Finding the Good Life: Self Help

You are the most important project you will ever work on. Your achievement of success (ie., success as defined by YOU!), happiness, and fulfillment will mean more to you than anything else in life.

As they say in success seminars, YOU ARE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT INVESTMENT. They're trying to get your money, but that doesn't make the idea any less true.

If someone gave you a million dollars today, would you know what to do with it? Would you know how to invest it? Would you know how to use it to increase your security and happiness?

The results in your life all come back to YOU. If YOU aren't mentally and emotionally prepared to face challenges -- and let's face it, even winning a million dollars is a challenge -- then things are not going to turn out well for you. Lots of people have won money, only to lose it, squander it, or become miserable as a result of it. They weren't prepared for the challenge it presented.

How do you GET mentally and emotionally prepared for the good life?

You have to HELP YOURSELF. You can do this by learning the tricks of successful and happy people. You can also do this by experimenting with your own life. What makes you happy? What seems to "work" for you?

Some Suggestions

Here are some suggestions for improving your life from Dr. Julian Whitaker, a leading physician:

Pay Yourself First

Every wealth-building book I've read, and every seminar I've been to, has stressed the idea that you should PAY YOURSELF FIRST by saving 10-15 % of your income. You should set that aside before you spend money on anything else.

The same principle applies to your life. The first "to do" item on your list every day should be to improve YOURSELF. Exercise more, keep a thought journal, read a good book on an area you need to improve, take a class at night. DO SOMETHING for yourself.


"Whatever you do, do it with all your might. Work at it, early and late, in season and out of season, not leaving a stone unturned, and never deferring for a single hour that which can be done just as well now" (P.T. Barnum, 1890).


Here's another quote to further pound the point:

"..chance favours the mind that is prepared" (Pasteur).

The Importance of Goals

"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about" (Charles Kingsly).

Henry Ford (1863-1947) said that "Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal." Even more important is that if you don't have goals, ALL you will see is obstacles. This does not make life more enjoyable.

Alan Kaye said, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it." This is exactly what you do with goals. Things don't "happen to you," instead you "make things happen." It's very exciting. Try it!

Do Whatever It Takes

"Art begins with craft, and there is not art until craft has been mastered" (Anthony Burgess).


Winners do what losers aren't willing to do. It's as simple as that.

If you want something, and want it badly enough, you are going to have to do whatever it takes to achieve your goal. Just doing what you prefer doing won't cut it.

"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." (Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826)


This is the real secret to success: hard work. And this is also the real secret to setting appropriate goals for yourself. You have to decide if doing whatever it takes--the cost--is worth the result.

A desire without the willingness to do whatever it takes is just a dream. The first step to finding out which it is for you is to develop a plan. That plan, if properly developed and researched, will tell you what it will take in terms of time, work, money, etc., to achieve that particular goal.

"Whenever I feel the need for exercise I go and lie down for half an hour until the feeling passes" (Will Rogers). This quote is the perfect example. Will Rogers had probably been told, like everyone else, that he ought to work at being physically fit. But to him, the cost was not worth the result.

Read Good Books

I am not speaking here of "good books" in the sense of great literary works (although time spent reading them is certainly a form of self improvement). I am speaking of books that are good for improving and/or inspiring YOU... in order to make YOUR life better, happier, more successful, more fulfilling.

Think about this. If you don't read books which help you change your life for the better, you might as well be illiterate. Do you think of yourself as not being able to read at all? If not, then why aren't you reading what's available out there to your life better?

Obviously, a list of books to improve YOUR life is going to vary a lot from a similar list for other people. Your challenges and what inspires you will not be the same as for me. However, since finding good books is often a challenge, I would like to suggest some titles. Take a look at these links:

Improving YOU

Life-Changing Books

Works Cited

Whitaker, Julian. The Whitaker Wellness Program: Part 2. Potomac, MD: Phillips Publishing, Inc., no date/copy received May, 2000.

Colby Glass, MLIS