50 Self Improvement Tips for Success

You can stop searching for self improvement tips and articles on blogs spread across the web. We’v...

You can stop searching for self improvement tips and articles on blogs spread across the web. We’ve collated the best tips so you can focus your energy on executing them rather than hunting for them.

50 Self Improvement Tips for Success at Work and in Life

While the term self-improvement has been associated with some sleazy and pushy literature of late, it is indeed a vital weapon that you should have in your arsenal to avoid obsolescence and being in-sync with the changing times. As you mature you tend to realize that learning is not restricted to the walls of academia after all. 

Instead, the real learning and opportunities of improvement to become more well-rounded individuals exist outside academia in the halls of life; often it is the most important study area which you get to design and structure on your own. The more self-improvement and leisure bleed into each other in your real life, the better it is.

self-improvement-tips

Self-improvement seems lofty and inherently logical to begin with, yet the spectrum of improvement that is possible for an average individual is intrinsically huge and complex. And when one also considers the fact that it is a continuous process by definition, it makes the whole thing baffling and often degenerates into a well-trodden excuse-zone. While I am no expert in bringing my shit together, I strive for self-improvement and adhere to some basic tenets given below to make this process easier, defined and repeatable.

Self improvement tip 1: Cultivate an attitude of learning

The holy grail of self-improvement, this attitude ensures that you are open to the idea of learning without the false barriers of age, remain in tune with the changing times and do not get fossilized under the false assumption that learning is not for you, owing to a list of unique constraints (because everybody feels their problems are unique!)

Self improvement tip 2: Appreciate the difference between important and urgent tasks

The two are synchronous and often used interchangeably, but are vastly different when it comes down to viewing life with a slightly long-term perspective. For instance, while being financially secure is important, shipping that deliverable by 7 PM is urgent.

Self improvement tip 3: Master the art of changing habits

Usually the most important thing that distinguishes the successful/unsuccessful or the dreamers/doers is the set of habits they follow. We overestimate the influence of willpower, it being a very finite resource. Instead, it makes far more sense to establish rituals and systems to get some serious work done. It just so happens that getting started itself is more often than not more difficult than executing the task itself.

Self improvement tip 4: Learn a new language

It is easier said than done, but the reward seems to be worth it. You get to learn about a new culture, it makes your world smaller and not to mention your increased employability (okay, it might be the most important). Besides, languages shape the way we think and learning a new one will surely fire up some of your dormant neurons.

Self improvement tip 5: Meditate

Because in a fast-paced life, this can often be your only source of inner sanity. It helps to disengage completely once in a while to adjust your rudder in an endless ocean you get to traverse only once (not just once if you are a Hindu/Buddhist, of course!)

Self improvement tip 6: Exercise

A good exercise regime lifts your mood, releases happy chemicals and keeps you prepared for the daily challenges in life.Our bodies are habitual to physical labor due to many millennia of conditioning/evolution while living as nomads or hunter gatherers. Sadly, the importance of health is often recognized only after some damage is done.

Self improvement tip 7: Keep a journal

While it is considered a bit out-of-fashion in our times (YOLO kids may even yawn at the thought it), it actually serves as a personal repository to relive your journey in a way that is impossible in any other way, also because the memories are malleable.

Self improvement tip 8: Create a life mission

Most of us unconsciously walk down the path set forward by the society without being overly concerned about our peculiarities until something finally happens in life which drives home the absurdity of society and its foolishness. The Greek philosophers spent their whole lives debating about the pros & cons of living life in a certain way. Show some respect and create a set of beliefs to live by.

Self improvement tip 9: Jump out of the comfort zone

The openness of a person to new experiences is a likely indicator of the future growth trajectory, and a few studies have shown that slightly higher stress levels associated with a little discomfort result in an optimal anxiety that is best for our performance. If it is way out-out-of the comfort zone, it leads to anxiety and breakdown. Always in the comfort-zone, you have been a proverbial frog in the well.

Self improvement tip 10: Learn the art of small talk

If you have finally decided to not be an ascetic and live a material life after all, you might as well be a master in navigating the societal patterns. Small talk can take you places, literally.

Self improvement tip 11: Help whenever you can

Because even if we think along minutely selfish lines, it pays dividends. Team work is not just a corporate buzzword, the concept of help and exchange has been prevalent right from the time of barter. (Game of Thrones fan alert: Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts!)

Self improvement tip 12: Excel at what you do

It is perfectly fine that you have a whole range of passions and interest areas (and it is a sign of well-rounded persona), but pick up one of these and get progressively better at it so that you don’t end up boiling the ocean while going unnoticed. Malcolm Gladwell expounded the unglamorous process of the making of a genius through the 10,000 hour rule.

Self improvement tip 13: Practice gratitude

Because life is unfair by design.
“I once cried because I had no shoes to play football with my friends, but one day I saw a man who had no feet and I realized how rich I am” ~ Zinedine Zidane

Self improvement tip 14: Be mindful

In this age of interconnectedness, fast-food and high-speed Internet, the simple pleasures of life often get overlooked. Walk on the grass. Look at the stars. Plan a family get-together. Try to live, not just exist.

