The Principles of Quality

The Principles of Quality cover

Prepare for Improvement


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What Is Quality?

Quality as a Tool for Success

The Necessary Steps Before Personal Improvement Can Occur

The Difference Between Personal Development and Personal Improvement

Quality is so Easy, Why Settle for Less?

Quality is an Attitude

Increase Your Success by Increasing Quality

Responses from

"I am truly blown away."

"If you're looking for immediate results, try applying the principles presented in this book."

"This book has inspired me to raise the bar in all areas of my life, and with your simple and realistic approach, I know that I can!"

Before Personal Improvement Can Occur

Call it personal development, call it self-improvement, or call it what you will, any effort to make one's life better must be solidly founded on three logical truths. Otherwise, results will be hit or miss: sometimes, for some people, a path will work, but more often, it won't. When these truths are known and applied, a person's goals are achievable.

First, there must be purpose.

Merely wanting to improve some aspect of one's life, such as self-esteem, or leadership ability, or parenting skills, or the ability to sink thirty basketball foul shots in a row, will get one started in that direction, but desire alone cannot sustain the effort required. There is little point in saying you want to change your life in some way if you don't actually do anything about it. You need purpose in your life and we can help you find that here.

In any effort, obstacles arise. (If they didn't, no effort would be required, so this is a truism.) One common obstacle is the appearance of a (seemingly or actual) more attractive alternative, which creates a new desire that may be stronger than the original. Another common obstacle is the negative reaction of others, such as ridicule, discouragement, reasons to abandon the desire, and many more. Other obstacles also exist.

Probably everyone can recall a time when he set out to do something and later gave it up. He didn't give it up because he lost the original desire. No, he gave it up because the desire was not founded on a purpose. In fact, somewhere deep down, that original desire no doubt still exists. (Example: I wanted to learn to read ancient Greek when I was in high school. I'd still like to, but I had to search a bit to find that old but still existing desire.)

Purpose alone will carry a person past all opposition.

The purpose must have two characteristics: it must be real, and it must be strong. "Real" means real to that person, even if it is not real to someone else. Alexander the Great's purpose was to rule the world, which probably would not have been real to most people, but was real to him. Having more than one purpose is even better, but there must be at least one.

As an example, say Joe's personal development goal is to manage his anger. Without a real and strong reason (purpose), the chances are good that Joe will become discouraged and decide it is hopeless. With a real purpose, such as wanting to save his marriage, or keep his job, or raise sane children, Joe will persist. If the purpose is strong, that is. A wishy-washy, "that would be nice" purpose is not much better than no purpose at all. Which leads right into truth number two.

Second, there must be conviction.

Joe must know, deep down, that improvement is possible. He might not know how, which is why he is on the quest to find out, but he must know he can and will succeed. He can know this by example -- other people can manage their anger -- or he can know it by self-awareness, or he can know it by desperation (it has to be possible, because the alternative is unacceptable). Well, here is a bit of truth to hang on to: Improvement is possible. Pure logic proves it: Joe is better at some things now than he used to be. It shouldn't take too much thought for Joe to find dozens of things that he is better at now than he was a year ago, five years ago, twenty years ago. Joe can know with conviction that he can improve, because he already has, in many ways, and in many skills.

Third, there must be a quality attitude.

The attitude required to effect any improvement, any development, in oneself or in anything else, is the attitude that "better" is a good direction. That making something or doing something better is preferable to making or doing it worse, or the same.

Actually, this should be the first, not the third, truth, as it underlies everything else. It is placed third here because it sounds so obvious, it doesn't grab one's attention. But it is the most important, First Major Principle of Quality, and quality is what we are talking about: self-improvement and personal development are all about improving the quality of one's life.

This quality attitude is not automatic. Almost everyone recognizes its truth, but very few incorporate it into every aspect of their lives. If more people did, the world would be getting better, not staying the same or getting worse. Fewer marriages would fail, fewer businesses would close, fewer accidents would happen.

A quality attitude must be part and parcel of one's outlook on life before meaningful and stable improvement can occur. It is bedrock. Any improvement which has ever occurred has been based on this attitude, even if only held momentarily.

Fortunately, the quality attitude is incredibly easy to achieve. All one has to do is ask himself "Is doing something better a good thing?" and listen to the answer. If the answer is "yes," you have the attitude, and just have to remember it, and apply it to anything and everything you do. If the answer is "no, things are okay the way they are," then slap your wrist and ask the question again. Almost anything, any process, any product, any action can be improved. But it won't be, unless someone thinks that improving it is a good direction to go.

When a person understands and applies these three truths, he can and will achieve his personal development, self-improvement goals. Every time.

Anyone Can Improve His or Her Life: The Principles of Quality goes into much greater depth about the quality attitude and making things better than this little essay can, and makes everything very easy.

Have fun with it. Let me know how it goes for you.

Copyright テつゥ 2009 by Don Dewsnap
All rights reserved worldwide.