There are 8,760 hours in a year, and we spend roughly 2,000-3,000 of those at work. And as we all think about the New Year, new goals, and resolving some of our personal issues, how many of those hours each year are you devoting to self-improvement?
Self-improvement is a very simple thing, it is simply the improvement of one’s knowledge, status, or character by one’s own efforts. There are 168 hours in a week, say we spend 8 hours sleeping a day, that leaves 112 hours of operational awake time each week. Part of those are at work, but there are a good many hours left each day to devote to self-improvement, even if it is just 15 minutes of reading.
Our trouble comes in that we may get on the internet or start watching a show and we don’t stop. Next thing you know, it’s 2 hours later, and we have accomplished nothing of any real value to us, our growth, or our knowledge base. The average American spends 9 years of their life watching tv and spends 5.5 years of their life on social media. And I’d venture to say, the social media number will be at 10 years very soon. Regardless, we all have many extra hours we often waste, myself included, but how can we be intentional about devoting a few more hours to developing the biggest potential within or the best version of us possible? The only way we are any different from today than in 5 years is by the books we read and the people we meet. And keep in mind, you are an average of the 7 people you spend the most time with, and average people will always want you to be average. Average people will often not like your self-improvement and the awesome change and improved potential in your life. That is change, and most average people don’t like change. Crazy people want you to be crazy. Self-serving people want you to be self-serving. But people working to improve themselves will not only want you to be a better version of you, but they will also challenge and inspire you to be a better version of you.
Positive change is your potential. Self-improvement isn’t going to come knocking on your door. Self-improvement may require some pain, some intentional uncomfortable change. But great people expect more out of you, and great people will not only support your efforts, but they will also grow with you. I had a conversation with a great man on Monday, and I texted him to thank him for his comments to me on leadership, as I learn from him almost every conversation. And he learns from me. And there is an unwritten and unspoken inspiration and challenge as we visit with each other many times throughout the year. Surround yourself with those inspiring, challenging people, at least 7 of them!! Devote 15 minutes a day, minimum, to reading something purposeful on self-improvement. And I promise you will be slightly different in 1 year, but you will be drastically different in 5 years!