THIRTY-DAY IMPROVEMENT GUIDE
You can emprove yourself by your thirty days thinking and making planing. You can bleave and think:
Between now and I will
A. Break these habits: (suggestions)
1. Putting off things.
2. Negative language.
3. Watching TV more than 60 minutes per day.
B. Acquire these habits: (suggestions)
1. A rigid morning examination of my appearance.
2. Plan each day's work the night before.
3. Compliment people at every possible opportunity.
C. Increase my value to my employer in these ways: (suggestions)
1. Do a better job of developing my subordinates.
2. Learn more about my company, what it does, and the customers it serves.
3. Make three specific suggestions to help my company become more efficient.
D. Increase my value to my home in these ways: (suggestions)
1. Show more appreciation for the little things my wife does that I've been taking for granted.
2. Once each week, do something special with my whole family.
3. Give one hour each day of my undivided attention to my family.
E. Sharpen my mind in these ways: (suggestions)
1. Invest two hours each week in reading professional magazines in my field.
2. Read one self-help book.
3. Make four new friends.
4. Spend 30 minutes daily in quiet, undisturbed thinking.
Next time you see a particularly well-poised, well-groomed, clear-thinking, effective person, remind yourself that he wasn't born that way. Lots of conscious effort, invested day by day, made the person what he is. Building new positive habits and destroying old negative habits is a day-by-day process. Create your first thirty-day improvement guide right nmv. Often, when I discuss setting goals, someone comments along these lines, "I see that working toward a purpose is important, but so often things happen that upset my plans." It's true that many factors outside your control do affect your destination. There may be serious illness or death in your family; the job you're gunning for may be dissolved, you may meet with an accident. So here is a point we must fix firmly in mind: prepare to take detours in stride. If you are driving down a road and you come to a "road closed" situation, you wouldn't camp there, nor would you go back home. The road closed simply means you can't go where you want to go on this road. You'd simply find another road to take you where you want to go. Observe what military leaders do. When they develop a master plan to take an objective, they also map out alternative plans. If something unforeseen happens that rules out plan A, they switch to plan B. You rest easy in an airplane even though the airport where you planned to land is closed in, because you know the fellow up there driving the plane has alternative landing fields and a reserve fuel supply. It's a rare person who has achieved high-level success who has not had to take detours many of them. When we. detour, we don't have to change our goals. We just travel a different route. You've probably heard many persons say something like "Oh, how I wish I had bought XX stock back in 19~. ]' d have a pile of money today." Normally, people think of investing in terms of stocks or bonds, real estate, or some other type of property, But the biggest and most rewarding kind of investment is self investment, purchasing things that build mental power and proficiency. . The progressive business knows that how strong it will be five years from now depends not on what it does five years in the future but rather on what it does, invests, this year. Profit comes from only one source: investment. There's a lesson for each of us. To profit, to get the extra reward above a "normal" income in the years ahead, we must invest in ourselves. We must invest to achieve our goals. Here are two sound self-investments that will pay handsome profits in the years ahead:
1. Invest in education. True education is the soundest investment you can make in yourself. But let's be sure we understand what education really is. Some folks measure education by the number of years spent in school or the number of diplomas, certificates, and degrees earned. But this quantitative approach to
education doesn't necessarily produce a successful person. Ralph J. Cordiner, chairman of General Electric, expressed the attitude of top business management toward education this way: "Two of our most outstanding presidents, Mr. Wilson and Mr. Coifm, never had an opportunity to attend college. Although some of our present officers have doctor's degrees, twelve out of forty one have'no college degrees. We are interested in competency, not diplomas." A diploma or degree may help you get a job, but it will not guarantee your progress on the job. "Business is interested in competency, not diplomas." To others, education means the quantity of information a person has stashed away in his brain. But the soak-up-facts method of education won't get you where you want to go. More and more we depend on books, files, and machines to warehouse information. If we can do only what a machine can do, we're in a real fIx. Real education, the kind worth investing in, is that which develops and cultivates your mind. How well educated a person is, is measured by how well his mind is developed-in brief, by how well he thinks. Anything that improves thinking ability is education. And you can obtain education in many ways. But the most efficient sources of education for most people are nearby colleges and universities. Education is their business. If you haven't been to college lately, you're in for some wonderful surprises. You'll be pleased at the wide course offerings available. You'll be even more pleased to discover who goes
to school after work. Not the phonies, but rather really promising persons, many of whom already hold very responsible positions. In one evening class of twenty-five persons I conducted recently; there were an owner of a retail chain of twelve stores, two buyers 'for a national food chain, four graduate engineers, an Air Force colonel, and several others of similar status. Many people earn degrees in evening programs these days, but the degree, which in the final analysis is only a piece of paper, is not their primary motivation. They are going to school to build their minds, which is a sure way to invest in a better future. And make no mistake about this. Education is a real bargain. A moderate investment will keep you in school one night each week for a full year. Compute the cost as a percentage of your gross income and then ask yourself, "Isn't my future worth this small investment?" Why not make an investment decision right now? Call it School: Olle Night a Week for Lift. It will keep you progressive, young, alert. It will keep you abreast of your areas of interest. And it will surround you with other people who also are going places.
2. Invest ill idea starters. Education helps you mold your mind, stretch it, train it to meet new situations and solve problems. Idea starters serve a related purpose. They feed your mind, give you constructive material to think about. Where are the best sources of idea starters? There are many; but to get a steady supply of high-quality idea material, why not do this: resolve to purchase at least one stimulating book each month and subscribe to two magazines or journals that stress ideas. For only a minor sum and a minimum of time, you can be tuned in to some of the best thinkers available anywhere. At a luncheon one day I overheard one fellow say; "But it costs too much. I can't afford to take Tlte Wall Street ]ollf11al;"
His companion, obviously a much more success-minded person, replied, '.'Well, I've found that I can't afford not to take it." Again, take your cue from the successful people. Invest in yourself.
LET'S TAKE ACTION
Now in a quick recap, put these success-building principles to work:
1. Get a clear fIx on where you want to go. Create an image of yourself ten years from now.
2. Write out your ten-year plan. Your life is too important to be left to chance. Put down on ·paper what you want to accomplish in your work, your home, and your social departments..
3. Surrender yourself to your desires. Set goals to get more energy. Set goals to get things done. Set goals and discover the real enjoyment of living.
4. Let your major goal be your automatic pilot. When you let your goal absorb you, you'll fmd yourself making the right decisions to reach your goal.
5. Achieve your goal one step at a time. Regard each task you pelf arm, regardless of how small it may seem, as a step toward your goal.
6. Build thirty-day goals. Day-by-day effort pays off.
Source book: Magic of Thinking by-DAVID J. CHWARTZ, PH.D.