Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Success Principles ~ Principle 20

Principle #20 of Jack Canfield's Success Principles is "commit to constant and never-ending improvement." He points out that these days with the pace of change, constant improvement is in fact a bare essential never mind a success strategy. Unfortunately a part of that is that we often feel like we're running to catch up instead of feeling great where we are right now.

So remember, you are fantastic today. You are unique and full of skills, talents and personality traits that are totally awesome right now at the moment you are reading this. If you need to read that again, please do. In fact, remind yourself of one great thing about you right now before we talk about improving, okay? And if you feel like it, share it in the comments. I am one person that loves to hear people share what is great about themselves! And here's one about me - at this very minute I know that I am a lively human being that loves to engage! You're turn.

Now that we know we've got at least one thing going for us right here, let's look at what Jack recommends we do for our improvement. One thing is to make your improvements in baby steps. Trying to do too much too fast can be overwhelming. Instead, small and achievable steps reinforce that you can do this. (I know I've mentioned her before but FlyLady has really worked the baby steps strategy into a system if you're dealing with clutter in your life.)

The other thing is to know what it is that you want to improve. If I make a million baby steps at something that isn't in the direction that I want to go, um, I don't end up closer to my goal. This can be a primo procrastination tool, especially if the baby steps are towards something you like and do really want to do. For example, imagine that I love wine (which I do). One day I think, yes, I really do love wine. In fact, I want to become a wine expert. I start taking baby steps - reading, researching, scouring the vintage section. My knowledge is nearing sommelier status. Then you ask me, "Jamie, what's your dream?" And suddenly I remember and say, "Well, I really want to run workshops that inspire joy and transformation." "Oh, do you have one scheduled?" "Um, no. But I'll tell you, the 2002 Verdicchio is lovely." See?

It's not that learning about wine isn't valuable or interesting or joyful for me. But its study allowed me to use the noble face of learning and improving to disguise the fact that though I was taking awesome steps I wasn't taking any in the direction of my real dreams. This can also happen when you take thousands of baby steps that make you an expert at preparing for what you really want (lists, schedules, plans, strategies) as opposed to becoming an expert at actually doing it. (Um, but I wouldn't know anything about that *whistling*)
So, baby steps and knowing what you want to improve are key. Two life areas that I am currently committed to improving are being a homeowner and being a traveller. These are both relatively new for me, they often intimidate me, and they are deeply important to me. I am committing to becoming more skilled in these arenas. Expect more posts about that soon!
What do you want to take baby steps towards?


Suzie Ridler said...

Oooh!!! I like the sound of the stuff you want to improve Jamie! Especially the traveller, where do you want to go? I want to know. I love adventures too.

I want to take baby steps towards really dedicating myself to my spirituality and maybe sharing that with others in some way. It's still vague, wish it was clearer but I'm really sensing that's where I want to go.

Melanie Margaret said...


I see you acheiving your goals and it is a beautiful thing to witness!

One thing I am good at is sharing.

One thing I am taking step towards is consciously communicating with my higher self. This takes practice everyday, but something I am finally determined to do because I know being in-tune with my higher self will help me live my best life.