Improve Yourself

ptg02720852In a recent Success Magazine (, John Maxwell writes a great article called “Improve Yourself“.

He shares 4 things that leaders need to do to understand self-improvement:

#1)  It’s the first step to improving everything else:  “If you are not moving forward, the world is passing you by.”

#2)  It requires leaving your comfort zone:  “”Progress is not a single step. You’ve got to keep marching – committing to the improvement you’ve pledged to make.”

#3)  It’s not about quick fixes: “Are you fixated on the easy way out? Or are you the slow-but-steady type who keeps working to get better?  Those are the people headed toward success.”

#4)  It’s a daily commitment:  “If you want to improve, intentional growth needs to be a daily habit – it’s not a once-in-a-while, when-you-have-time sort of thing.”

I think Maxwell summarizes his thoughts well as he closes the article:  “My desire is not to become superior to anybody else.  I want to be superior only to my former self.  Intention and contemplation help me do that.”

Great reminders from John Maxwell.

What do you do with these thoughts today?

*Do you realize your need to be moving forward?

*Do you realize that your growth comes from a personal desire to continue developing?

*Do you realize that improving yourself takes work?

*Are you willing to put the daily work into moving forward?

These are loaded questions.  Don’t just browse through these, but stop and answer them.

Here’s the toughest question to answer:  “Are you getting better or are you getting worse?”  This can apply to many different areas of your life, your relationships, your leadership role, your walk with God.

The reality is that self-improvement takes work, and we often don’t want to put the energy into it.

I was on a recent trip, and ended up with an afternoon/evening free in a hotel before returning home.  I had a list of things that I wanted to do, including some projects I hadn’t finished, some time in the gym and a desire to eat a healthy meal.  I had every intention of doing these 3 things with that “gift” of an afternoon/evening without any obligations.

Do you know what I did?

I watched some afternoon sports, I ate a “non-healthy” meal, I didn’t exercise, and I didn’t address any of the projects I wanted to complete.  The next morning I was disappointed in myself, not because I blew everything off, but because I allowed my laziness to keep me from being intentional.

There’s nothing wrong with watching a game, relaxing and having some down time.  The issue was that I compromised what I really wanted to accomplish.  If this had been the only time in recent weeks, I would get over it.  The reality is that this is a constant battle. The verse from Romans rings so true when Paul says, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  (Romans 7:15)

If you want to improve yourself, do a reality check.

“If we don’t step out of our comfort zone and into the unknown, we will not grow”  Maxwell


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