🌻3 Self-Improvement Habits That Are Too Good To Ignore(CHECK THIS OUT)

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“Proactive people don’t just react to the conditions of their environment. They create the conditions they desire.”

Turn On ‘Proactive’ Mode

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey says being proactive is the foundation of personal effectiveness.

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Being proactive means taking initiative and responsibility for your own life, rather than simply reacting to external circumstances or other people’s actions.

It allows you to shape your own life and create your own opportunities rather than reacting to the life that has been ‘handed’ to you.

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As Stephen Covey puts it:

“Proactive people don’t blame circumstances, conditions, or conditioning for their behavior. Their behavior is a product of their own conscious choice, based on values.”

Being proactive requires personal leadership. It requires taking ownership of your actions, decisions, and life circumstances.

But many tend to struggle with this. “Many people are deeply scripted in reactive behavior. They feel victimized and resentful, blaming outside forces for their own situation,” says Covey.

The majority of society live their lives on passive mode:

They hope to one day ‘get lucky’
They hope that someone ‘discovers’ their talents
They hope that their boss ‘gives’ them a promotion
And when this doesn’t happen, they blame other people for their situation.

But if you want to live a life of high performance, you can’t afford to operate in passive/reactive mode. You need to become a participant in the game instead of being a spectator of the game.

As Covey said in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People:

“Proactive people don’t just react to the conditions of their environment. They create the conditions they desire.”

Don’t sit around and wait for an opportunity to knock on your door, but create your own opportunities.

Don’t wait to start that business or write that book ‘someday’ in the future, but get started with it today.

Don’t wait until that cute girl or guy makes a move on you, but take the initiative yourself (that’s how I met my girlfriend).

Don’t hope for your boss to give you a promotion, but make a detailed plan on how to get a promotion and take action on it right away.

If you want to achieve big things in life or business, you’ll have to be proactive about it. Don’t leave your success up to chance.

Read also: How to transform your life in one year ( Must Read)

Design Your Environment To Support Your Goals

If you want to build better habits, it’s not always necessary to have the self-discipline of a Navy SEAL or Buddhist monk.

Instead, one of the smartest habit-building techniques is to practice environment design — optimizing your physical and digital environment for optimal performance.

As James Clear wrote in Atomic Habits:

“Design your environment so that your desired behavior becomes the default behavior.”

For example, if you want to read more, place the books you want to read somewhere clearly visible and within quick reach.

If you want to exercise more often, get your workout clothes or equipment ready the night before so it’s easy to leave for the gym (or go for a run).

If you want to save more money, set up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account (my personal favorite).

If you want to spend less time on your smartphone, download an app blocker like Forest or Minimalist Phone, or Freedom.

And if you want to break the habit of snacking on junk food, keep healthier snacks within easy reach and move junk food to a less convenient location.

Overall, environment design is a powerful tool to make a lasting change in your life. By intentionally setting up your physical and digital environment to support your goals, you tilt the odds in your favor.

As James Clear said in Atomic Habits, “The more you shape your environment to support your goals, the easier it will be to develop good habits.”

Instead of having to rely on Spartan levels of self-discipline to improve your behavior, your environment makes it easier to perform at your best.

Read also: The secret to success: it’s not what you think

Rewire The Way You Think About Failure

A key Stoic principle is to embrace the obstacles and challenges that come our way.

This doesn’t mean that we should seek out difficulties, but rather that we should accept them as a natural part of life and use them as an opportunity to learn and grow.

As Ryan Holiday writes in The Obstacle Is The Way:

“Each time you fail, you’ll learn something. Each time, you’ll develop strength, wisdom, and perspective. Each time, a little more of the competition falls away. Until all that is left is you: the best version of you.”

Many people fear failure, setbacks, or obstacles. This might be because school taught us that failure is bad and should be avoided.

If you failed a test, you’d get a bad grade and you could feel the disappointment of the teacher and (possibly) your parents.

This has primed most people to fear failure.

But when you fear failure, you become too risk-averse and will stay in your comfort zone too much. And the most worthwhile goals in life require you to take risks and move out of your comfort zone.

This is why we need to rewire the way we think about failures, setbacks, and obstacles.

Instead of seeing them as something to avoid, we need to start seeing them as opportunities that help us grow stronger, wiser, and more capable.

Personally, I believe that each failure contains the seed of future success. I see it as an essential stepping stone toward achieving my goals.

Each mistake you make is an opportunity to learn valuable lessons that help you become wiser
Each setback you encounter is an opportunity to grow more resilient in the face of future adversity
Each problem you face is an opportunity to train your problem-solving capabilities and creative thinking
All in all, the obstacles we face in life provide a unique opportunity to become better.

As Ryan Holiday said in The Obstacle Is The Way, “We are all dealt a certain hand in life. It is not our hand that determines our success, but how we play it.”

Think about your own life for a second. Which difficult challenge have you overcome and how did it make you stronger, wiser, or more capable?

Contributed by Jari Roomer

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