3 Step Game Plan for Self-Development
Constant learning, one of the most important fundamentals of the entrepreneurial mindset, is a never ending map of paths to take, thoughts to continue and skillsets to develop. Even the most far fetched ideas and learnings might be the ones that we cherish in the end.
“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” — Steve Jobs
If your goal is to be the greatest, you’re never done with learning. We believe there are three main characters affecting our self-development, 1. our mind and ability to think and imagine; 2. the limitations we think we have; and 3. the environment we’re surrounded by.
The human mind is the most powerful weapon in this world and you have the option to decide in what way to utilise it. As the law of attraction states, our mind decides how we experience situations; positive or negative, overwhelming or tangible. If we are able to decide how we experience the world through our thoughts — only imagination is a limit what else we can achieve with the power of mind. You need to be proactive about developing your thinking and training your brain.
Flipping the setting around, our own mind can also be the biggest limitation for becoming our super-selfs. The biggest part of our brain is on automation, which means you need to be on your toes all the time, questioning every decision and thought. You need to learn to master your brain and thinking.
By focusing on the development of our own mind, we are able to change our thoughts and mind drastically, but not entirely. The environment around us is strongly connected to that state of mind. To support your self-development, finding the environment which is challenging and motivating, is essential.
To write these three characters down is the first step, but the true development happens through our actions in our everyday lives. Every column of this article includes a concrete task, helping you to achieve that entrepreneurial mindset. For a bit longer reading sessions the must-have is FallUp team’s favourite book, Daniel Kahneman’s “Thinking, fast and slow”.
TRAIN YOUR BRAIN AND BECOME AN IDEA-GENERATOR
Most extraordinary things in this world have started with an idea, an idea which has been generated through combining thoughts and experiences. At the end of the day the idea might not be the key player compared to execution, but you have to start with something, a spark, that something could be done differently. Everyone of us wants to be the next one creating something exceptional, but breaking through your conventional thinking and coming up with ideas ain’t easy. Generating ideas is a skill like any other and only way to get better at it is to practice.
Every great idea, invention and business has required several trial and error rounds before the break-through light bulb moment. This is why you need to learn to trial and error, to generate an idea, trash it away and move to the next one.
Task: Approaches to developing your imagination are endless. One aspect is to see the development of the skill in a way we see writing skills; the more you write, the better you get. This requires you to get into the zone of brainstorming and generating ideas — getting familiar with it and habituating yourself in brainstorm sessions. Start by taking 15 minutes from your day to train your idea generation and start producing. Take this time from every single day — it is the only way you can make it a habit. In these 15 minutes write down five ideas. These can be answers to a general problem being solved, choosing two irrelevant initiatives and thinking ways of combining these, why not writing down ideas about your future paths and evaluating the opportunities these offer you; as long as you are generating new ideas, you’re improving your skills. Activating your idea muscle is the first step towards generating the new, kick-ass ideas and innovations!
REACH THE NEXT LEVEL BY QUESTIONING YOUR MIND
The capacity of our brain and body is much bigger than we think. Picture in your mind a task or an exercise you completed last week and felt afterwards that you had given your all. It can be an exam you were studying for, gym workout which felt like killed you or a morning run, which took your breath away. In fact you had only given 40% of your capacity, 60% of it was still left unused.
“When your mind tells you you’re done, you’re really only 40% done.” -Navy SEAL
This limitation in our minds, message from the brain that we’re ready to stop, slows down our development and stops us reaching the breaking point in getting to the next level. For athletes, this is a common theory; the real development happens when you are way out of your comfort zone. To truly increase our personal growth and develop our mindset, we need to adapt this thinking in all aspects of our life. There are no physical limitations for you to run 10 miles if you’ve already run 5 or read 100 pages if you’ve already finished 50 of them. It’s all just in our minds, neural networks sending us signals about tiredness or our conscience telling us we have already done more than last time, and it’s okay to stop. The breaking point is to get to the other side of this feeling, not to indulge yourself in momentary satisfaction. Test your limits and see in what kind of performance your body and mind are capable of.
Task: Curious of how far you can push yourself and your personal growth?
The truth is we’ve all given in for momentary satisfaction at some point, but the idea isn’t being perfect, but trying to increase the number of times when you push yourself to the limit. To make it easier, set up a directional goal before starting. Decide that today you’re going to double your performance compared to last time. The clear milestone helps you keep going, but try to break even this goal.
If you don’t have a clear task in mind you want to tackle, start with the things brought up earlier in the text; a simple increasement in your workout routine or time spent reading. Later you can start thinking about the time or efficiency, but now set your goal in just accomplishing the task, no matter how hard it feels to continue. Take a break or slow down the pace, but do not stop before you’re done.
RUN FAST BUT BE THE SLOWEST
Being the best in your field is the goal most of us are aiming for, but instead of being the best right now, be the weakest one for a while. Being the best doesn’t thrive you in the same way as being the beginner in an environment, where everyone else is achieving things you’re dreaming about. Surrounding yourself with people greater, faster and thriving than you affects your way of thinking and eventually can help you to shape your mindset.
The development of your mindset doesn’t require you to be the best, but what it does require, is for you to develop every single day. So by not being the best right now, you have a chance of multiplying your self-development.
“If you run the 100-yard dash with people that can’t run as fast as you, yeah, you’ll win hands down. You know that. But if you run with people much faster than you, yeah, you might come in last every single time, but your time will be better.” -Quentin Tarantino
It’s important to remember that you do need to have several different types of people around you to gain differing perspectives, but the environment you spend most of your time, should make you want to achieve more, aim higher and run faster.
It’s easy and comfortable to stay in a place where you see yourself as one of the bests, or continue in a task which you know well. But self-development isn’t easy, and it surely isn’t comfortable. So it’s yours to decide, to sail through life feeling comfortable or to thrive for greatness.
Task: Like most of the things, start by small changes — find one environment, a community that reminds you everyday what you want to achieve and who you want to become as a person.
Put yourself in situations, where you are little, or sometimes little too much over your head. Seek out opportunities where you have a chance to challenge yourself and reach the next level, or to fail miserably in the eyes of others. No matter which one is the end result, these are the situations that move you forward and give you the ability to step up your game. And if you feel like you’re not good enough for the environment you’re in, just fake it till you make it. At the end of the day even the people you get your thrive and inspiration from might be faking it and just doing a really good job.