Intentional Self Improvement

November 14, 2016

Happy Monday!!!!! I hope you enjoy this week's #SBBmicSTYLE motivation!


“The biggest room in our house is the room for improvement!” – My daddy.


We grew up with this paradigm ingrained in our minds from the constant teaching and application of my parents. For me growing up, this meant squeezing every single advantage out of school to learn as much as possible.


I’m not sure I knew of anyone that loved school more than I did. If being a professional college student came with a salary and benefits, I probably would’ve applied. Kanye’s School Spirit Skit on his College Dropout album, always made me feel like I would be that 52 year old! LOL! However I was exposed to the luxuries and benefits of Corporate America at the tender age of 20 and never looked back! LOL! (Thanks INROADS!)


“You keep it going man
You keep those books rolling
You pick up all those books that you're gonna read and not remember
And you roll, man
You get that associate's degree, okay?
Then you get your bachelor's
Then you get your masters
Then you get your masters' masters
Then you get your doctorate
You go man!
And then when everyone says quit
You show them those degrees, man
When everyone says "Hey, you're not working, you're not making any money"
You say "You look at my degrees, and you look at my life
Yeah, I'm 52! So what?
Hate all you want, but I'm smart, I'm so smart
And I'm in school
All these guys out here making money all these ways
And I'm spending mine to be smart!
You know why?
Cause when I die buddy
You know what's gonna keep me warm?
That's right, those degrees." -Kanye West, College Drop Out


You may not continue pursuing initials after your name, however the intentional pursuit of self improvement by the man in Kanye’s skit is something you should never graduate from.


In every area of life it is so valuable to constantly commit oneself to sharpening the iron by life long learning. For some, that comes through the formal process of professors, classes and credits which is admirable and advantageous. For those and others, the preference is an independent approach to gathering information via various forms to continually learn and grow. Whatever your method of continuous improvement, the goal for today is to encourage you to intentionally, even daily, invest in your own development!


Here are a few tips as you are intentional in your self – improvement:


  • I.nvestment

    • Know that you must put something in to get something out. If the goal is BETTER, then the cost may mean tuition, entry fee, registration and it will ALWAYS mean TIME! Not getting the return you seek? Check your investment

  • M.asters+

    • Masters, PHd, degrees are fantastic investments in self-improvement, especially when the pursuit is grounded in a genuine desire to grow in a specific area over checking a box for the validation of others. I’ve pressed paused on my pursuit of degrees, but I am truly a lover of the classroom and process of systemic achievement. However, my next degree won’t be to qualify my seat at the table, it will be the stepping stone to building my own.

  • P.rograms

    • Certificates, mastermind classes, conferences, etc. are excellent ways to balance work, life and self –development investments. They are often convenient and flexible ways to continue learning.

  • R.EAD

    • This is obvious, but if we are honest many of us don’t MAKE TIME to read daily. I’m still a huge fan of tangible books (I prefer to feel the pages), but there are blogs (thanks for reading :)), e-books and online articles that can truly elevate you to where you want to go

  • O.rganizational awareness

    • In Corporate America this is key! Do you know what your company offers?Many times there are countless resources (including tuition reimbursement) that are available to employees to enhance your development. It’s all a matter of you being intentional and taking the initiative to seek, ask and do.

  • V.olunteer

    • You always set yourself up for a learning experience when you give back! Any time you enter a situation with a heart to give, you almost always end up receiving. Just do it!

  • E.ngage with those that are where you want to be

    • Strategic networking is fundamental! Check out last week’s post (LEVELS of Support) to ensure you have allies at every level!

  • M.entorship

    • This is a crucial category of improvement. Sometimes the mentoring process can seem daunting and unauthentic (a blog on this is on the way), however it is so vital that you lean on the experiences of others and learn vicariously from a seasoned mentor

  • E.very experience = continuous improvement

    • The good, the bad AND the ugly – every single experience you have overcome is an opportunity for continuous improvement. Especially those situations that feel like failures, ask yourself “what can I learn from this?” That approach always ensures you come out, BETTER!

  • N.ever settle

    • We should never graduate or feel we’ve reached the end of our improvement continuum. One of the unintended ways this happens is in our careers, when we feel we have reached a ceiling or our strengths and talent aren’t being maximized or appreciated. What separates the average from the achievers is using moments like this to be innovative in your approach to GROW. Is there a mentor at your company you can glean from? Is there a project you can create to enhance your company’s results and catapult you to promotion? Are there external programs, volunteer opportunities, etc. that we’ve discussed that you can take advantage of? Is it time to seek opportunities at another company? Whatever your decision may be, never settle for less than your best and always look for ways to improve during your highs, lows and transitions.

  • T.IME

    • Your desired results won’t come by accident. At the end of the day, your degree of improvement will depend on how you intentionally spend your time. Do you block out time after work for career development? Your business? Jesus? Working out? Spiritual connection? We all have the same 24hrs but many of us waste more hours than we realize. Be intentional about scheduling time each week/day to invest in the areas you are seeking improvement and watch your results soar!

    • How is my Monday stacking up?

      • 5:00 - 6:00: Workout

      • 6:00 - 7:30: Career development

      • 7:30 - 8:00: Connect

      • 8:00 - 9:00: Dinner & finish reading article

      • 9:00 - 11:00: SBB

How are you intentionally spending your time to ensure self - improvement? I hope today's blog is helpful!


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