Monday, June 6, 2011

For Success-Oriented People Only - The #1 Secret to Self-Improvement

No one is perfect. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. But some people - a certain small fraction of the population - are constantly trying to become a better version of the excellent person he or she already is. These are the life-long learners of this world. Nearly all of the most successful people are life-long learners.

Are you one of these people?

You can get a new idea and you can learn a new concept from a book, a video or other media. But you can't learn a skill or change your behavior by reading a book or watching a video. You can learn what to do, but knowing is not the same as doing. Knowing what to do is only the beginning.

The real learning happens after that. To improve a skill, work habit or any behavior pattern, you have to repeat the desired behavior over and over - dozens of times. How many repetitions are needed to ingrain the new pattern - to make it a comfortable, automatic response? It depends on how complex the new behavior is.

You can accelerate your improvement by learning from each experience of applying the new behavior.  The procedure is elegantly simple:

Once you focus on changing a behavior, you apply it in the real world, then reflect on the experience. You do this by asking yourself five "magic" questions, which are explained in another post. Then repeat the action-reflection cycle over and over until the action feels natural and comfortable. When you can engage the behavior pattern correctly without thinking about it, you're done.

It's all common sense, but there are no shortcuts. It's really no different than working out in a gym - You gotta do the reps!

Of course it helps a lot to have coaching - tips, feedback, encouragement and accountability. That's why we created ProStar Coach, the online virtual coaching system for success-oriented people. If that describes you, maybe you should check it out.

Post by Dennis E. Coates, Ph.D., Copyright 2011. Building Personal Strength .

1 comment:

Jose M. Blanco said...

Great post. How many times have we KNOWN we have to do something, but just not acted on it? We actually have to get up off the couch and do it.

The question is: Why, when we know better, do we still lie on the couch?