I love this quote and I’ve heard it a few times from different people too. I think it’s totally true, although it has taken me a few years to digest it and to see how true it is. Working on ourselves is a total inside job. We are the only ones that can do anything about ourselves. By us working hard to improve ourselves, everything else that we are involved in will be better too. If we only focus on our job and not ourselves too – the job will temporarily get better at our expense. Since we are not improving too, it will all catch up as both the job and ourselves will have plenty of troubles.
The actual reality of going to work on ourselves is not that difficult of a task to do. The actual “work” is easy. It’s the discipline, dedication, concentration, etc., that makes it difficult for us. The work itself are things like reading great books, blogs, articles, etc., that push us and give us new ideas on how we can get better in our lives. The work also includes keeping track of what goes into our brains. It has been said many times that most valuable piece of real-estate that we own, is the 6 inches between our ears. We have to be mindful of our thoughts as our thoughts become who we are and all that we do. Another key item on this work list is that we need to hang around good people. Those that will help push us out of our comfort zone and help us grow. Not the typical groups that want us to just do fun things, complain about our jobs and our lives, get caught up in living other people’s lives through reality shows, etc.
Finding the time or better yet, truthfully MAKING the time to do these things is the key. I’ve said, I hear people saying it all the time, and I bet even you have said this – I don’t have time for that. Now ‘that’ can be anything; exercise, eating right, doing homework, going to a meeting or class after a long day of work, spending more time with a loved one, etc. The key that I’m trying to make a change to is that we need to make it a priority, we need to actually make time for that item that we want to accomplish. This weekend I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this idea since we heard it last week in my Principles of Leadership class. Not only am spending some time thinking about it – I’ve put it into action!! With my wife for example, and spending time with her on her schedule and those things that are important to her and not mine. I’ve worked hard to not say anything to her about that and I have found that I’m still ok and we haven’t fought or argued about this like we normally do (usually due to my lack of patience and self-centeredness). That seems like one of the hundreds if not thousands of things I need to work on myself to improve. I bet you could pick one or two to start on you??