Self-Improvement: It Is All About Your Personal Foundation

As a personal business coach, I have observed that your level of self-improvement will not exceed the strength of your personal foundation. What is your personal foundation?

An individual’s personal foundation is his or her structural basis that supports him or her in living an exceptional life. Just as a house must be built on a strong personal foundation to avoid collapsing under stress, so must your life. A house’s foundation is made up of earth, cement, and steel. Your personal foundation is also made up of three major elements. The are the What, the Who and the How.

Let’s look at the “What.” The “What” is self-improvement business coaching is the package that person presents to the world. It is “What” the world sees when it looks at us. This element is also composed of several sub parts as well. We can include such things as behavior, the public self, what we show others. The “What” can be related to the “body” part of the body, mind and spirit.

The ”Who” part of you is easily understood as the real you, the core of who you are in reality, not in presentation of the “What.” As a personal development business coach, I find that discovering the “Who” is the key to unlocking an individual’s self-improvement. The “Who” often drives the “What,” but it is not always consistent with it. The “Who” can also be identified with the “spirit” part of the body, mind and spirit analogy in the previous paragraph.

The “How,” the third component of personal foundation is the set of processes, methods, and values that drive our behavior–“How” we do the things we do, and “How” we are “Who” we are. The fuel for the “How” of us is the “Who,” which essentially yields -the “What.” If you put his into an equation it would look like this: “Who” + “How” = “What.” The “What” equates to the “mind” part of body, mind, and spirit.

The “What,” the “Who,” and the “How” are the components of personal foundation that I start with as a personal development business coach. When looking at your own self-improvement start with these three areas. Know your “What,” “Who,” and “How.” They are the keys to unlocking your future growth and personal development.

What Is Your Lid?

John Maxwell, in his book, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership”, talks about the Law of the Lid. In short, the ceiling for your leadership ability will depend on the level of your personal development. All of the 21 Laws are interrelated. So a leadership experience may seem to lean more on one law than another but in truth, there are several laws at work at any one time.

In reflecting of the Law of the Lid and its relevance in my life I found my thoughts going back to when I was in Cub Scouts. I was eight or nine years old at the time. In my small town, we did not have a movie theater. The fund raiser for our Cub Scout pack was to sponsor a movie show in the high school gym. My hometown of Chappaqua, New York, which at the time had about 2,000 residents is quite hilly and the school district encompassed approximately nine square miles.

To sell tickets to the show, you had to go door to door between houses that could be up to a tenth of a mile or more apart from each other. Also, there were some elevation changes of up to 150 feet making the process of going door to door, even for a young boy, a rigorous physical challenge.

My mother and father were very supportive. That was good! I was excited about selling tickets but I had one problem. All my competition had bicycles. That was something that we could not afford. The good news was that if you sold the most tickets you won a brand new Schwinn 3 speed bike which at the time was the bike to have. Also, just for a historical context, this was not an era where parents drove their little Cub Scouts around to homes. As a kid you either walked or rode a bicycle.

Since I did not have a bike, I would have to walk door to door and it would take me much longer to reach people who, hopefully, had not already purchased tickets to the movie show. Also, my motivation to have a bike, and the Schwinn in particular, drove me to walk and walk and walk some more. On the weekends, I would start in the morning with a peanut butter sandwich my mother had packed and set off to see who I could sell tickets to.

This went on for several weekends. I walked as much as I could. I met many very nice people and in the process I got to know my hometown.

Then the big moment arrived. The movie was going to be shown at the high school gym and they would announce the top three finishers in ticket sales. When they called my name as the top ticket seller and the winner of the Schwinn bicycle I was stunned and elated. Also, I had doubled the ticket sales of the second and third place finishers, both of whom had bikes.

If I had put a lid on what I could accomplish because I did not have a bicycle, or thought that it wasn’t worth trying because it wasn’t fair that I had to walk, I never would have won the contest. Fortunately, at nine years old, I did not have the context to see that there could be a very real lid, no bicycle, on what I could accomplish. At nine, I did not understand the Law of the Lid. Yet, as I have gone through business and life, I am reminded that when I raise my lid more opportunity flows into my business and life. For greater success, raise your lid.

Process Determines Outcome | Self improvement Tips

It says that work decides the Destiny. If you want to achieve the goal there should be intention for completing that work. You have to finish your work totally whether circumstances are not according to your.

In my early twenties I became involved in a business to import balsa wood from the jungles of Ecuador and Peru to the United States. At the time, my Spanish speaking skills were quite good and the company I was working for asked me and another fellow, who spoke Spanish very well, to go to Ecuador and Peru and to get agreements from mill owners in those countries to supply balsa wood and ship it to Houston, Texas.

The process for doing this involved a great deal of preparation. There was no internet in 1975. Letters went back and forth for six months and ultimately we set up two meetings in Guayaquil, Ecuador and one in Lima, Peru. Our first meeting in Guayaquil was very scary and went badly.

German expatriates, former Nazis, who fled Germany after World War II, controlled most of the balsa wood business. My business associate and I met them in their offices on the docks of Guayaquil.

After a short and nice introduction, the tone changed. They told us that there was no way they would let us export balsa wood from Ecuador to the United States because that threatened their semi-monopoly at the time and their U. S. office in Miami. At this point, a door at the back of the office opened and two large men came out and proceeded to hit us, kick us while the owner told us that if we valued our lives we would not stay in the balsa wood business.
They literally kicked us out the door and let us go. Scared does not even begin to describe the multitude of emotions. Yes, we were scared. We were angry. Worst of all we understood that they could have killed us without any repercussions.

Obviously, this was not a good process and the result for us, was a very bad outcome. If we had understood the true nature of the process, we would have avoided the outcome. The tricky part in business and life is that at times we may think, as my business associate and I did, that we are in a good process. Sadly, it masks, when you are dealing with people who think “I win” “You lose” in terms of outcome.

Too often in business and life we look at outcome and wonder why something failed or, on the other hand, we marvel at how something succeeded. To find the answer always look at process. Process determines outcome.