The theme that unites you - the readers of this blog - is the drive to become better.
It’s also what makes you and I the same.
I’m obsessed with becoming better.
But aside from the phrase “I want to be the best version of myself”, you probably don’t know what that actually looks like for you, and have even less idea of how to actually do that.
So in today’s blog, I’m going to show you step-by-step how to become better each day.
So that this time next year you’re not looking back at another 12 months of no stagnation.
Most people stay stuck - or at least living below the life they actually want - because they lack a system to consistently make change.
They continue to take the easy path, not the one of growth because they don’t have a process.
Every time you choose the easy path you choose to be a worse version of yourself and have a less satisfactory life.
This easy choice doesn’t just affect you and your life, but those around you too.
By the end of today, you’ll know:
Precisely what you need to focus on to grow as a person
How to overcome the low moments
What your character training plan exactly looks like
How to sustain your growth for ever and never plateau
A lesson from the ancients
2400 years ago, somewhere in Athens, philosophers did all your hard work for you.
They realised that to live a good life you had only four objectives. It doesn’t matter what your good life looks like, these four apply.
If your goal is to create a business that allows you the time to spend with your family and on your personal pursuits.
Or if you want to become the 1% of the 1% in your area of life, you need to hone your character.
Because it’s your character, not your practical skills, which has the greatest effect on your success.
Your character is built from the four components the ancient Greeks discovered somewhere around 400 BC.
These four are what you need to aim at in order to succeed in your version of the good life. Philosophers call these the Cardinal Virtues.
Dealing with hard moments
Once you’ve selected which of these components of character you need to work on, you need a way to deal with the inevitable low moments.
There will be plenty of times in your journey where you just don’t feel like getting it done.
Or you will have so much on that the easy route becomes appealing to you.
Your success is built in these hard times.
When I’m working with a client, I ask them to choose 1 or 2 people who embody the way they want to live their life.
When challenges come up and they’re unsure how to act… or maybe they just aren’t having a great day - I ask them how those role models would act in their shoes.
The answer is always simpler than they imagine.
In challenging times, it’s quicker and easier to copy someone else than think of the answer yourself.
Putting the reps in
As I’ve said hundreds of times before, mindset is a sets and reps game.
Mental change, just like physical change, is the result of intentional practice.
To put in sets and reps, you need an appropriate exercise plan. Same with mindset.
Here’s how to create yours…
Choose which of the Cardinal Virtues will have the greatest impact on your life.
Each day, before you do anything else, look ahead to your tasks and choose where you most need to display that virtue.
Write down exactly how you will practise it.
For example I’m developing Temperance at the moment which is choosing the right amount of an activity to do.
Today, I’m practising that in 3 ways:
Every time I feel the pull toward picking up my phone, to put it further away from me
Ensuring I eat 4 high quality meals
Refraining from an end of day beer despite being on holiday
These are my reps and sets. Performed frequently, choices like these become part of who you are.
Sustaining your growth for the rest of your life
You can continue your growth through a simple end of day reflection.
Find 5 minutes to be alone and uninterrupted.
Run through each of the 4 virtues and summarise how you performed.
Give yourself a rating out of 10, and ask yourself what you did well, and what you would do differently if you were going to perform the day again.
Do this on a long time horizon and you’ll be growing forever.