Self-improvement

So you don’t know what else to do.

You’ve given it your best shot.

Do you give up and leave or stay and keep trying?

At what point is it worth your time?

When do you declare it unsolvable?

Maybe instead of leaving you ask for help.

You say, “What should I do?”

Or, “I’ve done all I know to do. How better can I help you?”

Sometimes there is no alternative.

Most of the time there is.

It’s just a matter of how bad you want to help.

Do you genuinely want to act?

Do you sincerely desire to listen patiently to get to the core of the problem?

Time, patience, and perseverance – they say- will accomplish all things.

The question, then, is have you really given it your best shot? Or have you decided it’s no longer worth the effort?

 

 

Adam Grant in his book Originals relays a lot of useful information. I’m about halfway through the book and already have learned about the relationship between what Internet browser is used and productivity, how to better guarantee your ideas are hits, and the different factors involved with selling a novel idea to an organization.

But my favorite thing I’ve learned is this: Artistic interest drives intellectual accomplishment.

A study that looked at differences in levels of interest in the arts between Nobel Prize-winning scientists from 1901 to 2005 and their scientific peers revealed that the awarded group was dramatically more likely to be involved in the arts than less accomplished scientists. The chart below illustrates this.

Additionally, Grant notes that “a representative study of thousands of Americans showed similar results for entrepreneurs and inventors. People who started businesses and contributed to patent applications were more likely than their peers to have leisure time hobbies that involved drawing, painting, architecture, sculpture, and literature.”

The personality trait that most associated with an interest in the arts is called openness. This is “Openness to Experience, or openness to considering new ideas … [It] describes a person’s tendency to think abstractly. Those who are high in Openness tend to be creative, adventurous, and intellectual. They enjoy playing with ideas and discovering novel experiences. Those who are low in Openness tend to be practical, traditional, and focused on the concrete. They tend to avoid the unknown and follow traditional ways.”

This definition is from Truity, a website that allows you to take a test to measure your level of openness and four other major personality traits. If you’d like to learn about your level of openness, follow this link to take the test.

[Note: Sorry about the late post. My laptop charger isn’t working, and yesterday was busy. We’ll be back on track tomorrow.]

Every day isn’t going to be a good day.

You know that. I don’t need to tell you.

We all get let down.

We all experience conflict.

We all get sad and lonely and overwhelmed.

In these moments, please try to remember that it won’t last.

I know it’s hard. But pain is temporary.

And human beings are extremely adaptable.

If you’re regularly waking up, sincerely giving it your best shot, and asking yourself and people close to you how you might improve,  it’s just a matter of time before something will go right.

Then something will go right again. And again. And again.

Before you know it,  you’ll have built a reserve of goodness to help thwart the next bad time

Keep it up, and foster that reserve, my dear friend.

Let’s talk about our insecurities openly.

Be honest when we feel a pressure to fit in.

And cultivate comfort with connection.

The fear of being frank about our feelings creates barriers between us.

The best way to overcome it is through courage, which is not fearlessness.

It is putting ourselves out there despite how we feel.

It’s the small steps that lead to a more understanding world.