Eight Steps of Self Improvements (Cubical Model)

                                           By Ashutosh Karnatak

Man is not perfect ; He needs improvement every minute , if he realizes so ;Most of the person feels that they are perfect ,what ever they think , that is the thinking pattern etc etc . It really does not help them to grow in life. One should always have open mind to accept their weaknesses and be open for improvement .The first step in this direction is to know your strengths and shortcomings, it is prudent to take action for improvements so that the personality can be developed to become effective, efficient, and successful. Some of the self-improvement techniques are as under:

Eight steps of self - Improvement:

It is analogous to go for a morning walk when doctor advises for the same after checkup for heart disease. You must develop an attitude toward improvements rather for continuous improvement. Decision is also required to be taken: what you want to be and by which time. The road of success goes through the terrain undergoes through improvement trial.

Steps of the self – improvement scheme as per Cubicle Model are as under:

Step-1: Attitude: It is the approach toward anything in life. What is your perception, how you behave in difficult situations, what is attitude on start of work etc? It encompasses other parameters, described below:

1.1: Plus Mental Attitude: Until unless you open all the windows of your mind, you cannot take the suggestions or ideas of improvement. Therefore, the first requirement is to have plus mental attitude that can do whatever you want to do. 

It has been rightly said ,

“For a plus attitude person all the doors have handles and hinges,and to negative attitude person all the doors have hinges and locks.”- ASIF E.O.

An ugly face can attract many, if smiling. A sales person can sell his product easily, if smiling. Many quarrels can be avoided, if you keep on smiling. In fact, smiling not only avoids these things but also makes you happy and keeps you free from many diseases. Many serious issues can be sorted out easily, if you are in a happy mood. Happy mind is nothing but a state of mind, under bliss. Here again role of the mind conscious or subconscious comes in to the picture. Smiling face may find difficult in that situation, while frowning face may find difficult in that situation. Happy attitude person shall have less tension because he does not pay much heed to such situation. So why not opt for maintaining smiling face and having happy attitude?

1.2: Visionary approach: It is told that where people have no vision, people perish .Thinking ahead is essential for progress in life. Having very low targets are not going to fetch better results. Proper vision leads to plan your action to achieve it and become successful. One of the Indian companies M/s Reliance India Industry. Vision for future helps in planning resources, action etc. It is like playing chess, where player thinks at least four steps ahead then he moves his pawns. So such a visionary approach is required to be developed.

1.3: Emotional Control: “Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are created by man” – Benjamin Disraeli.

Proper emotional management is a key to success. Controlling emotion is an art. Many persons have been noticed not displaying emotions even under the worst situations. Channeling emotions in the right direction is required. Many a time improper emotional disturbances cause problems. Emotional setbacks of past, to be converted into positive one by treating them as an event of long past. In fact, can you rectify your past? No. Only proper care is required to be taken for future and need have being emotional on the past setbacks is required to be avoided. One also becomes emotionally disturbed, when somebody criticizes him. Take criticism sportingly, which, if correct, requires improvement. If you ask somebody to indicate your shortcomings, he will hesitate to list it out, but by your just estimate, you are able to identify the same. Thus, emotional balance is required to be cultivated for better image and for enhancing the level have plus attitude.

1.4: Teamwork: In this work, it is very difficult to go alone. Every step we have to seek help from others in some form of other. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain, at least, workable relation with everybody, whosoever comes in to the contact and further develop a tendency to take your associates along with you. It matters at home, at school, at office, everywhere. Ultimate power is synergetic. It comes from people working together, not working apart.In taking other together, if we encounter some losses, it is better to bear it. When you sacrifice something, the enjoyment of achievement becomes double fold. Moreover, if you want to establish your leadership among people, then you will have to sacrifice in some from or other i.e. the form of time, money, health etc… etc… Whenever self-interest, comes in between, although, you may succeed, but it will be short lived.

1.5: Winning Attitude: Attitude plays a major role in success of any person. Possibility of success increases, when you go into the work with Winning Attitude. In fact, winning attitude keeps you mind in positive bias and all the hurdles in your way does not stand in front of your winning mental attitude and consequently you hit the target. As explained earlier to have self- image of a winner, when we undertake any work. It really makes lot of difference. In fact, it facilitates in aligning all the energy i.e. mental or physical in one direction needed for achieving the goal.So, ponder the work with winning attitude and get success and the taste of success is like the reaction of U232, where after one reaction the chain reaction starts with release of lot of energy .In the same way, one success paves the way for another success, provided you have winning attitude.

