Every day we hear numerous stories and we listen to the lessons of various leaders and professionals – some of them giving us simple examples, others telling us about fascinating and unbelievable situations they have gone through. In the end of the day, however, we are all humans with our own stories and challenges. The values we stand for, the personal life habits we have, our approach towards life in general – all of those reflect directly or indirectly on our professional development, on our personal relationships, on our state of mind, and respectively on our success. Therefore, if we speak about continuous improvement from human perspective, envisioning the personal aspect, it really covers the professional one as well and almost any other area in our life simultaneously.

What is the value of the holistic continuous improvement approach? What are some of the milestones to keep track of in the process of personal growth? How can we practically start making a difference in our current status quo (life situation) which we want to change?

The Tree of Life: going back to the roots to influence the fruit 

In order to make a difference in our current status quo, we need to go back to the basics and identify what is our job first. We cannot continue doing what we do in the same way and expect different results. Of course, we always have external circumstances affecting our situation directly or indirectly, but we need to remember: the change really starts with us first. And like the fruits of a tree define where it is a “good one” or “bad one”, if we want to make a difference in the “fruits” we produce, we need to deal with the roots of it first.

This is simple and at the same time huge topic which can go many ways, and in this piece of work we will focus particularity on the importance of personal continuous improvement as a way to sustainably transform our personal (and professional) performance. In the next sections we will briefly review some of the practical key points we need to keep track of, once we decide to commit to the path of change.  

Be transparent & invest in what you do best

First step is to be able to get an honest and clear self-assessment (or external evaluation) on where your strengths, your weakness and blind spots are. Not only in the context of personality type but also when it comes to skills. Being able to admit and overcome your fears and turn your weakness into strengths is amazing, however, you don’t want your main focus to be on being mediocre in plenty of aspects but rather stand-out and be exceptional in something specific. Moreover, it takes courage and authenticity to deliberately identify and admit that reality of strengths and weaknesses. In fact, to make a room for improvement in your life (or business), it always starts with preparing your mindset first.

Positioning your mindset

The following list can be much longer and in many different forms but here we will share just a few of the important angles to consider when working on positioning our mindset:

·       Be truly humble – understand well your strengths and know your blind spots. Never assume you already know everything. The ever-learning approach is critical.

·       When facing a challenge, don’t go around it but go through it. Strive to turn your lowest moments into a learning milestone with purpose. As Viktor Frankl says:

 “When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves – to turn our predicament into an achievement, our tragedy into a triumph.”

·       Every experience, whether positive or negative should be considered material for improvement. When you enjoy the journey and when you struggle – always find some time to reflect in the end of the day. Sometimes exactly those moments create the turning point in our situation.

Recharging is super key – don’t be guilty 

We are blessed to have great leaders and examples when it comes to having a healthy lifestyle, where every task and priority has its place in the daily routine and the way we live. And this comes with a lot of efforts, nurtured growth mindset and stable values foundation which needs to be maintained.

However, there are also too many examples of top achievers who struggle with (or don’t have at all) their personal boundaries, and respectively, their families/ personal life suffers. In one way or another, everybody who strives to be progressive is exposed to such a threat regardless of the general philosophy they follow. Whether in your opinion life and work are one or you believe there is a clear separation between the two, in both cases burn-out, missing on quality time/ critical relationships, skipping on personal time, leaving behind your health & wellness – all of those are real threats. Therefore, there are a few main guidelines to help us keep the focus on what is important for us: 

·       Personal clarity on where we are, where we want to go and what we need to change in order to get there is important.

·       Clear communication and expectations set on both ends is key to avoid misunderstanding – within your personal relationships and your professional stakeholders

·       Don’t assume that if once a decision was right and going well, you can put it aside as it is going to stay in that state forever – times, people and circumstances are changing. Some principles are supposed to be kept as they are, other aspects of life need adaptation. The process of re-evaluating your life, current state and direction is something we need to do on regular basis.

Be an inspiration by example

It is good to have our priorities and values clearly set. However, only when those become an actual part of our being and lifestyle in every aspect, we can say we set some example. Not for the purposes to brag with it but rather share experience, which reminds me of the saying: “Real beauty doesn’t ask for attention.”. The contrary also applies – if our actions do not reflect our words, trying to build just an image becomes completely useless. 

Final thoughts 

In brief, continuous improvement is not a one-time goal we can achieve but it is rather a way of living. It represents a complex combination of simple and clear decisions we need to take and follow-up with actions. It is a route we choose based on our values and priorities in life. It takes time, efforts and deliberate investments. It doesn’t always come naturally and usually requires our strong will and decisiveness but whoever takes that direction, in the end of the day enjoys purposeful and fulfilling never-ending journey.

