Using a well considered self-improvement program is a good strategy for personal success, particularly in view of the way the both the world and you change with time. As an example of that, I was reading an advertisement for Apple's new iPad recently and it made me think about how frequently technology changes.
It wasn't so long ago that computers were computers and cell phones were cell phones, but now we have devices that do both jobs and can also be used to read books, take emails, show videos and play music. Television sets were once hidden away in cabinets to be used when we were not out at the movies. Now we have the movies in our homes in the form of massive black flat-panel s our lounge walls with unbelievable stereophonic surround sound with booming sub woofers. There has been a great deal of change and most of it for the better.
People are very similar: they have to adapt to change and be able to handle this new technology that keeps coming along. In our work we have to learn how to use new technology and new tools, and the same is true of our private lives. Sometimes the change is radical, and those of us that were more 'practical' than 'clever' now have to be both. It's no use any more to be great with a spanner and strip down a car engine and reassemble it an hour: we now have to understand electronic management systems and how computers control the fuel mixture.
In other words we have to 'improve' ourselves - improve on our skills and become familiar with whatever new technology is just around the corner. Personal success depends on it, but there are also many other forms of self-improvement that are fundamentally different but no less important to those involved. Much of that is born of envy, and the desire to 'be like others' that we admire for what they have achieved rather than for whom or what they are.
Many are jealous of others for their apparent beauty and want to improve their looks to be like them. Others are jealous of the successful businessman, again wishing they could 'improve' to be like him and enjoy his wealth and success. However, is that form of personal success really connected with self-improvement? Perhaps that beautiful film star or model is depressed because she has no privacy and is being hit on whenever she tries to live a normal life. Perhaps the businessman is totally stressed and feels like finishing it all.
Do you really believe that to be like them is 'self-improvement' and that your strategy for personal success is to be a film star or successful businessman? Perhaps they are both jealous of you and your apparent normality. True personal success is to achieve contentment and self-esteem, and to be happy with your life - at least that is one definition, though one that is difficult to argue against. If happiness and contentment is not our ultimate objective then what is? Accumulation of wealth?
Nevertheless, self improvement and personal success need not preclude you from 'making it', as they say, and many who have achieved real contentment in their lives have then gone on to become very rich - both in monetary terms and also in their lives and the way they live it. People like Zig Zigler ("Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street.") know the secret of self-improvement - and yes, his name is Zigler, with Zig as a schoolboy nickname.
Most people that fail have expected others to do it for them, but in the words of Brian Tracy: "We will always tend to fulfill our own expectation of ourselves", one interpretation of which is that you must have positive expectations of yourself before personal success will be possible, and one of the first steps in self-improvement is to respect yourself and expect to succeed in whatever it is that you are doing. Expect to fail and you will fail.
It is very important that, in using self-improvement as a strategy for personal success, you get the right help and guidance in how to improve your motivation and outlook on life in order to develop the correct 'expectation of yourself' that leads to ultimate success, and to accept failure as only 'a detour' and not the end of the world!
We can all learn from those that have achieved personal success, and while we cannot emulate the success that these people have attained, we can study their methods and how self-improvement for them was just another step along the road to their ultimate success. We might not succeed as they have done, but by following them and learning from them we can at least improve ourselves and give ourselves a better opportunity of attaining our personal goals.
In the words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right!"