Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a very simple, but profound
statement that literally began a change in me that has led to my extraordinary success in life. The little quip that began my life-long journey to success was, "Nothing great was ever
achieved without enthusiasm".

What stirred the passions ...Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote a very simple, but profound
statement that literally began a change in me that has led to my extraordinary success in life. The little quip that began my life-long journey to success was, "Nothing great was ever
achieved without enthusiasm".

What stirred the passions in my heart and my commitment to self-improvement was the thought that I too could achieve greatness in my life if I had the enthusiasm and commitment to go after the extraordinary. That high school American Literature class that I really did not want to take became the catalyst for my success. If I had not read Emerson, Thoreau and other great American authors
and thinkers, I may not be writing this to you today.

You see, I believe everything that happens to us happens by Infinite design. And sometimes, a high school English class can change your life. You know, one thing leads to another; good or bad.

Do not dwell on the negative; look for the positives in every situation. So instead of locking yourself up in your cage of fears and crying over
past heartaches, embarrassment and failures, treat them as your teachers and they will become your tools in both self-improvement and success.

Do you remember the movie Patch Adams starring Robin Williams? Its one of the great films that will help motivate you to improve yourself. Patch Adams is a medical student who failed to make it through the board exams. After months of suffering in melancholy, depression and suicidal attempts he decided to seek medical attention and voluntarily admitted himself into a psychiatric ward.

His months of stay in this mental hospital led him to meet many different kinds of mentally ill people. He met a catatonic, a mentally challenged, a schizophrenic and so on. Patch found ways of treating his own ailment and finally realized he had to get back on track. He woke up one morning realizing that after all the failure and pains he has gone
through, he still wanted to become the a doctor.

He carries with himself a positive attitude that brought him self improvement and success. He not only improved himself, but also helped the lives of the
people around him. He improved their quality of life. Did he succeed? Some say he became the best doctor this country has ever known.

So, when does self improvement become synonymous with success? How do you go from ordinary success to extraordinary achievement?
Let me share some thoughts with you that will get you on the road to abundant living and success.

See Your Future

The first thing you have to do is stop thinking and feeling as if you are a failure, no matter what your life experiences have been up to now. You have to begin with clean slate. As motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar, says, "You must change your stinkin' thinkin' today". Start focusing on where you want to be. Now put all of your energy into achieving that goal.

Look forward and only use the past as a motivation to drive yourself to new victories. Many people expend far too much energy looking back at their failures and shorcomings. Look for new opportunities to stretch and grow.

Help Others

If you really want to help yourself, then start helping others. That's right, when you help other people who feel so down and low about themselves, as their outlook improves you too will begin to rise up with them. Your confidence will soar and so will your results. Quoting my good friend Zig Ziglar again, "You can get everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want."

Keep Learning

While it has been many years since I attended elementary school, I do remember vividly how I looked forward to each new day of school. Yes, I was
one of those kids who actually liked school. I loved being with my friends. I loved recess. I loved those special occasions where we would have parties
in the classroom. What I really loved was coming to school each day to learn something new.

It was so exciting to learn how to read and write; add and subtract; learning was a passion for me. I wanted to grow and expand my mind, but then
something strange happened. I became an adult and I looked at learning differently. It became a burden. I had too many other responsibilities to worry
about to learn more seemingly useless things.

It was at this same time that I found myself no longer enjoying life with the same enthusiasm as I did as a child. My point is simply this; if you commit yourself to a lifetime of learning you will find that you will rekindle the passion for living
an abundant life. Abundant living leads to extraordinary achievement!

Do The Little Things Too

Self improvement means doing the little things that most people will not do. So many times we get focused on the big, monumental goals and activities
that we forget the smaller fundamental steps that success requires. Warren Buffett grew his financial empire by paying close attention to the details of
each individual business. By doing the little things right, Buffett is now one of the richest men in the world despite starting with only one-thousand dollars
of his own money.

Embrace Change

If you are committed to self-improvement and living an extraordinary life, you must embrace change. You will find that you are constantly evolving in your
knowledge and beliefs so accepting change will be mandatory. In this fast-paced world of technological advancement, if you are not ready accept change,
then your success journey will be short-lived.

Self-improvement is an on-going process. There is no such thing as an "overnight success". There is an ancient proverb that says, When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Are you a student that is ready for extraordinary achievement?

If so, your teachers are here for you. They appear daily for you as parents, employers, co-workers, ministers, neighbors, friends, relatives and people from every walk in life. When we open our doors and our hearts for self improvement, we increase our chances of success on the road of life.

Author's Bio: 

Debbie Schaefer, publisher of SimpleLifeSoulMates.com, the Marriage advice blog and information resource for couples looking for practical advice on how to improve the quality of their marriage and to have a healthy, Happy Marriage with their Soul Mate I want want a Happier Marriage with my Soul Mate now!