lot more than you are. This doesn’t mean ‘settling’ for a second-rate life at all.
The idea is that you switch your perspective from one of deficit to one of abundance.
You stop focusing on what you DON’T have and CAN’T do and switch to what you ALREADY have!
It’s a subtle switch in both how you see yourself and what you expect in the future.
I really have started seeing things from a much more positive and thankful point of view. I know how lucky I am to be alive, how lucky I am to have the skills, family, friends and opportunities that I enjoy.
And this gives me a sense of control, power, joy and happiness that makes be believe I can do anything.
Seriously…just try this out for 5 minutes every day for the next week and come back and tell me how you feel:
List all the things you are grateful for in your life
‘Is that it?’ you might be asking. It sounds such a pointless and hippy, psycho-babble, happy-clappy waste of time.
How could that POSSIBLY work?
We spend our lives worrying about what has gone wrong and what might go wrong and this means that so much of energy is wasted on fear, anxiety, regret and paranoia. So much so, that we end up missing out on many genuinely golden opportunities because our minds are closed to them.
In many ways, we are living in a Defence mode rather than a Growth mode.
We are so worried about LOSING things (possessions, people, status etc) that we forget to look for opportunities to GAIN.
So, seriously…give it a try. You might be surprised!
These prompts might help you:
What skills and knowledge do I have that I feel grateful for?
What experiences and opportunities have I had that I really enjoyed?
What people (family, friends and colleagues) do I know who make my life better?
What aspects of my health/fitness make me feel strong and happy?
What little things do I do every day that make me smile?
The idea is that just five minutes a day will reboot your mind into a much more positive frame. You will be seeing things from a better and clearer perspective. New possibilities will seem to present themselves, which is another way of saying that you will be spotting things that were already there, but you had forgotten to look for!
Give it a go!
And please let me know how you got on. Comment below, ‘Like’, ‘Share’ and email me at Tony@rebootingme.com with any questions.
Cheers for now,
P.S. – The second reason to thank you? Well…I am really grateful for you taking the time to read this.
It means so much to me!