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What The Great Gatsby Can Teach You About Personal Growth

personal-growthThe Great Gatsby is considered a literary masterpiece. It was named the best American novel of the 20th century by the Modern Library, and it inspired two blockbuster movies. While it’s better known for the story of a Jazz Age romance, there’s also some advice on personal growth that’s still relevant today.

While Jay Gatsby didn’t live to enjoy a happy ending, he did come a long way from a North Dakota shack to a Long Island mansion. Part of his success can be found in a list of goals he wrote down in the back of a paperback book when he was young. See what Gatsby can teach you about developing positive habits.

Great Gatsby Advice on Scheduling:

1. Rise early. Numerous studies show that morning birds tend to be happier and healthier. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule even on weekends and holidays. Jump out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button.

2. Exercise regularly. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 3 times a week. Train for strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular fitness.

3. Continue learning. Acquire new knowledge and skills. Sign up for a training course at work. Visit history and science museums on the weekend.

4. Do meaningful work. Use your strengths to develop your potential and serve others. Think about what you’re good at and what you like to do. Look for ways to move forward. If you’re stumped, talk with a career coach.

5. Play sports. Make time for fun and friendship. If competitive sports don’t appeal to you, enroll in dance classes or join a hiking club.

6. Build confidence. Think positive and encourage yourself with your self-talk. Take care of your health and create rituals that relieve stress. Cultivate a strong support network. Take satisfaction in your achievements.

7. Be creative. Gatsby set aside two hours for studying needed inventions, but you can pursue your own interests. Paint landscapes or bake macaroons.

Great Gatsby Advice on Resolutions:

1. Manage your time. Let your choices reflect your priorities. Devote your leisure hours to enriching activities instead of watching television or browsing through celebrity news.

2. Quit smoking. Granted, there’s a lot less smoking going on in the 21st century. Still, there’s probably something you want to cut back on whether it’s high fructose corn syrup or worrying.

3. Clean up. Young Gatsby was satisfied with bathing every other day, but he probably had to draw water from a well. Take advantage of your resources to touch up your appearance with a flattering haircut or stylish eyeglass frames.

4. Read more. Reading can build character and compassion and strengthen your memory and thinking skills. Create a list of books you want to check out and ask friends for suggestions. Carry a book or e-reader around with you for when you’re on hold or standing in line.

5. Save money. Being financially responsible gives you greater freedom and security. Set aside a portion of your income each week for your children’s education or your retirement fund.

6. Honor your parents. Gatsby may have left the farm behind, but he didn’t turn his back on his family. He wrote home regularly and even bought his father a house. Think about how your parents contributed to your life and look for ways to pay them back, like hosting holiday dinners or listening enthusiastically to their reminiscences.

While Gatsby understood the importance of commitment and effort, his downfall was living in the past. Practice Gatsby’s discipline while focusing on the present moment, and you’ll be on your way to a success story of your own.

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