Why Bother Improving Yourself?
Why bother with self-improvement?
Self-help? Self-improvement? Isn’t all that stuff for new age hippies?
No. It’s for sorting your shit out, and you bother with it so you can avoid stupid, unnecessary suffering.
“But I don’t care about that!”
But you do.
If you’re in pain, you’ll care.
It’s easy to act tough now, but it’s a lot different when:
- Your partner of 10 years cheats on you
- When you get laid off from your job and don’t have any other skills
- When your family is murdered
- When your house burns to the ground
- We break into the third world war
Pain and suffering is the fundamental reality of existence — no mental gymnastics will allow you to deny the fact that you don’t want any more pain and suffering than absolutely necessary.
Work on yourself.
Get your shit together. Become more self-aware. Find what you love to do and do it. Develop your psychology. Work to become an integrated human being. Sort out your relationships. Become independent — that is to say, remove your dependencies on people and objects, such as your boss and material possessions.
Who have you got to turn to when all hell breaks loose and your world is flipped upside down? All you’ve got is yourself, so you better like and trust the person you are.
I think you’d do well to spend most, if not all of your time on developing yourself, because really, everything external is a distraction.
None of your achievements or awards or qualifications are going to help you when tragedy strikes. They’re just baby blankets, and you ignore reality at your peril.
(And if that doesn’t get you on board, note that material success comes effortlessly once you sort yourself out internally.)
How do you get started?
Look at your life, find a weak point or something that bothers you, and then fix it.
You might talk and act a big game, and your friends, family, and all of society might even agree that you’re all together and are relatively successful — but you know deep down exactly what you’re avoiding.
There is something within you that you are hoping with all your heart doesn’t get exposed, because you’d be fucking ruined. Not your reputation (although that too), but your sanity.
You have weak points that would absolutely tear you apart if hit hard enough and you know it. So you’d do well to acknowledge that and get to work on them before chance roots them out.
It’s only a matter of time.
A good place to start is to fix the things that you do every single day, here are some personal big ones for me:
- Self-reflection and analysis
- Social media
- Binging on food
- Crutches such as caffeine and alcohol
- Lying / Personal integrity
All of my writing revolves around the question “what does it take to live the most fulfilling life possible?” or something like that. At the moment it seems to me to be a combination of freedom, creativity, and busting your ass on behalf of the good for society or your community.
So if you like, drop your email in the box below and I’ll send you a weekly newsletter with my best stuff to keep you thinking.
P.S. one last thing: All my life I’ve struggled to overcome mental and physical barriers to optimizing my learning and growth in whatever I was doing. Over a period of at least 10 years I pieced together a philosophy that governs optimized practice and long term growth. So if you’re interested in ideas like optimized learning, mastery, discipline and creativity – you should DEFINITELY read this.