A lot of people don’t understand the value of self-improvement, or they would rather sit and complain about their problems and not do anything about it. In case you’re one of the people not doing anything because you don’t know what you should be doing, perhaps this can help you. Strangely enough, some of these rules apply for business, just as well as for personal use.

1. Compete only with yourself

Seriously, a lot of people screw up, and try to compare what they’re doing against something someone else is doing. You know just as well as I do, how awful and annoying it is for someone else to say, “well, so and so does it THIS way”. If it makes you mad, chances are you want to say “but I’m NOT that person!” which would be rightfully so. So don’t do it to yourself. Focus only on being better at the same thing than you were the day before. Rinse, wash, and repeat.

2. Take Charge of Your Life

I hear a lot of people complain how they feel they’ve lost control of their lives, but nothing about how they’re planning on taking control back. Even fewer will ever admit to the things they did to lose that control, if they even know the cause.

The first step towards correcting this problem, is to stand in front of a mirror, and tell yourself, “I WILL get my life back!” followed with developing a serious plan to fix your problem.

If you’re not trying to fix things, you have absolutely no right to complain. Your friends and family will thank you for keeping your mouth shut about your problems, until then.

3. Self-Improvement is Continuous

Once you start trying to better yourself, never stop. This isn’t a trip with a start and an end, unless you realize that the “end” is the day you die. With that said, understand you WILL have setbacks, and you can’t let them be the reason you stop.

4. Never Give Up

Too many people struggle with this. The problem with our society, is too many people expect an easy road, or some simple step-by-step instructions with some sort of guaranteed results. If you think that’s what this article is, do us both a favor and stop reading now. If you realize that life is a daily struggle, and know it’s worth fighting for every day to make things better for yourself and those around you, then keep reading.

5. Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself

I see this ALL the time, and it’s one of the most disappointing traits you can find in a person. Think about everything I’ve said so far, and you’ll see why this is absolutely critical. Just because something bad has happened to you, doesn’t mean you get to shut down, hide in a hole, and take some sort of vacation from life. You’re an adult, knock that shit off. Grow up, and get back in the fight that is life.

6. Take Responsibility for Your Failures

Everyone wants to take credit for their successes, but no one wants to admit that they’re the reason they failed. But, if you’ve experienced any failure at all in your life, chances are you were a major contributing factor to this. Did you lose a job? Did you get excluded from a business deal? Are friends not hanging around you so much anymore? If your finger is pointing at anyone else but the person you see in the mirror, you’re already looking in the wrong place. YOU did something to lose your job. YOU did something to lose out in business. YOU did something to alienate your friends. Now, I don’t mean to say there weren’t external factors that might possibly be out of your control, however the first place you should always look is yourself. So what if you got laid off? Try to find out why you weren’t prioritized to stay with your colleagues; there is almost always a reason. As far as business deals and friends go, think about what you might be doing that pushes people away.

7. Get off your ass and get to work

You want to know the number one reason most people fail? They’re fucking lazy. Some people seem to think that putting out a minimum effort should yield maximum results. That’s not how the world works, buddy. Chances are, people see this in you, and it is a major contributing factor to failures in life. You might blame depression, or other people for why you don’t try harder, but if you aren’t willing to change this mindset don’t expect to get anywhere in life.

Most of the time, when people say why they don’t try harder, it goes right back to everything else I’ve mentioned already, especially points 5 and 6. Just knock it off, quit being lazy, and understand that in order to accomplish something you’ve never done before, you have to be willing to do things you’ve not been willing to do before. Staying in your “safety zone” is the most dangerous thing you can do.

8. Always have a plan, and keep it in motion

Nothing in life is a 1-2 step process, that you are then finished. Everything requires a plan of action, that can never end. You’re always going to be in a position to cycle and recycle yourself through the same things every day, every week, until the day you die. Don’t know what you’ve got going on tomorrow? There’s your problem.

9. Work for Everything You Have

No one owes you a damn thing, so stop thinking that way. Not even the government owes you a fucking thing. Welfare is not a lifestyle, people who have nice things generally have earned them, and unless you’re set to inherit any money, property, or other things, you’ve got to work for all of it unless you’re planning to starve.

If you do starve, don’t expect anyone to feel sorry for you. I sure as hell won’t.

10. Take Full Advantage of Every Opportunity, Every Day

The easiest thing to do, is to just ignore things that you don’t want to deal with, or know how to. Problem is, many opportunities present themselves in this format, and if you don’t take advantage of it someone else will. You don’t have the right to complain when this happens. If there is something you can do today to make tomorrow better, then do it without delay. Otherwise, you will never get better, you will never have forward motion, and you’ll stay stuck in the same place in life you are right now, in this very moment.