Before starting on a journey to a specific destination it is essential to know our present situation. A boat that is lost at sea has no way of knowing in which direction to steer to get to a specific port. It is the same with our personal status. First we must determine our present location before we can decide what actions have to be taken in order to get wherever it is that we want to go in life.
Generally speaking people are in one of three modes. These are, Survival, Vegetating or Mastery modes. The fact that you are reading an article on self-improvement indicates that your target is the Mastery mode. That is the place in life where it is possible to design or create our future. The essential necessities are taken care of. The person has the leisure of choosing where he wants to go and what he wants to do with his life.
If you are fortunate enough to be there already, the world is your oyster and all that you need to do now is to set a life plan and implement it. You are now the Captain of your ship and the Master of your soul. The only thing that you need now is the Ultimate Success formula. That is, 1) Decide what you want. 2) Take action. 3) Notice what's working or not and, 4) Change your approach until you achieve what you want.
The Survival mode is probably the most common state. Paycheck to paycheck hoping and praying that nothing goes wrong to upset the applecart. Life is acceptable. The good times barely outweigh the bad times. It's a place where most people hope that somehow, the wind will start blowing in the favor. Chances are it will not - that is unless major changes happen.
If and when those changes come through they will come from within and not from without. In the overwhelming number of cases people are where they are because of the beliefs that they have and the decisions that they took. Unless those beliefs are changed along with the pattern of decision making the situation will remain pretty well the same.
It is said that if all the money in the world was divided equally among everyone, in less than five years, each of us would be right back where we started from. Same with the level of happiness. Outside influences have little to do with how happy a person is. Happiness is a state of mind and, in most cases, not the effect of circumstances.
In order to gravitate from the Survival mode to the Mastery mode a person must change. New and empowering beliefs must be accepted and old disempowering ones discarded. That can be done by studying almost anyone of a thousand books on self-improvement. These books are actually maps that will show the way to the personal changes needed to accede to a higher plateau of personal condition in all its forms. Emotional, spiritual and material.
The last is the Vegetating mode. The name says it all. This category is made up of a very wide variety of situations and conditions. Some people are content to be there, others are not. It is not for us to judge. We can only wish them well.
It is to be noted that many of us have already been in the three different modes. Most of the time, they are not permanent. But, they all have thing in common. Unless we take personal responsibility for whatever mode that we are in, there is very little that we can do to change that mode.
Changes start with accountability. We must take responsibility for the situation and we must take responsibility for the change. If we do that, almost anything is possible. If not, the status quo or a worsening of the situation is inevitable.