The goal of this website is to be a safe for souls website advancing Catholic thinking and education. When editing, please adhere to the Content Standards.
Some images have been enhanced for teaching purposes and may not be identical to the original artwork.
Self-improvement is the act of improving one's thoughts, words, and actions. Life is a never-ending journey, a series of lessons, and by viewing each occurrence as a learning experience, the individual is able to get the most out of life. By striving to attain or relearn certain desirable characteristics, the individual is able to improve their outlook on life as well as their interactions with others.
The first step in self-improvement is finding one's inner peace. Through peace, we gain serenity. Through serenity, we gain knowledge. Through knowledge, we gain understanding. Through understanding, we gain wisdom.
Peace and Serenity
Peace is inner calm – freedom from mental agitation or disturbance. As one attains a state of mental and spiritual peace, that peacefulness eminates from the individual, resulting in serenity – a deep, encompassing peace in one's mind, body, and surroundings. It is manifested by harmonious relationships, tranquility of spirit, and gentle resolution of conflicts (peacemaking).
Self-Control is having detachment from one's emotions so one can step back and thoughtfully choose one's words, attitudes, and actions to enable one to act for the good of others without being led astray by the emotions of oneself or others. It is the ability to accept whatever comes one's way with the forbearance to demonstrate reasonableness and sensibility in the midst of the trials of life.
Integrity is having the courage and discernment to reach decisions and conclusions in adherence with one's principles and what is right, while resisting the tests and trials presented by the popular and tempting disorderliness in society. It is the daily process of freeing oneself from influences and attachments that keep one from following their principles in order to maintain a clean, pure mind. Every task is a step in completing one's life purpose, and one should use their energy to give it their complete and undivided attention so it is completed with the proper care in an efficient and effective manner. Honesty, integrity in one's speech, is proclaiming the truth in all situations. Loyalty, integrity in one's commitments, is dedicating oneself to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or course of action, using difficult times to demonstrate one's commitment to others or to what is right by adhering to one's agreement. Responsibility is being completely accountable for all one's actions. Honor is upholding the dignity of all, adhering to one's principles, and keeping one's agreements. Giving approval to that which is good.
Excellence is giving one's complete and undivided attention to a task, which demonstrates one's ability for extraordinary achievement. When one shows initiative and diligence by recognizing and completing tasks without having to be asked to do them, they demonstrate good leadership skills. It is keeping one's mind, body, and surroundings clean and orderly to enable greater efficiency and effectiveness.
Balance can be used in many areas in life. It is using one's time, energy, and resources in a wise and efficient manner to maintain harmony and order in one's own life and in the world at large. It is manifested by gracefulness, harmony, and moderation in one's thoughts, words, attitudes, and actions. It is a sense of awe and wonder for the Source of life, as well as the harmony, color, and loveliness of the world.
Purposefulness is wholeheartedly doing what one senses needs to be done. It is recognizing and focusing on one's purpose in life and its significance so one can fulfill it.
Courage is having the determination to persist in what is right and just in the face of danger and pain, since doing what is right will bring ultimate victory, regardless of the opposition. Chivalry is courageously protecting the weak, suffering, and neglected by maintaining justice and righteousness. Assertiveness is being confident that what one has to say is true, right, and just, enabling them to have the courage to tell the truth and set clear boundaries.
Humility is openness to every lesson life brings and is manifested by a willingness to be trained and receive guidance, in the form of instruction, correction, or new ideas. It is being thankful for and generously acknowledging other's contributions. If others mention your achievements, accept their praise with gratitude, but do not continue talking about yourself. It is being receptive to the blessings and surprises in life, with an attitude of gratitude for living, learning, loving, and being. It is showing sincere gratitude and appreciation, as well as the worth of a person, by giving them one's complete and undivided attention as one listens. It is having the integrity to conquer one's passions, while recognizing the strength of the emotions that occasionally overwhelm them. It is fulfilling instructions for the good of others or to please the one being served. It is having control over and taking full responsibility for one's actions and choices, including one's mistakes and weaknesses.
Mindfulness is having the inner calm, reflectiveness, and attentiveness to recognize the true spirit, feelings, emotions, thoughts, words, attitudes, actions, and needs of oneself and others, as well as having awareness of one's surroundings, so one will have the correct responses to whatever may occur, recognizing how their actions will affect the future before making a decision. It is being wise, careful, and safety-oriented in a hazardous or dangerous situation, realizing the importance of correct timing in accomplishing a task. It is having the clarity of soul to wisely and objectively discern what is essential and true, through contemplating the obscure or intuitive and understanding people and situations. It is having the foresight to plan ahead by organization and preparation of oneself and one's surroundings, and perceive the significance and the nature of events before they occur. It is the realization that there is a power and presence greater than oneself. Intuition is immediate cognition without the use of rationalization or inference.
