The Principles of Self-Management Part One

The starting point of maturity is the realization that “No one is coming to the rescue.” Everything you are or ever will be is entirely up to you.

This life is not a rehearsal for anything else. This is the real thing. The game is on. Time is passing quickly, and all of your decisions and indecisions, your actions and inactions, have added up to create the life you’re living at this very minute. If you want things to be different in the future, you’ll have to make things different in the present. You’ll have to take complete charge of yourself and your life and make things change, because they won’t change by themselves.

Self-management is really personal management, time management, life management. It’s putting your hands firmly on the steering wheel of your life and then taking yourself in your chosen direction. Remember the old Confucian saying, “If you don’t change the road you’re traveling on, you’ll probably end up where you’re going.” Every successful man or woman in America made, at one time or another, a firm decision about where he or she wanted to go and then took deliberate steps to get there. And you can do this for yourself as well.

One of the most useful ideas I ever learned was to view myself as a “bundle of resources.” You can benefit from this idea by standing back and looking at yourself in terms of what you are, instead of what you do. We tend to define ourselves in terms of our work, in terms of what we’re spending most of our time doing at the present moment. When we meet someone, even at a bus stop, we describe ourselves in terms of our jobs.

We say things such as “I’m a salesperson,” “I’m a manager,” or “I work in such-and-such a business doing such-and-such a job.” Since we tend to become what we think about, the more we describe ourselves to others as being what we do, the more we think of ourselves as what we do. Perhaps this is why people who are fired or laid off go through a period of shock and emotional turmoil. it’s as though they’ve been cut off from their identities. You may have had that experience.

The fact is that you’re not what you do. Instead, you’re a bundle of resources. You have the combination of ingredients that makes you a unique and remarkable human being, different from anyone else who ever has lived or who ever will live. You’ve undergone a wide variety of experiences, both positive and negative. You’ve had a formal education, and you’ve learned from the various jobs and activities that you’ve engaged in. You have a unique intelligence, much of which isn’t yet developed to the full. You have skills that you’ve acquired through hard work, discipline and practice.

You have abilities that you were born with, which make it easy for you to do certain jobs and to accomplish certain tasks. You have energy and ambition and goals and opportunities. You have a philosophy of life, however developed it is, and you have attitudes and perspectives that make you extraordinary. The federal government has identified more than 22,000 different job categories; when you put all your skills together, you’re probably capable of excelling at hundreds of jobs, doing different things in different organizations, businesses and industries.

As the psychologist Abraham Maslow once wrote, “The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short.” The average person tends to settle for far less than he’s capable of and then wonders why he’s so dissatisfied and frustrated with his life.

The fact is that you have an inborn drive toward the realization of your full capacity. There’s a force within you that makes you restless and discontent, and that drives you onward and upward toward the achievement of your dreams and aspirations. Many people attempt to deaden that ambition by drinking too much alcohol, watching too much television, socializing too much and even resorting to drugs and dangerous activities. But it will not be denied. You have been put in this world to do something wonderful with your life. You have a unique destiny, a special purpose. And the starting point for realizing that purpose is self-management. It is taking full control over yourself and everything that you are doing so that you are moving progressively toward the realization of a worthy ideal, so that you are firmly on the road toward becoming everything you are capable of becoming.

Stay tuned for “The Principles of Self-Management” Part Two coming next week.

About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Google+, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin and Youtube.

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