1.6 Problem Solving: Problem-solving attitude is also very essential to have success in life. In fact, this virtue helps a lot in getting help from others. Do not be a problem creator, be a problem solver. In fact, problem can be created by anybody but can be solved by a very few. Develop a habit of resolving the problem, as soon as you encounter it. Do not linger it, because nobody will come to solve your problems. In addition to the advantage that problem is solved, problem-solving attitude helps you in developing friendship with others and your acceptability in society, in family, in friends circle shall enhance. After practicing it for some time, you will notice a change in behavior, change in thinking etc. etc.

Step –2.0:Goal:
“Persons are not lazy, they simply have impotent goals – that is goals don’t inspire them” – Anthony Robbins. 

Role and goal are interlinked with each other. To achieve any goal, one has to perform the particular role. Better, define you role clearly to achieve the goal. Further.

2.1:Think carefully what you want to be: The first requirement is to decide about the goal i .e. what you want to be . An overweight person may decide to look slim - its a decision, or a desire . It has to be decided firmly , because subsequent actions are based on it . Any such decision should be taken after weighing all the pros and cons , because once you go ahead , then retreating shall be difficult because plus attitude will not like to you to go back . Thus thoughtful decision is required to be taken for “ What you want to be”. It is not necessary that all such improvements are done at a time . Sequential improvements are also advisable , as you are able to know the results of previous improvement undertaken.

2.2: Goal Clarity : As explained earlier that clarity of goal is a MUST , for achieving any goal. Identification of short and long term goals can be made. Ask yourself - what is your goal ? Most of the persons are not clear about it and as soon as they identify it , they achieve it. In fact ,to carry out day to day work , the goals/ targets can be identified and based at the same time you can plan your resources for completion of the particular job . If this methodology is followed , it is certain that you will achieve the goals . The trick is to divide the total work in small parts and strive to achieve them gradually keeping the target date in view. Completion of all small parts shall lead to achieving the goal . While doing the works in part, doing some works in parallel.

2.3: Period of Goals: Any work without goal and time is like a traveling in the desert, where you do not know the destination as well as the timings. You just travel and all the directions looks same .It is therefore prudent to define the target with a time frame. You can have long and short-term targets / goals. Long-term targets will prompt you to define short-term targets to achieve the same The short-term targets can further be fractured into small monthly, weekly, and daily targets/ one should strictly follow the schedule of completion. It will also strengthen the consciousness for time.

Step 3: Role:  We can compare our life as a drama. From child hood until the death, we perform many roles. Our performance in all the roles is different. It depends upon our capacity and capability to perform the specific role.During childhood, role of a child is to be performed. When we attain youth hood as a student and as an obedient son/ daughter the role is transformed. When we go to playground, as a player our role starts whereas in the drama we play as an actor. As we grow old, other role like employee/ employer, brother, husband/ wife, parent etc is to be performed.A Successful person tries to perform this role effectively and do not mix them. It is really worth noting those efforts are required to do the different roles separately without interference of one role another.Generally, it is seen that person mixes their different roles and unable to get desired results and some time has to face failures. It can be explained, as a male student has to perform four roles of a son, a brother, a student, and a player of cricket. Now, he does not follow the advice of his parents and not performing well in the class. Then, it can be construed that he is not performing well in the role of a son and a student.In fact, all the roles are equally important, for a successful person. One should not loose the sense of proportion and try to balance it and they do not try to find out fault in others. In the day-to-day life it has been seen that a person try to encroach upon the role of the other person, whereas he is not able to perform his role effectively. These types of tendencies need to be shunning off. Better, concentrate on your role.It may engrave in your mind that you and only you have to perform his role in life; we cannot perform the role of other. We can prompt others to do better than doing his role and blaming him for not performing well.One can select the different roles to be done by prioritizing them may be in the form of STATEMENT of PURPOSE (SOP). E.g.. My Purpose of Life is to be Good Manager, an obedient son, a prominent Orator. This statement fixes the priority of purpose as Manager, Son, and Orator. It keeps each role clearly before you. You can review your role frequently to make sure that you do not totally absorbed by one role to the exclusion of others that are equally or even more important in your life. Homemakers that their husbands are coming late in home have seen it frequently and they are very busy in office that their time at home is very less. Here the particular person is engrossed in one role and neglected the other one. One of the Directors of the company has given his life for the projects of the company, but in turn, he has neglected his family, resulting into indulgence of his son to Drugs. It is ample clear that he has not performed well in other roles.So, define you roles clearly and try to live with that and never mix one role with other. 

Step 4.0: Perseverance: All successful persons have one common quality – which is perseverance. Thompson Edison tried more than 10000 experiments before incandescent lamp was invented. After, every successful experiment he tried for something more and at every step, he was inventing which was not known earlier, but it would not have been possible, had he lost his perseverance. People have been seen striving for some objects for years, before they get success. This quality is required to be developed gradually. Hurdles are bound to come, don’t stop- carry on the journey, until the work is completed. Means to overcome difficult situations will come automatically requirement is perseverance. So develop perseverance.

