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Many individuals have presented information on how to enhance your life. These thoughts date back to the days of ancient Greek’s philosopher Aristotle and his viewpoints. These thoughts are also as new as Deepak Chopra’s 20th century viewpoints and everything in between. Despite the differences in time and culture, the way of thinking for personal life advancement has remained similar. These ideas, concepts, and techniques will contribute to my personal self-improvement including: Think and Grow Rich, Personality Type, Character Strengths, Law of Giving, and Virtues. Self-improvement may be started with the Think and Grow Rich concept.
Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919) led an expansion in the American Steel industry in the late 1800’s. He was also the highest profile Philanthropists in his time. Along with his monopoly of the industry, Carnegie shared his wisdom of becoming a billionaire with Napoleon Hill (1883-1970). Hill simply summarized what Carnegie had to say into one famous quote “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve. ” Hill added that no matter how many times you have failed in the past, you can still do whatever you set your mind to do – even if it seems out of reach.
The only way this will work in your favor is based on the idea that you have complete power over your mind. Hill used gratitude, burning desire and persistence to define the proper technique for this process. You decide what you want in life, visualize it in your mind, and do what necessary means it takes to achieve that desire. Hill presented us with the idea that in life you are handed two envelopes at birth. One is filled with the riches you will obtain when you take control of your mind and aim toward your goals.
This envelope contains rewards such as sound health, peace of mind, your choice of a labor of love, freedom from fear or worry, a positive mental attitude, and material riches. The other envelope is filled with the penalties you have to pay when you do not take control of your mind and aim toward your goal. This envelope contains setbacks such as ill health, fear and worry, indecision and doubt, frustration and discouragement, anger, greed, jealousy, hatred and superstition, and poverty. Essentially the envelope idea boils down to you. The work you put in is the reward you get out.
If you do whatever it takes to succeed, you will receive the “riches” in life. If you give up or don’t try at all, you receive the “penalties” that come along with it. The process of Hill’s idea is very simple and everyone can do it. You use either a pocket sized notebook or even a notecard. On whichever you choose you will write two things. On side one you will write your one major desire in life. On side two you will write whatever you are willing to give to obtain your one desire. After you have written these, you will memorize your goal and the things you will give in return.
Hill states that you must repeat your two statements to yourself at least twelve times a day until you achieve your goal or desire. Lastly you end with saying this prayer at the end of the day, “I ask not for divine providence, for more riches, but more wisdom with which to accept and use wisely the riches I received at birth in the form of the power to control and direct my mind to whatever ends I desire. ” This is how you become the best you can be. Personality types play a major role on the journey to your personal self-improvement.
There are eight different letters that represent the type of personality that you have. Either you begin with an E or an I. You are either Extraverted or Introverted. Respectively, you are generally concerned with what is outside yourself or predominately concerned with your own mental life. Next, you may either be an S or an N, Sensing or iNtuitive depending on how you gather information. Sensing personalities absorb data literally through their five senses while intuitive personalities gather data in conceptual ideas. Then, your next letter may be a T or an F, Thinking or Feeling.
Thinkers use decision making based on reason and logic whereas Feelers make decisions based on the subject and their own morality. Your last letter will be a J or a P. You are either a Judger or a Perceiver based on your attitude towards the world. Judging personalities like order and stability. On the other side, Perceivers are adaptable and spontaneous. According to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator the four letters that best represent my personality are ENFJ, The Giver. I have a very strong preference of Extraversion over Introversion. Being extraverted, I am predominately concerned with what is outside of me.
I am animated, enjoy social activities, and become bored whenever I have time alone. I moderately prefer iNtuition over Sensing. Using intuition I think abstractly and look for patterns in information. I have a wild imagination and look for new, inventive ideas, as opposed to paying great attention to detail and using practicality. I have a distinct preference of Feeling over Thinking. More often than not I am extremely empathetic and full of emotion. I think with my heart instead of my head which explains my passion, empathy, and care for others.
Lastly I have a slight preference of Judging over Perceiving. Favoring judging I like organization, closure, responsibility, and decisiveness. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help lead you to success on your personal self-improvement. Based on the Signature Strengths Survey from the Authentic Happiness website my top five character strengths are humor and playfulness, creativity, ingenuity, and originality, gratitude, my capacity to love and be loved, and bravery and valor. With my humor and playfulness I enjoy teasing and sarcasm.
Seeing a smile brought to someone else’s face because of an action I performed is very satisfying. I usually attempt to make dull or upsetting moods lighter and bring the energy up. Being a creative and original person I like to think outside of the box and steer away from more commonly traveled paths. I enjoy looking for new and different opportunities in life. Showing gratitude is very important to me because I know that I appreciate thanks from others. I genuinely recognize and appreciate good things that happen to me and never take them for granted. Expressing my thanks is a daily activity.
My gratitude is especially important towards those closest to me- which leads into my next character strength, the capacity to love and be loved. This strength means that I produce the ability to have and maintain close, intimate relationships with others. Also, I allow others to have and maintain a close relationship toward myself. It works both ways. Being brave and valor shows that I am an extremely courageous person who does not shy away from a difficult or challenging task. I know what I believe and I always stick up for it. Whether it be religious or social, I stand up for what I believe is right.
