I’ve been thinking over the past few days about how a person should implement the changes necessary to improve their life. One of the things that sticks out to me is the whole concept of self-help. I love the concept of being able to improve yourself through the experience of others. There are many people that have become really well known for their work in this area like Dr. Phil and Deepak Chopra.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to improve your life. It is a good desire to invest in yourself and wanting to make a better life for yourself. The key question is how do you make that change? I believe the world is telling us that these changes should be done in the dark.
The main advantage of self-help is that you can make changes in your life without anyone else ever knowing. Self-help doesn’t require any outside help by definition. Since your improvement doesn’t require anyone else, you are – in fact – not accountable to anyone for that change.
You might think that it would be a good idea if you learned another language. You even go out and buy a book or CD designed to teach you a new language but, when your schedule gets too busy and you simply don’t have the time to keep up with the lessons, you drop the idea and move on. I know I’ve failed like this many times. Many life changes are like that, if you keep them in the dark.
Let me offer you a better solution. First, involve God in your improvement. Pray about the thing you want to improve and ask God if He thinks it would be something good for you to invest your time in. Ultimately God knows what the best use of your time is. God might not answer you immediately. I have found that if you have it in your heart to do something and you do some research about it, then you can find if you see God in it or not.
An example of this happened to me recently. I was doing some research on something I wanted to improve on and one of the major people involved is in London. It just so happened that right after I was looking into reviews and comments that I went to church for the Sunday morning service. At the beginning of the service that the pastor was telling a story about a guy who lived in London! You might call that coincidence. I call it providence. God certainly has ways to get your attention.
After you pray and decide that God is in favor of you improving a certain area of your life you have to make a plan for improvement. There are a few key components in any plan. You need to make sure you involve your friends and family to keep you accountable. Tell them your goals for improvement and let them to hold you accountable for those goals. If you are willing to shine the light into your areas of darkness then you can acknowledge your faults and start to move forward.
Read part 2, God-Help – The Journey…