5.0: Time budgeting/Management:“Busy person has time for everything”- Henry Ford Now a days every second individual has paucity of time . It is true that if time is not utilized properly , it is not going to come again and to do the left out works , time allocated for other activities is to be utilized .It is also worthwhile that efficient time budgeting is required for competing in this world . While writing on the subject , some of my friend asked that how you do so much work , I can n’t understand. My reply was plain and I gave it with a smile , ‘I steal those moments which you leave’ . So , there is a need of time budgeting as per the requirement of the individual . Like energy , conservation efforts are required for Time also . Money can be recovered , if lost , but time can not be recovered , once passed. Thus , time has to be utilised very consciouly . If it can be followed then rate of disposal of work shall be faster and one can achieve desired results within stipulated time . 

5.1: Procrastination: Procrastination is also a tendency found among most of the people in day-to-day life. We do our work at the last moment, it may be deposition of child fee, may be electricity bill, or some thing else. What prompts you to make delay? It is nothing but your procrastinating tendencies. You have to hold it back.It was told to me by my close associated that during the regime of X chief minister, there was no problem, his governance was clean. I was surprised really. He told further that it was because he had not cleared any file, thus no failure, and in the mean time, he was ousted from the job. This delaying tendency in decision-making is called procrastination. Many people follow this trait and are not able to take any decision, because they delay the things knowingly or unknowingly and when it becomes their habit, they find it difficult to come out of it.The solution is to act on the problem immediately i.e.

ACTION JUST NOW. This policy is helpful to take you out of this habit. After implementing this habit, you will notice that nothing is pending with you and your productivity is increasing day by day and rate of crossing targets shall improve. For any work, reflex of mind should be “Action Just Now”. This reflex is to be generated from subconscious mind and you have to store this instruction in subconscious mind so that whenever such circumstances come, it should give instruction to conscious to take action.

5.2: Pyramid Model of time: Time is essence of life, particularly in the cut- throat environment of competition. Everybody wants do amass the wealth within the shortest time. A successful person utilizes the time as per the priority of the work. Pyramid model given below ,shall be useful to prioritize your works and optimizing your time :Works can be categorized as:

1) General;                   2) Important;
3) Urgent;                    4) Critical

Day to day works are received at the General level and due to sluggishness their level is upgraded to urgent or critical level. Efforts are required to complete the work before it becomes Urgent. Try to play between General and Important. Prioritize the works as per mentioned categories and allocate time accordingly. Critical works if not completed in time shall go beyond your control and you will receive failure, because the work was not done in time. You and only you are responsible to allow the work to cross to higher degree. Avoid allowing it to cross to URGENT region. Recently in a magazine, there was an article about a man managing 20 companies as chair or as Director. Imagine how he would be managing the show. His success speaks it self, by providing him birth in so many companies as one of the top notch. Plan your day in such a manner that you are able to complete all the work within time. Have a daily schedule of work and implement it; do not waste time. Time never comes back; Make himself conscious about TIME.

Step- 6.0: Initiative: Generating a habit to take initiative helps a lot in life. If you feel that somebody will come to you and feed you, it rarely happens. Always develop a desire or aptitude to take initiative .If Almond Hillary would not have taken initiative in climb on Mt.Everest, his name would not have been in the annals. You, have to take initiative to improve yourselves. There is a link between initiative and desire. In order to have initiative you should have desire for improving yourself. It has been seen that a person does the work only limited to assign to him. Although he completes the work but he does not apply or take initiative to do a step further, which may require to be done after some time. Such sort of person suffers for a habit of non- initiation. Mr. Vankatanidyu one of the senior leaders of one the political party in India has raised to this height due to his nature of taking INITIATIVE. He was able to feed to his political master to all the related answers, which he could have asked. He plans the expected question in his mind and gets answers of the same form his information network, before going to his political master.

So, start taking initiative. You may not find yourself comfortable to start with, but later on this new habit will fetch you tremendous results.

6.1: Desire to do extra: In this competitive world, where average intelligentsia of the people is almost same, then how to be a front-runner? It is million-dollar question. The requirement of the day is to work EXTRA or SOMEWHAT MORE than others. We have seen in 100 M world athletic race that the winner ha to work EXTRA, in the same way if you want to go ahead, you to be different from others in planning, mobilization resources etc. etc.An extra mile is the formula of success.

Step 7.0 Food habits, Physical and Mental health: It has been seen when a person attains the age of 40 many sort of problem related to health starts, whereas during this time only his career graph is takes shape. Bad health gives birth to stress and stress reduces the productivity of an individual.