Knowledge, Understanding, and Wisdom
Curiosity is the desire to gain knowledge by becoming acquainted with facts, truths, or principles through study or investigation. Verifying what one learns, in order to ensure it is true, leads to depth and broadness in one's heart and mind.
Understanding is the capacity to be insightful and exhibit intelligence in one's perceptions of ideas and feelings, enabling one to comprehend and discern through logic and inferences. It is accurately comprehending others' feelings.
Wisdom is the quality of being prudent and sensible in one's discernments by utilizing one's knowledge and experience as well as common sense, insight, and intuition. It is learning to see and respond correctly to situations with keen judgment and applied knowledge. It enables one to structure their life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken.
Adaptability and Optimism
Adaptability is having the calm flexibility to adapt to the fluctuating circumstances of life by patiently accepting or tolerating people, circumstances, or delays which are unexpected, irritating, unpleasant, harsh, or difficult with good grace--embracing life the way it unfolds. It is recognizing the proper use of one's gifts, abilities, talents, and opportunities. If things are not as we would like, we should accept them with humor and grace, being content with what is offered instead of desiring that which one cannot have. We have enough, and we are enough. One should learn to appreciate the simple things in life. Approach each task from a new perspective to creatively add beauty, harmony, and color to the world. Additionally, if one is natural and unplanned, one is more open to inspiration, which ignites one's ingenuity. The imagination is a wonderful tool to develop new and original ideas and inventions, especially in an artistic context.
Optimism is seeing the best in all things, especially the possibilities and capacities of the human heart, regardless of the circumstances. It is supporting, inspiring, and encouraging others to continue or develop confidently. One's resilience brings peace and joy to others by enriching their lives. One's inner youthfulness perceives and expresses that which is amusing or comical, lightening the hearts of those around them. One should look for the bright side in all things, and the good in whatever happens. Look toward the future with the peaceful assurance that all will turn out for the best in the end, living each moment in happy anticipation of what is to come.
Selflessness and Compassion
Selflessness is having true concern for the wellbeing of others before oneself, without expecting a reward or having one's own reward as their motive. It is making one's own schedule and priorities second to the needs of others. It is surrendering one's wants for a greater cause, giving all for what one believes and for the benefit of others. It is investing excellence in all one does to care for and meet the needs of others. It is providing useful assistance to others, manifested by a kindly and helpful disposition. It is the disposition to be patient, caring, and humble, yielding one's power, rights, and expectations with the desire to serve.
Compassion is identifying with and understanding others' situations, feelings, and motives, while desiring to do something about it, investing whatever is necessary to heal and alleviate the hurts and distresses of others by having the willingness to bear their pain. It flows freely from the heart when one lets go of resentment and makes the decision to move forward and bring peace and joy to others through their helpfulness and merciful empathy beyond what is deserved. It is giving one's undivided attention to the people and things that matter to them. It is blessing others with warmth and well-meaning. It is the realization that all one's time, talents, and gifts are given for the benefit of all. It is being hospitable toward others by sharing one's food, shelter, time, and money as well as spiritual refreshment with those who come into one's life, giving fully and sharing freely, trusting there is plenty for everyone. It is the quality of being gentle and mild toward others, especially in one's manners and dispositions. It is moving wisely, touching softly, speaking quietly, and thinking kindly. It is a deep, tender, ineffable affection for others arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
Diplomacy is demonstrating courtesy and tact in one's interactions with others by discerning what to say, when to say it, and how to say it kindly and considerately, graciously giving guidance that will lead others to confirm the truth so they can reach a positive conclusion about a decision or course of action. Grace is a disposition toward kindness and compassion, a benign good will that is open to the bounties of life, while reflecting gentleness and beauty in the way one speaks, acts, and moves. It is polite, respectful, and proper to avoid those words, actions, and attitudes which could result in undesirable consequences, so one should limit what they say or do, so as not to offend others. When one is presented with a difficult situation, creating new ideas, thinking independently, and expanding truths from an independent viewpoint are invaluable skills. Accepting other's differences and refraining from judging others is an important aspect of diplomacy. It is also vital that one learns, by word and deed, to accept and respect others as valuable individuals, regardless of their maturity or differences, and it is especially important to respect their time, which is a limited resource. All life is to be treated with dignity and honor, and one should be aware of the people and events that bring about changes in their own life and in the lives of others. One should protect the rights of all people, including oneself, in an impartial manner, upholding what is pure, right, and true as well as making amends when others have been hurt or wronged. Viewing situations objectively, free from bias and favoritism, allows the individual to make a just, equitable decision.
Harmony is maintaining peace in all circumstances by finding the unity of all things in the midst of diversity. It is cooperation and collaboration to attain a certain goal that will provide a common benefit, using the various gifts of each individual. It is also creating or maintaining a peaceful and orderly environment by properly arranging and planning ahead.
This category currently contains no pages or media.