What does success look like in your life? Is success attaining a certain position, securing a specific income or, creating experiences with those you love?
While success can take many forms, there is one part of the journey that is always the same – that is your need to improve yourself to achieve your goals.
When you master the 5 keys to self-improvement, you position yourself on the path to success. Each of the below keys to self-improvement will help you change your life if you commit to implementing them daily.
1. Faith Is Undefeated
Think back to a time when you were successful in trying something new. If you are like me, then success may not be the most accurate way to describe your first attempt. Nevertheless, you took something from that experience that helped you the next time around.
Each experience brought you closer to your goal until you achieved it. Each time you fell, you had to decide whether you were going to quit or try again.
This is no different than a baby learning to walk. A baby is going to fall down ample times. Yet, they maintain their faith in their ability to walk because they see others walking around them.
For a baby, it is that simple. As long as they can see someone walking, they have no reason to believe they cannot. Fortunately, babies tend to be surrounded by people who reinforce that belief. Every time a baby falls, they have someone there to encourage them to get back up. No matter how many times they fall to the ground, someone is there to cheer and encourage them.
One of the most important keys to self-improvement is to believe you can be successful. Regardless of how difficult things may be, know that if you keep going, you are going to achieve your goal.
2. Become Your Biggest Fan
To help you maintain your motivation to continue when things become difficult, it is important for you to forgive yourself.
Studies show there is a positive correlation between self-compassion and self-improvement. People who have an “accepting approach to personal failure” tend to be “more motivated to improve themselves.”
If you see failure as nothing more than a part of the path to success, then there is no reason for you to become discouraged when you fail. Those who are kind to themselves and engage in positive self-talk will look for lessons in moments of misfortune. They will look for opportunities in times of disaster.
Self-compassion is one of the keys to self-improvement because you do not see failure as a sign of your own inadequacies. Instead, you see failure as an opportunity to grow and improve yourself. You recognize where you are today is due to the information you have obtained to this point.
All that means is you need to gain more knowledge on how to create the life you want. Most people quit before they can create their dream life because they see failure as a sign they do not have what it takes.
The truth is you have always had the abilities, you just need to learn how to use them. By being compassionate and kind to yourself, you give yourself the necessary time to become a master.
3. Don’t Put Your Head in the Sand
There are two types of people in the world. There are pilers and there are filers.
I happen to be a piler. I tend to keep records in small piles around my house. I know the contents of each pile and have a plan to work through the pile in due time (regardless of what my wife says).
Others are filers. They prefer to list their action items and love checking things off each day. As a result, using folders and filing things in a cabinet tends to make more sense to them.
The good news is you are not being asked to change who you. Whether you are filer or a piler is not a point of contention. The goal is for you to find a way to bring consciousness to your daily choices.
This could be as simple as you having a note in your pocket that says, “does this improve the quality of my life?”. Or it could be as detailed as making a checklist of the activities you need to engage in each day to accomplish your goal. Either way, you need to find a way that works for you to bring your actions to the forefront of your mind.
4. Recalibrate Regularly
Have you ever worn loose clothes for a few months and became oblivious to the fact that you have gained some weight?
Yea, me too. You feel normal and all of your clothes fit (or so you think).
Then when you attempt to put on a suit or jeans, you realize you have gained some weight. Well, what happened? Why weren’t you able to notice the weight change until it was significant?
It was your loose clothes that kept you from noticing the changes in your body.
The best way to notice when your size changes is to wear clothes that are your actual size. What this does is bring immediate awareness to the situation. As uncomfortable as it may feel, wouldn’t you rather notice the change when it is small and manageable?
The problem is no one likes the feeling of falling short of their goals. As a coping mechanism, you will naturally avoid anything that may cause you to feel like a failure. However, by avoiding things when they are small and manageable, you are creating a bigger problem for later.
Instead of evading the problem until it becomes unavoidable, make small periodic adjustments to stay on the path of success. You will know what decisions created those immediate results and you can change things before you drift too far.
Actively deciding what actions you will take each day is one of the most profound keys to self-improvement.
5. Change Your Self-Image
Your mind cannot distinguish between fact and fiction. It is going to store and categorize each experience the same way. That is why you feel such strong emotions when you are watching movies.
You felt sadness and disbelief when Thanos first snapped his fingers in Avengers Infinity War. You felt relief and joy when Marlin was finally able to reunite with his son Nemo. Even though you knew these events did not really happen, it did not change your very real reaction.
Now, how can you use this fact as one of your keys to self-improvement?
Olympic athletes share how they use visualization as a form of training to help ensure they are ready to compete.
Much like a movie, they visualize themselves competing and winning at the Olympics. If they visualize themselves losing, they perform the action again until they can see themselves winning. Each time they visualize themselves competing, they become more and more confident in their ability to win.
As I mentioned previously, the reason this technique is so powerful is that your mind cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy. As a result, each time you visualize yourself accomplishing your goal, your mind starts to believe your goal has already been accomplished. As silly as it sounds, that belief will pave your path to success in gold.
Regardless of how you define success, you must grow to accomplish your goals. To put it another way, your current mindset has helped you create the life you have lived thus far.
he changes you want to make in your life require you to change your mindset. The 5 keys to self-improvement discussed in this article will help you do just that.
More About Self-Improvement
When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.
Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.
Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.
Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.
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Effective vs Efficient
Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”
A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.
Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.
The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.
Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.
When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.
Effectiveness in Success and Productivity
Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.
The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.
If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.
When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:
- Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
- What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
- Does the cost balance out with the benefit?
Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.
Efficiency in Success and Productivity
Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.
When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.
Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.
The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.
If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.
Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.
The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.
Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity
Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.
If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.
It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.
Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.
Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.
Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.
By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.
It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.
Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:
- Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
- Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
- Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.
And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.