Thus, health requires to be maintained for a successful life.Change your food habits, if required to do so. Take only that food , which suits to your body. Avoid oils, stale and other foods. Eating less is also as good for a disease free life.As far as Physical and mental health is concern, daily exercise in one form or other can be adopted in any to day life. Make a routine like taking breakfast. It has been seen that people complain that they do not have time for doing exercises. If you ask them that how you get time for Lunch, dinner or any other work, they cannot replay. In fact, time has also to be taken out for this work also. Make it a part of your system, may be for a small duration and after some time, when it becomes part of your system you will enjoy it and shall find difficult to live without it.

Fresh mind is source of solutions to different problems. A stale mind is not able to take appropriate decisions. Therefore maintaining good and sound mind is necessary for taking decision and developing positive attitudes. Daily meditative exercises, worship etc shall be helpful in achieving the sound status of mind. It is worth mentioning here that the result of the same can be noticed only after following the above.Better, adopt it, if not at present, in the system of daily life.

Step 8.0 Improvements:

8.1: Learning from the past: A person is able to get solution to the problems if he recalls the past, when he encountered the similar problem. If he has taken wrong action at that time, he should take corrective action for the same and implement the same for avoiding reoccurrence of the same.

8.2: Always ready for improvement:It has not been heard so far that particular student has scored 100% mark, or any work has been completed with 100% perfection. Attitude for perfection is to be developed along with the approach of continuous improvement. Now a days to develop quality consciousness standards like ISO-9000, TQM, Kaizan etc. are in practice, these are nothing but put emphasis on developing systems and practicing accordingly, and in case of any fault, corrective action to be taken. In social field, feedback can be taken from colleagues; friends, family members etc. etc. to indicate any shortcoming and try to improve that. This improvement is only Acceptance of shortcomings is PLUS

8.3: Corrective Actions: A positive attitude person never hesitates in taking corrective actions, whenever required in the life. In fact, corrective actions develop your personality; multifaceted changes in life can be experienced. You turn into proactive instead of reactive, which is desirable from a successful person. Thus, take corrective actions whenever required.

All the eight steps mentioned above are need not to be taken up at one go. Develop a plan for gradual improvement and implement it. DO A MONTHLY REVIEW of improvements? Sincere efforts shall yield you positive results and change you to a POSITIVE / PLUS ATTITUDE person.“Try to drive the car of your LIFE at different gears and based on different speed, change the gear i.e. change the attitudes etc. of your life and reach to destination safely”- Ashutosh Karnatak

Future Forecast: August 2005

Auspicious Days: 1, 4, 7, 10, 19,21,23,27 August 2005  

Decision in haste may be problematic at later date .Physical hurts are indicate during the month ; Victory over opponents is indicated and sudden surprises shall be experienced on this account ; Younger shall be continued to be a cause of concern; People shall take advantage of your liberty .

Health of the life partner shall make you bit tense ; Partners in business shall trouble you ; Don’t compromise with your values ; Unnecessary expenditures need to be controlled ; Impulsive actions shall put you in trouble ;Pending works shall find a pace, which shall give you reward at the later date .

Better avoid giving unwanted advice; Most of the time shall be wasted in luxurious activities; Profits are indicated in business activities; eye related trouble would take you to hospital; Property related matter should fetch you good dividend.

Difference in opinion is indicated with superiors ; Health relate problems shall crop up at home ;Children shall also be cause of concern; More responsibilities shall be given at work ,particularly related to leadership; Name and fame will wax in the later half of the month .

General prosperity shall be experienced during the month; One side promotions etc shall be on official front, other side money shall flow from different sources; Harmony shall prevail at home; Good news shall be received from children’s front ; More responsibilities shall be given in office .

More consciousness is required towards health; Old pending money is likely to come; Professional advancements are indicated including up-gradation of the level; General comfort shall be available to live; Endeavors shall be made to maintain it; Progress in academic works.

Difference of opinion with some of family members is indicated ; Help shall be extended by superiors at work; Material tendencies shall increase ,which shall cause outflow of money; Care need to be taken while dealing with opposite sex.

Better to maintain low profile during the month; Friendship relate issues are required to be dealt with caution; Health of life partner shall be a cause of concern; Property related issues shall crop up ; Situation shall improve on the later half of the month.

Health an mood of the life partner need to be taken care of; Some of the issues made lead to confusions ; Journeys shall not be beneficial; Superiors shall be less benign on you ;Property related issues may develop tension; Change of residence or place is indicated .

Victory over enemies is indicated; Inflow of money indicated from different; Courageous actions or deeds shall help in getting you accolades; Loss to any kith and kin is indicated; Health related issues need to death without any delay.

Journey to distant place is likely to take place; Caution is required on issues pertaining to children; mental disturbance shall be prevailing; later half of the month shall prize you with victory over opposition; Help from friends shall be there.

Mental disturbance shall impede the progress; Due to excess work mental as well physical fatigue shall be experienced; Property related issues to be dealt with caution; Auspicious ceremonies shall be celebrated at home.

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