IV. Spirituality and the Creative Mind
We all start somewhere. I remember my first days starting a new diet and workout regiment. I couldn’t fast properly; my execution and endurance in the gym weren’t up to par and I just didn’t feel strong. Sure enough, I got better, and it carried into helping with the rest of my life. There is still a lot of work to do. Some days, I relapse and I still have more cheat days than I would like to admit, the key thing here is that I recognized that I sucked at something, kept trying, putting in work and removing my ego to achieve my desired results.
What I like about self-improvement the most is the requirement of honesty. To get better, you have to come to terms with where you are right now. There can be some emotional baggage (shame, embarrassment, worthlessness) that needs to be set aside so you can get a clear look at your goals and plan the adequate steps to get there.
That brings me to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It is a theory created by an American psychologist that elaborates on a five-tier model of human needs. It encompasses the intensity of needs and personal development. Focusing on the personal development aspect and putting it under a microscope, we can shift into the self-improvement space and take it a step further looking at some of its pillars.
Health is wealth. The gym has had a huge impact on my life. It has transformed my mind, body, and attitude. It has helped with overthinking, keeping me in the present, and handling my emotions. Here are some other benefits.
Confidence: One of the biggest benefits alone. Your appearance, physical ability, and strength. Just being confident in general. Walking into a room with your chest out, chin up and making eye contact with everyone. An overflow of confidence is a great thing.
Respect: The way people treat me now is much different than how they did let’s say 10 years ago. People talk to me much differently. Respect coincides with confidence; someone who self-respects themselves is going to portray this within their interactions with others.
Mood and well-being: They say that exercise is the best antidepressant. I struggled (still do) with severe insomnia and anxiety, especially in my late twenties. I’ve tried several different medications and even participated in medical studies. The gym has done more for my mood and anxiety levels than anything else.
Energy/Stamina/Endurance: I used to be tired frequently and have chronic back pain. Lifting weights has helped increase my energy and erected my posture while sitting or standing. This however, is where cardio stood out most for me. Doing a little cardio in addition to lifting will help you burn fat, build stamina and endurance. I shouldn’t have to tell you what those things are good for.
One of the most important factors that determine your real wellbeing is your finances and career. Part of making your mission your own is ensuring you have your personal finances in order. You don’t need to build a monumental empire or sell a software company, while money doesn’t buy happiness it does pay for peace of mind. I’m no financial advisor but I’ve learned some of these tips along the way.
I’ve found these books helpful. They were recommended to me so I’m doing the same.
• Rich Dad Poor Dad
• The Intelligent Investor
• Everything You Need to Know About the Music Business (applicable to musicians and myself at a certain time in my life)
Your Budget: You need to know where your money is going to minimize wasting it to enhance your savings. This will keep you out of trouble and help you stay focus on what’s important.
The security and confidence of having both an emergency fund and a retirement account are miles above everything else. Knowing you can weather three-to-six months of unemployment, depending on your savings, takes so much load of your mind you can relax and focus on other things. The discipline you develop in getting your finances right bleeds into everything else. Once you get your money right, everything else starts to follow.
Life is driven by sex and relationships. One on hand we understand that life exists for the express purpose of continuing its own life for as long as possible. Sex is a physiological need. On the other hand, we are social creatures that have emotions and feelings that we pick up consciously and unconsciously.
Self-improvement is asking yourself: am I the best version of myself or can I be better? Relationships are about love, respect, and commitment. Wanting to improve ourselves is wanting to improve our relationships. From practicing gratitude, to actively listening, even owning your feelings all help strengthen the bonds between the ones we appreciate.
Spirituality and the Creative Mind.
This is the most important pillar because it is personal and all about the mind. Also, it does not discriminate or depend on your economic situation. Yes, being successful and having better financial means can make it easier to afford the books, life coaches and program sessions. However, there are instances of people living in difficult situations that care about education, improvement and spiritual growth that cannot be overlooked. Some examples: Newly landed immigrants, born-again Christians, and individuals who have “unplugged” or experienced a breakthrough and are now awakened. The list goes on.
What goes inside your mind eventually becomes your reality. If you are complaining all the time, always in a negative mood and have a pessimistic outlook you are likely to not see your situation change much outside that thinking. Spirituality and the creative mind are an inner process that starts with a change of attitude. It makes you stronger, happier and more resilient due to its positive rewards. Its rewards can be things like: Concentration and focus, awareness and insight, heightened creativity, godliness and peace of mind.
The important part of all of this is to not think that everything is going to pay off instantly. If you do, you will stop improving expeditiously. Also, you shouldn’t believe you can change radically, as with anything, change works overtime and is slow. It is best to start with small but consistent steps. After a while, you will start to notice changes and get hooked for even more.
Self-improvement is personal growth. We are growing, not just improving, to grow we need a little water and to remove dead leaves. We also need the patience to allow ourselves to grow to see us bloom into the types of people that we want to become.
Do you agree? Can you think of anymore? Your thoughts below are appreciated.