Oh yes, Grasshopper, your self improvement salvation lies in a mental directive that is so simple, yet so powerful, that your life can be a different – and better – place to be in less than 5 minutes!
Are you ready for it?
Can you handle the suspense?
Can't you just taste the sweet victory about to be held firmly in your grasp?
Okay, don't say I didn't warn you about how simple it is:
Decide what kind of person you are NOT going to be.
That's it, that's all. Your secret to having inner-peace, a low level of stress in your life, and a high level of personal success. All you have to do is decide what kind of person you are NOT going to be in any area of your life that you would like to improve.
The reason why this is so easy is because it simplifies the decision-making process about how you are going to act (or not act!) in any given situation.
For example, let's choose a few personality traits from our colorful list, assign them to certain people, and look at how they might respond to various situations:
Frank decides that even though it drives him absolutely crazy when his kids don't clean their bedroom, he is not going to be the kind of person who creates negativity by screaming and yelling at disobedient children, and from this day forth he will be tolerant.
Well, sure enough, it isn't long before Suzie and Tommy put old Frank to the test, and their rooms are completely trashed when Frank gets home after a long, hard day at work.
When Frank sees the disaster area where their bedrooms used to be, his initial reaction is to fly off the handle and start shouting. However, rather than attempt to implement some sort of complicated self improvement (or self control!) mantra, Frank simply says quietly in his mind:
"I am not the kind of person who yells at my children."
The situation itself hasn't changed, but Frank – if he is going to honor his promise to himself – has no choice but to calm down and stay level-headed.
Beth realizes one day that the reason why she hasn't attained financial success is because when push comes to shove, she always backs down from consistently working hard towards her financial goals. She makes a vow to herself that from now on, she is going to be a hard working person.
Well, it doesn't take long before Beth has a 5-hour time slot on a Friday night all lined up to work on her Internet marketing business, and she'll be able to send out an income-producing sales letter as a result.
However, just as Beth is sitting down after dinner on Friday night to get to work, one of her friends calls her up and says that the gang is all going downtown to tear it up and have a good time. What is Beth to do?? In her mind she repeats her promise to herself:
"I am not the kind of person who skips out on doing her work."
Sure, it would be tough, but Beth also knows another little phrase to get through times like these:
"Do today what others won't so you can do tomorrow what others can't."
Bob has always had a hard time relaxing. He has a strong work ethic, big plans for the future, and he knows that he has his work cut out for him as he strides confidently towards his dreams. In fact, he works so hard that over the course of the years he has forgotten how to relax and have a good time!
Even when he takes time away from his responsibilities, he finds it difficult to really let loose and enjoy himself, because he knows that once he gets back to work, he will be that much farther behind after taking time off.
However, he realizes that balance is one of the primary keys to success, so Bob promises himself that he is going to start having fun. In fact, he decides to pull out all the stops and make his life nothing less than joyful.
Nonetheless, as he is preparing to spend a rare Saturday afternoon with his friends, his old habits start to kick in and he thinks about the 6 or 8 solid hours of work time that he will be missing by taking the rest of the day off. His heart rate increases, he starts feeling stressed out, and he is beginning to think that the fun can wait until later in life – he has work to do! Then he remembers:
"I am not the kind of person who puts the joy of life on hold for the sake of getting the job done."
Next thing you know, Bob is out the door and it isn't long before he is having so much fun that he can't believe he almost talked himself out of going!
Can you see the stark simplicity of this process? Frank, Beth, and Bob did not have to memorize some complex routine to get them through their tough moments.
They did not have to consult a checklist, hop into a meditative state, or even take a deep breath and count to 10. All they had to do was use a one sentence reminder of a promise that they made to themselves.
They promised themselves that they would not be a certain type of person, and by keeping that sacred promise, all they ever have to do is ask themselves;
- Would a tolerant person do what I am about to do?
- Would a hard working person do what I am about to do?
- Would a joyful person do what I am about to do?
If the answer is "yes," then go forth and honor yourself and your future by doing what you know is right.
If the answer is "no," and you do it anyway, then another question comes up:
If you can't be honest with yourself, who can you be honest with?
Think about it.