Self-improvement is a lifelong venture. Many people see it as a momentary change of thought but thinking about the long-term aspects of one’s personality is more than just transient.
To be able to improve yourself, you must understand the meaning of self-improvement. It is an effort to grow one’s knowledge, status, or character. The learning of new things on your own makes you a more skilled or able person. Virtually by doing so, your time preference shifts. You shift from a high time preference (being stuck in the present and only focusing on your current you) to a low time preference (placing your emphasis on your future well-being). Thanks to consumerism and aggressive marketing, most people only have a high preference anymore. For example, a 30-year Co-worker of mine preferred to go to Dubai but take up debt to do so. She admitted that she did not have savings for the long run. This is not that uncommon, unfortunately. I understand that some of you did not choose the high time preference, but it is always a choice to accept it. High time-preference is only avoided or eliminated by focusing on a long-term goal. Start breaking your routine and exchange it with one that only involves hustle but, if successful, promises a good reward. Once you realize that low time preference will not only save you, e.g., money, but it will also generate more in the future.
The only way self-improvement is effective is by your willingness to give up your time now. So, let me give you 5 tips on how to start thinking about shifting your time preference and becoming more future-orientated:
- Hard work – Breaking out of a habit you felt comfortable in is never an easy one. If you want to see yourself improve, be willing to work hard. Find ways that work for you. For me, it is teaching other people something. I find it the most rewarding thing when people see my content useful. Find out what you want, what can you imagine yourself to do for the rest of your life? Educate yourself about everything you need to know to become successful in doing it. Hard work only works if you commit, which brings me to my next point.
- Commitment – Getting up early in the morning to do something you have been committing to is more comfortable than getting up to something you did not commit to. Find something that you are determined to do for the rest of your life. Something that is aligned with your morality and your personality. If you found it, never let it go. Never let anyone talk you out of the idea. Commitment is involved with risk because your opportunity cost is higher. If you focus on, let’s say: blogging while you are studying, it could be that you blog more than you study, so your opportunity cost would be the time lost that you need to come up with in order to study successfully. Be sure that your commitment makes sense, and be sure to take the risk.
- Take the risk, make a mistake – Opportunity cost is one thing, but taking the risk is another. Risk should always include a reasonable probability for a reward. The best thing is, the further down the road you find your reward, the bigger it is typically—it kind of works like investing money in Gold. Gold appreciates in value over time due to its scarcity, so does the reward to risk ratio. Taking the risk means understanding it and committing to it.
Hard work, commitment, and taking the risk? This sounds hard, right? Well, if it does, it is worth trying. The good thing about hard work and commitment is that it usually pays off very well. So get stuck into it and keep on grinding until you get the results you want to see. Every successful entrepreneur had to work hard for their business to flourish. When people are willing to dedicate their lives to something, they genuinely see a change in their doing. Dedicating their lives to it means that they understand that their undertaking will change their lives, so why most of the entrepreneurs behave that way.
- Keep your goal in mind – Some say, “fake it till you make it,” but that is not true. You should not fake anything in your life anymore since you have committed once before, so you know what it means to do it again. Embrace your success, try to imagine your goal every day, consider all the newly learned elements every day, reevaluate your image of success, and question its aspects every day. Do not believe something till you accomplished it yourself if it comes to your own success.
- Give back – What successful people make to stay successful is that they give back. Giving back in the sense of educating people about what you have done in life to succeed. Or by doing giveaways for your community. Maybe even host a particular episode or video where you invite listeners on the stream. Be thankful for everyone willing to help you. Because what they are effectively doing is elevating you towards your success. Everyone can look for themselves, but those who can look for others, too, are the people that really make a difference in this world.
Self-improvement starts with understanding your time preference better. As soon as you know how to improve your time preference, nothing can stop you from accomplishing that goal except if you stand in your own way. Don’t give up, be willing to sweat and bleed for your dream, take the leap of the clip and fly. Never look back onto the earth since the sky is your goal. Being up there is undoubtedly a great feeling, but wouldn’t it feel better if you had people experiencing the same feeling with you? Help others to fly, and you will be the master of the skies. Giving back is fundamental. It will help you to justify your existence, and people will have a reason to like you.