I am extremely social and interactive in large groups and do not feel shy when it comes to speaking. I enjoy the company of others more than I enjoy time to myself. I love to laugh and to make others smile by using my outrageous personality and wit. I care for others in a way that feels very close and relatable to me. My strength of wisdom and remaining perspective allows me to know how to approach a situation from every angle. This also displays my empathy. I have a big heart. My sense of gratitude is strong because I know I would want to receive appreciation when it has been earned.
This brings out my honest side. I am not afraid to show emotion or speak my mind. This is due to the fact that I favor feeling over thinking and use my heart to decipher situations. However, I do not agree with only one of the outcomes. The Myers Briggs Indicator specified that I am more judging than perceiving, and this is not true. I tend to be more disorganized, prone to procrastination, and flexible than anything else. I feel like this occurs because I prefer things to be organized and set in stone in my mind, but my actions lean toward the indecisive side of perceiving rather than judging.
Concluding, my personality type and strengths were spot on, and I agreed with them. This was a very interesting, informative, and mostly accurate reading of my own mind and actions. Well-being contains five elements that can be used with the acronym PERMA: positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning or purpose, and accomplishment. Each element must hold three properties: it must contribute to well-being, it must be pursued not to get any of the other elements, and it is not defined by any of the other elements but independently.
PERMA increases flourishing in life as opposed to happiness increasing life satisfaction. In Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of success he explains and important topic on personal self-improvement. The Law of Giving may also be considered the Law of Giving and Receiving. This is the second spiritual law of success. The Law of Giving and Receiving works because the universe and your body operate by dynamic and constant exchange. Affluence, derived from the word “affluere” which means to flow, means “to flow in abundance”. If you stop giving and receiving then your flow will also stop.
However, if you continue to give and receive then your life will remain affluent. If you think about money then you most likely associate that with its constant circulation. Money is always moving around the world and never stops. Another way to think about this is using a synonym for money, currency. Currency is derived from the Latin word “currere” which means “to run” or flow. Those two are correlated with each other in the Law of Giving and Receiving because your life is in constant flow unless you otherwise stop it and vice versa.
The Law of Giving states that “anything that is of value in life only multiplies when it is given. ” If you ever feel like you have lost when giving, then the gift will not increase because it has not really been given. To activate the Law you must have good intentions. If your intentions are not true then the gift is meaningless. Happiness must always be the outcome of a gift because only then it causes the gift to multiply. It is not hard to practice the Law of Giving and Receiving, essentially you get what you give. If you bring love into others’ lives, you will be loved.
If you show happiness to others, you will be happy. The more you give in life, the more you will receive because when you give, you maintain the affluence in your life. Every action has a reaction. Giving causes receiving and receiving causes giving. Small, simple acts such as a compliment or a smile are gifts and can bring joy to another. This law is essential in Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich concept. To get what you most desire in life, you must be willing to give. By giving you may receive the necessary attributes in order to achieve your one true goal in life.
This law may also hinder your achievements because if you are not willing to give anything in order to be successful, then you will not receive anything in return thus making your goal impossible. For example, I am on the road to reach my best physical ability by the end of 2014. I have chosen to put aside a minimum of 6 hours a week to go to the gym and work toward my goal. That time at the gym also requires me giving more energy than I usually would otherwise. If I was not willing to give both of those in order to reach my goal then I would never reach it because not to give means not to receive.
Lastly, on your journey to personal self-improvement you must keep the list of virtues given by Aristotle and Franklin in mind. Whether you realize it or not, both Franklin and Aristotle have a virtue on their list that can somehow be connected to your character strengths. For example, my strength of humor and playfulness is clearly included in Aristotle’s list of virtues as wittiness and conversation. However, Franklin does not state that strength as clearly. Instead the virtues of silence and order may be interpreted in a way to show that humor is allowed, but only in times that humor would not be inappropriate.
My strength of creativity and ingenuity may be described as proper ambition by Aristotle and resolution by Franklin. Gratitude did not noticeably appear on either list of virtues. However, gratitude may be indirectly represented by Franklin’s virtues of frugality and sincerity and Aristotle’s virtue of truthfulness. Aristotle states that an important virtue is friendliness, and I display that virtue with my strength of the capacity to love and be loved. Lastly, my strength of bravery and valor is clearly stated at the top of Franklin’s list as courage
and Aristotle mentions tranquility, meaning calmness and courage. For the most part Aristotle and Franklin were in the same mind set while creating their list of virtues because a majority of their lists correlate. They both include temperance, righteous indignation/chastity, and modesty. Although both lists resemble each other, there are some distinct differences. For example, liberality and industry contrast. Being liberal means that you give and/or spend freely. You are flexible and adaptable. Industry claims to cut off all unnecessary actions and lose no time, being structured and concrete.
I have now declared, discussed, and described ideas on burning desire, happiness, well-being, and the Law of Giving. I have also mentioned how your personality and character strengths tie in with virtues needed in life. By reading, thinking, and carrying out the necessary means, you will be on the path to being the best you that you can be. These ideas, concepts, and techniques I have revealed by great thinkers, authors, and influential historical figures summarize how to contribute to my personal self-improvement.
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