If your life isn’t turning out how you had hoped and everything is heading in the wrong direction, you can do something about it. You have a choice. You can stop, reorient yourself, and find a new path.
You don’t have to keep doing all the things that haven’t worked out for you for the past six months or the past six years. If the circumstances showing up in your life aren’t delivering the benefits you expected, you can, with a little effort, turn things around for the better.
So, to keep things simple, start with just three changes: set personal development goals, clean up your bad habits, and focus on becoming an expert in something that will radically improve the quality of your life.
Set Personal Development Goals
Philosophers have been asking about the ingredients of the good life for centuries. This probably started long before Plato confabulated his stories about Socrates. He was just contributing to a theme, not originating it.
Today, we’ve relabeled this philosophical quest for a higher quality of life under the more marketable rubric “personal development.” Although the motivational words of Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Oprah have replaced the lucubrations of Plato and Aristotle, the plot has thickened, not changed.
So, a good place to rediscover the good life for yourself is to study self-development literature and to work on character development with the rigor of Benjamin Franklin. If you do this long enough, people will notice your increased level of empathy and active listening skills, your burgeoning confidence and fearlessness, and your unusual knack for speaking your truth while getting along with everybody. It’s a slow process, but you will transform into the person that you’ve always wanted to be.
You can speed up your personal growth by adopting a fitness lifestyle. If you stick to it long enough, you’ll be able to do things that other people would find impossible, like enjoying the holidays with no weight gain.
Expunge Bad Habits
Although we all like to think of ourselves as rational beings who only do things that make sense, this is a common delusion. All of us have bad habits. While some may be relatively harmless, others can really get in the way of your aspirations for self-improvement.
By definition, a bad habit is something that has destructive consequences. If, for instance, you party a little too hard and wake up in the mornings with hangover chills, you will not make much progress with any of your personal development goals no matter how many inspiring self-help books you read or motivational YouTube videos you binge out on.
So, make a list of your bad habits, then pick the one on the top of your list to work on. Don’t work on more than one at a time because it will require a tremendous amount of will-power to correct each destructive habit.
Cultivate an Exceptional Skill
What would you like to do that would make all the difference in the world for you?
This is not as open-ended a question as it may seem because you should only choose something that will significantly improve the quality of your life.
Do you want to succeed in business? Do you want to flourish in an intellectual pursuit? Do you want to master some art form? Do you want to excel in a competitive sport? Do you want to deepen your spiritual quest?
Once you’ve chosen your one big thing to specialize in, then study as much of it as possible, apply it whenever you get the chance, and teach it to others to enhance your own understanding.
We live in a golden age of the computer and the Internet. Invaluable information and resources are at your fingertips. If you dedicate your will and energy to focusing on one thing you can become exceptionally good at it, it will lift your life to a new level. If you invest your time into improving your life, you will notice changes that will astonish and delight you.