Work + knowledge + faith = energy
Self-improvement is like planting a garden.
Growing takes a lot of hard work — consistent energy input — before you get any output.
You have to prepare the ground by removing weeds. Tilling comes next, and without the proper tools, can take a long time.
Then you have to carefully select what you’ll plant and where. Some plants don’t go so well together, requiring different care.
Next comes the actual work of planting, which can also be tedious if you don’t have the right tools.
Then the real work begins of watering, weeding, and protecting your little plants. This step takes the longest sustained effort and requires a great deal of patience.
Self-improvement is the same way.
Prepare the ground you want to improve by eliminating bad habits and getting in the right mindset for growth.
Just as ground has to be broken before it can grow plants, so you must be broken before you can see your greatest improvement.
This is why hard things are good for you — because they always prepare you to grow.
Decide what areas of your life you want to improve. The four pillars of a happy, abundant life are spirituality, relationships, finances, and health. You can grow all four at once or pick one and decide to focus on it alone.
Plant the desire and vision in your mind of where you want to be in each of these four pillars of life. You must firmly plant your vision and ambition to turn it into reality if you want to grow. The more clear your vision, the stronger your desire will be to reach it.
Strong desires lead to solid results.
After desire comes the hard work of nourishing your dreams.
Plants require nutrients, water, and sunlight to grow.
Your vision and goals require the same energy in the form of work, knowledge, and faith.
We can equate hard work, knowledge, and faith to energy to get the following equation:
Work + knowledge + faith = energy
And from before:
Energy + vision = success in reaching your goals
Combining equations we get:
Work + knowledge + faith = success in reaching your goals
If you put energy into your mind, you will be happy.
If you put energy into your relationships, they will flourish.
If you put energy into your financial situation, you will be rich.
If you put energy into your health, physical or mental, you will be healthy and happy.
I’m a big fan of working hard. Recently I’ve been a benefactor of a new principle I’ve discovered:
If you want to reach your dreams, you need to work smarter and harder. Hard work gets you going, and smart work keeps you going. Smart work isn’t an excuse to not work at all.
Hard work is putting in the hours, tracking those hours, then analyzing their effectiveness. Hard work can be many things, but the main idea is to forgo analysis paralysis and just do the work.
Smart work is hiring someone to help when you have the money, eliminating tasks that don’t move the needle, and hiring a coach. Smart work is also taking time for rest, sleep, and play.
You don’t have to know what is the most efficient at first, you just need to begin.
Your level of success in anything is directly proportional to your level of education in that thing.
The easiest way to increase your education is by reading. Let’s do a little more simple math here.
The average college class is 3 hours a week for about 14 weeks. That comes out to 42 hours of class time. Assume your professor speaks an average of 140 words a minute, or 8,400 words an hour. Cut that in half to account for questions and other down time. Throughout the entire course, that’s about 176,000 words.
The average length of a self-help book is between 50,000 to 75,000 words.
If you read the top 2–3 books on a topic, that would be like taking an entire college course on that subject.
If you want a college degree level of education, you don’t need to spend tens of thousands of dollars. All you need to do is pick up the right books. You can make that happen in a fraction of the time with 4 Minute Books.
Reading brings knowledge, and knowledge elevates your energy.
I read over 35 books last year and have tripled my number of income streams, become closer to my family, and am more mentally healthy than ever.
“Turn your car into a university” — Zig Ziglar
Turn everywhere you go into a university, and your energy will increase.
To make a seed grow into a tree, you have to believe that it will grow. You show that faith when you nourish, protect, and water that seed even when it’s progress is still unseen and in the ground.
Faith is the belief in the things you can’t see, but that you know are there or are coming to you. Faith is hoping for those things with a firm resolution that they are on their way.
Faith is essential to have when trying to improve your life because what you see in your mind you create. Closely linked with vision, faith is the belief that your vision is becoming a reality.
But faith doesn’t work unless you do.
If you don’t work at it, you don’t believe.
A large part of faith is believing and working for the good things that are coming to you without trying to force them.
Whether you believe in God, the Universe, or some other higher power, there is a greater force at work in our lives than just what we see.
Believing in that greater force doesn’t mean that you have to get all dogmatic and forceful about your dreams becoming a reality.
Strictness and dogmatism forces out the true power of belief in our lives.
Instead of forcing an outcome, try relaxing and trusting that good is coming to you. Relax, put in the work and learn, and you’ll begin to see something wonderful happen.
Faith precedes miracles.
You’ll know it’s working when opportunities start showing up, seemingly out of nowhere.
For one, they happen because you are looking for them. But more importantly, those opportunities are that higher power at work, helping you achieve your dreams.
Because the higher power wants you to be successful, happy, connected with people you love, wealthy, and healthy.
Sometimes we’re so focused on having everything exactly our way when the Universe wants something different for us. Something better that we can’t even imagine at the moment.
When you open yourself up to new opportunities, your vision may change, and that’s okay. The Universe has bigger plans for you than you could ever have for yourself.
Six weeks ago I lost my job. At first, I had a rough time, and that was okay. Feelings are important. But once I got my bearings set and found a better group of people to work with, I could see the truth.
Losing my job was just one small piece in a master plan to help me reach greater heights than I could have ever imagined.
I wasn’t open to it at first, but I’ve recently learned that losing my job was the exact thing I needed, at that exact time.
Because I had to modify my plan due to my job loss, I was able to get more, and better, freelance work. I can write on Medium more with my free schedule.
I even realized that I needed some help with my mental health and got on medication for my depression.
Losing my job is one of the best things that ever happened to me, but it was all because I have faith that there is a plan for my life that is far better than what I can create.
That’s just one tiny example of how faith has led to miracles in my own life.
Energy In = Energy Out
Energy is required if you want to become successful.
Think about the things in your life that aren’t going so well. Maybe it’s toxic relationships, an empty bank account, or being overweight.
Now, carefully examine the level of energy that you put into each of these areas of your life.
Are you putting high energy into them, or low energy?
Is your attitude and outlook about these things positive or negative?
If your attitude and energy are negative, that’s okay; it’s probably not your fault. But you can improve your life. Just take one area at a time and add energy to that area.
Putting energy in and getting energy out can be hard when we’re already strapped for energy as it is.
But as you start becoming more energetic, you’ll begin to see that more energy comes to you.
When your relationships improve, you’ll find that you have the support to put energy into your career.
As your finances go further into the green, you’ll see opportunities to delegate and buy more energy.
And after working out you’ll notice increased self-discipline to put energy into you relationships and finances.
Adding more energy to your goals and dreams doesn’t have to be hard.
You can do it if you just take one step at a time.
And you can start right now.