Self improvement tip 15: Don’t fit in

The pressure to get molded by societal norms is high, yet you need to trudge with extreme diligence to know the rules which are ridiculous enough for you. When you start noticing a pattern that peer acceptance is increasingly gaining more importance in your life decisions, it is a good time to step back and put things back in perspective.

Self improvement tip 16: Learn from the mistakes of others

Because life is too short to learn only from your own.

Self improvement tip 17: Be comfortable with change

An excerpt from Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book Antifragile sums it up beautifully-
“Some things benefit from shocks; they thrive and grow when exposed to volatility, randomness, disorder, and stressors and love adventure, risk, and uncertainty. Antifragility is beyond resilience or robustness. The resilient resists shocks and stays the same; the antifragile gets better”.
In a world which is changing so fast, it pays to grow better with change.

Self improvement tip 18: Manage the pangs of regret, guilt and fear

The complex trio-of-emotions has roots in the time continuum, and the downsides of letting the past/future meddle with your present is one of the most recycled sagas in human history that should be avoided through discipline and acceptance.

Self improvement tip 19: Don’t reinvent the wheel

When you look for inspiration in disparate sources, you often realize that so many problems that concern us in our day-to-day lives have already been solved. Beg, borrow or steal but don’t reinvent the wheel! (The rhyming is purely coincidental). The collective human intelligence places high hopes on you!

Self improvement tip 20: Find a mentor

Because it is the most sure-shot way to avoid silly mistakes, suppress the pangs of youthful arrogance and break the vicious chain of blind leading the blind. Google can only take you so far (at least for now).

Self improvement tip 21: Listen to your thoughts

There is an old saying that there are three kinds of people in the world:
  1. Those who talk about themselves and others
  2. Those who talk about the things happening around
  3. Those who talk about ideas
You need to aggressively gravitate towards the third-kind.

Self improvement tip 22: Try minimalism

Cluttered surroundings overwhelm the senses and give a nagging sense of incompletion and restlessness. Cut back on the things you rely on and live light (no, you seriously don’t need that latest iPhone). Don’t let your possessions own you.

Self improvement tip 23: Learn the ancient art of rhetoric

Put simply, rhetoric is the art of persuasion through effective speaking and writing. You become good at negotiation, craft speeches which touch hearts and instill confidence. It is also a guard against the wicked ones who argue for their own selfish motives to convolute the truth.

Self improvement tip 24: Surround yourself with good souls

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. I don’t remember the source, but the saying rings so true. Brutally get rid of the leeches that suck on your life energy. They are usually uniform and fairly easy to identify: classic cases of victim mentality, pessimistic whiny little bastards who leave a stinking air of negativity wherever they go.

Self improvement tip 25: Don’t compete

Because life is not a race, and it’s not a zero sum game after all. The only meaningful competition possible is with oneself.

Self improvement tip 26: Get rid of the TV

Period.

Self improvement tip 27: Travel

Because your existence takes on new shapes as you start viewing this world through different lenses, soaking in diverse cultures and understanding that there is another way. Solo travelling experiences to non-touristy locations especially can give unusually fresh perspectives.
Along the space-time continuum of experiences, you can traversespace by travelling extensively. Reading does the trick for traversing time. So there you have it, a couple of essential elements to forge you into a well-rounded individual.

Self improvement tip 28: Let the ideas mingle

Discovering passion is over-rated. It’s not a sweet fruit which drops down from the mighty skies if you try hard enough/wait patiently/are lucky enough or any of that shite. An average individual has a variety of interest areas which can potentially give rise to some really fresh innovations, if only you let the ideas in your mind mingle and play with each other. 

Self improvement tip 29: Be a finisher

The world is replete with starters, but their creations seldom see the light of day just because they keep telling themselves bullshit reasons which stop them from shipping (procrastination is a better term for this). Once again, habits can come to the rescue as people who crawl their way out of boredom are the ones who get to start and finish things.

Self improvement tip 30: Pessimism sucks

I won’t regurgitate the usual- glass half-full or half-empty anecdote, but there is a very real cost associated with pessimism in terms of unrealized potential. Yes, that new freelancing gig can break your bank if the stream of work dries up sometime in the future and aliens can abduct you as you sleep.

Self improvement tip 31: Build a personal brand

In an age where having multiple careers is not unusual and the employers search you on social media to get to know you, building your personal brand can reap rich dividends.

Self improvement tip 32: Don’t be too harsh on yourself

It is OK to fuck-up once in a while; rather I would say it is necessary. Yet if you tend to make the same mistakes again-and-again, well, you are a loser.

Self improvement tip 33: Make a stunning first impression

Human evolution has resulted in a very interesting by-product; you make effective snap judgments based on your reservoir of untapped unconscious to guide you in decision making. These judgments helped our ancestors survive by sensing threat in seconds, the situations are far less threatening now but the instinct stuck. Your first impression is so indelible that it makes sense to get it right.

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