Imagine a world, where in order to change something people start with changing themselves first… Do you think that this is often the reality? If not, what would be different compared to today? Let’s share our thoughts in the comments below. 

What is the value of the holistic continuous improvement approach? What are some of the milestones to keep track of in the process of personal growth? How can we practically start making a difference in our current status quo (life situation) which we want to change?

The Tree of Life: going back to the roots to influence the fruit 

In order to make a difference in our current status quo, we need to go back to the basics and identify what is our job first. We cannot continue doing what we do in the same way and expect different results. Of course, we always have external circumstances affecting our situation directly or indirectly, but we need to remember: the change really starts with us first. And like the fruits of a tree define where it is a “good one” or “bad one”, if we want to make a difference in the “fruits” we produce, we need to deal with the roots of it first.

This is simple and at the same time huge topic which can go many ways, and in this piece of work we will focus particularity on the importance of personal continuous improvement as a way to sustainably transform our personal (and professional) performance. In the next sections we will briefly review some of the practical key points we need to keep track of, once we decide to commit to the path of change.  

Be transparent & invest in what you do best

First step is to be able to get an honest and clear self-assessment (or external evaluation) on where your strengths, your weakness and blind spots are. Not only in the context of personality type but also when it comes to skills. Being able to admit and overcome your fears and turn your weakness into strengths is amazing, however, you don’t want your main focus to be on being mediocre in plenty of aspects but rather stand-out and be exceptional in something specific. Moreover, it takes courage and authenticity to deliberately identify and admit that reality of strengths and weaknesses. In fact, to make a room for improvement in your life (or business), it always starts with preparing your mindset first.

Positioning your mindset

The following list can be much longer and in many different forms but here we will share just a few of the important angles to consider when working on positioning our mindset:

·       Be truly humble – understand well your strengths and know your blind spots. Never assume you already know everything. The ever-learning approach is critical.

·       When facing a challenge, don’t go around it but go through it. Strive to turn your lowest moments into a learning milestone with purpose. As Viktor Frankl says:

 “When we can no longer change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves – to turn our predicament into an achievement, our tragedy into a triumph.”

·       Every experience, whether positive or negative should be considered material for improvement. When you enjoy the journey and when you struggle – always find some time to reflect in the end of the day. Sometimes exactly those moments create the turning point in our situation.

Recharging is super key – don’t be guilty 

We are blessed to have great leaders and examples when it comes to having a healthy lifestyle, where every task and priority has its place in the daily routine and the way we live. And this comes with a lot of efforts, nurtured growth mindset and stable values foundation which needs to be maintained.

However, there are also too many examples of top achievers who struggle with (or don’t have at all) their personal boundaries, and respectively, their families/ personal life suffers. In one way or another, everybody who strives to be progressive is exposed to such a threat regardless of the general philosophy they follow. Whether in your opinion life and work are one or you believe there is a clear separation between the two, in both cases burn-out, missing on quality time/ critical relationships, skipping on personal time, leaving behind your health & wellness – all of those are real threats. Therefore, there are a few main guidelines to help us keep the focus on what is important for us: 

·       Personal clarity on where we are, where we want to go and what we need to change in order to get there is important.

·       Clear communication and expectations set on both ends is key to avoid misunderstanding – within your personal relationships and your professional stakeholders

·       Don’t assume that if once a decision was right and going well, you can put it aside as it is going to stay in that state forever – times, people and circumstances are changing. Some principles are supposed to be kept as they are, other aspects of life need adaptation. The process of re-evaluating your life, current state and direction is something we need to do on regular basis.

Be an inspiration by example

It is good to have our priorities and values clearly set. However, only when those become an actual part of our being and lifestyle in every aspect, we can say we set some example. Not for the purposes to brag with it but rather share experience, which reminds me of the saying: “Real beauty doesn’t ask for attention.”. The contrary also applies – if our actions do not reflect our words, trying to build just an image becomes completely useless. 

Final thoughts 

In brief, continuous improvement is not a one-time goal we can achieve but it is rather a way of living. It represents a complex combination of simple and clear decisions we need to take and follow-up with actions. It is a route we choose based on our values and priorities in life. It takes time, efforts and deliberate investments. It doesn’t always come naturally and usually requires our strong will and decisiveness but whoever takes that direction, in the end of the day enjoys purposeful and fulfilling never-ending journey.

Imagine a world, where in order to change something people start with changing themselves first… Do you think that this is often the reality? If not, what would be different compared to today? Let’s share our thoughts in the comments below.