Five, Number 5, 5, Numbers

Five Thoughts for Self-Improvement

1.) People spend a lot of time focusing on being successful. How much time is spent focusing on being kind? Kindness is not weakness, though some people treat it that way. Being polite, decent and caring to our family, friends and those around us is one of the most important things we can do in life.

2.) Too much energy is often expended thinking about the amount of energy involved in completing a given task. This might, at first, sound like an odd concept. Yet, if we can wrap our heads around it, we will be more likely to accomplish whatever we set our minds to.

Take a diet for example. How many of us dissipate our energy focused on how tough a diet might be, only to find ourselves too exhausted to go through with it because we have worn ourselves out with worry. Thinking is necessary for planning, but obsessive thinking breeds anxiety which drains us of energy before we get started.

3.) If you do not have a goal you cannot accomplish it. If you have a weakly defined goal it becomes too easy to focus on something other than your goal. Goals are helpful mile markers on the path of happiness. However, from time to time, we should review our goals to make sure they meet with our current beliefs and desires. Changing a goal capriciously is a recipe for non-achievement. Changing a goal based on new information might be wise.

4.) It is important to review information with an open, yet active and critical mind. If we are not open minded, we can never learn anything new. On the other hand, swallowing information whole without analyzing it leaves us open to being led astray. Just because someone purports to know something does not make it so. Do your homework. If something is important to you, take the time to verify the information you are looking at before you accept it as reliable.

5.) We are mind, body and spirit, yet we often treat ourselves as only one of those things. There are people of prodigious intellect who spend time wrapped in study but rarely meaningfully move their bodies. There are wonderful athletes who do not regularly read books. And as for the spirit, how many of us take any time to reflect on nature, humanity, the universe and the immutable interconnectedness of those things?

*Authors note: You might see this column pop up online in a newspaper, under the name Both Sides. I am publishing this column here first at For a bunch of years, I have been writing newspaper columns. Since my columns have received a good response on CYInterview, I thought I would share it with you. Hope you enjoy.

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