Personal Improvement – A Broad Perspective

Most of us have heard the term personal improvement, but what does it really mean to us? Reference to this term seems to be confined to factors pertaining to such abstract terms as, emotions, success, mind, goal setting, health, and other such words; but not much is said about other factors that help to bring about positive development in a person’s life.

I say ‘positive’ development because I must stress the difference in the meaning of the words improvement and development. These two words are not really synonymous and cannot generally be used interchangeably. Something can develop from a good state into a bad one, or from a bad state into a good one; whereas nothing can ever improve from bad to worse! At this point I must mention that there is also a difference between the terms self improvement and personal improvement. Self improvement is personally enhancing your self; for example, your health, appearance, education, and such like; whereas personal improvement goes deeper than that. It embodies all of self improvement as well as benefits gained from your personal possessions, belongings, and involvement which contribute to your well being and upliftment, thereby enhancing your personal life. While personal improvement can aptly be defined by the abstract words mentioned above, and others such as, stress, inspiration, education, time managment, to name a few more, I view it from a broader perspective. According to the Dictionary, the adjective ‘personal’ means “concerning or affecting a particular person or his or her private life and personality”; and the word ‘improvement’ means “a change for the better.” From the foregoing, when these two words are put together, they can only mean the effect that anything has on a person’s life and personality in a postive manner; in other words, the term covers anything under the sun that can affect a person so as to bring about a change for the better in that person’s life. Hence, I feel that the meaning also encompasses your livelihood, possessions, encounters, surroundings, lifestyle, actions, and all other areas in which you may be personally involved; for, as long as you are able to attach a personal possessive adjective such as ‘my’ appropriately to anything, ownership is suggested; that object becomes personal to you and some measure of benefit is, or could be, derived. One might ask, “What does my work at home business, real estate, or electronics, etc., have to do with my personal improvement?” Think about it. Do you expect to improve your lifestyle by getting involved in any of these or any other business for that matter? If you do, then you do expect some profit or personal benefit for your efforts. You work, obtain money, purchase whatever you wish – maybe a place of residence – and furnish it with whatever you desire so that you may enjoy the rewards of your labor. Now, can that property have the experience of being owned by you or anyone else? It cannot care who lives in it, whether you pay for it or not, whether it is equipped with electricity, whether it has a roof or floor; it cannot enjoy the good things of life; it is never happy or sad. Why? Because it is inanimate, it has no life; therefore, it cannot have emotions. Who becomes emotional? You, of course! Those things affect you personally.

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