Sunday, 26 February 2012


Many years ago I was sent on a self-improvement course which no doubt cost my employers a hefty sum of money. I enjoyed the course a great deal and came away from it with an enhanced life plan in the form of a personal motto.

I thought I might save you some money by telling you the secret of how to do this for yourselves. This is how it goes...

First think of an area of your life which you feel could do with improvement. Perhaps you think that you are not assertive enough or that you feel that you are too egocentric and don't pay enough attention to your family members or work colleagues. In my case I wanted to improve my self-esteem.

Secondly, write down two utterly extreme statements about your theme which express totally opposite opinions. For instance if we take the egocentricity example above you might write down

- I am only interested in myself and intend to take no notice of anyone around me in future (Top of the list)
- I shall devote the rest of my life to other people's concerns and ignore my own needs completely (Bottom of the list)

Now write down other phrases which fall somewhere between these two extreme statements but do this completely at random. So you might write:
- I shall pay attention to the wishes of family members in future but no-one else
- I shall devote one day a week to my own needs and spend the other six caring about others
- I shall spend time each weekend working for a charity
etc. etc.
Keep writing these phrases down until you have at least 30 of them.

When you feel you have exhausted the topic, put the phrases in order between the two extremes i.e. the most self-centred towards the top and the most selfless towards the bottom.

Once you have got them all in order look at the phrases in the middle of the list and choose your motto.

My own self-esteem one turned out to be
'I like to receive praise for what I do but I can cope when I don't get it.'

It's always worked for me.

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