Self-Improvement should be a Reaction
Many of us have gotten to a point of self-improvement where it started to lose all it’s meaning: you seek the content for “learning”’s sake, never cease to find it, and also never put that to good use. The thing that makes self-improvement sell is not the content, it’s that it’s client never knows when to stop, or much less, why to start.
The paragraph above is the conclusion of this post. You can stop reading right here…
…no, you didn’t, right. Ok, you are not convinced, here’s a 3 week story of why the conclusion exists:
“God, if I knew I could keep as many balls rolling as I am today, I would have started projects and ambitions much earlier instead of ‘learning’ more and becoming ever more prepared for the day where I actually had problems to solve.” — so I thought 9 months ago, which prompted me to stop consuming self-improvement entirely.
However a few weeks ago I realized that I needed something: more hours in my day, in my position then (and now in moment of writing), it’s mission critical stuff. As a digital age human, I started seeking that solution from Google. From link to link, I got to a familiar content in an unfamiliar setting: I was reading self-improvement to solve an actual concrete problem in my life, a problem which I could point a finger to and tell why it exists, when it started and for how long it will last. I’d like to say that’s when it clicked for me, and probably this article for you too, but still I had to prove it.
So I read many suggestions for that exact question, ignoring whatever was not immediately helpful. I took a notebook out and started writing those line by line in condensed format, and that I did for half an hour. I stopped with a full page in front of me, did a quick mental calculation and realized that the solutions found are way too many to implement. Actually, even the first 5 lines were way too many to implement. So I set a boundary of following only 3 of the best suggestions. Carefully prioritized and selected, now the planning and execution phase starts: on week one I added to my routine the habit at the top of the list, only this one thing until I got the rhythm for it just right, and I had a week to do that. No wonders, that worked. Okay, now for the second… now for the third and final... Three weeks, three habits and a clear gain in results. That’s when it clicked for me.
After a certain point of self-improvement, you have a pretty solid grasp of what you should be doing: get your money (and save some too), take care of your body, work on your long term goals and never forget to care about your mental health or your loved ones in the process. Everything aside from that boils down from the proposed life envisioned by the gurus, which can be encapsulated in a single sentence. When that is processed and assimilated by you, there is no point in learning more.
That, however, doesn’t mean self-improvement has lost it’s value. It just means that you went to basic training seeking a general direction of where you should go and found it, now start doing that and come back if you are having any troubles. Every single learning must have a purpose, even self-improvement. Unless it’s your life-dream to know everything about this topic there is to know and instead use that knowledge to do something, than you know when to stop… and why to start again.