I want to be a better person
This thought comes to many of us at some point in our lives. Sometimes not just once but in many different circumstances and on multiple points of lifetime line. An idea to improve, to fight all the weaknesses, to set targets and do everything to get what we want. If these goals are positive, all our efforts seem to be right. We’re working on being better than we are right now. Sounds good?
Myself in the future
When we get into that mindset, all our thoughts are focused on the image of ourselves in the future. On the person we want to become one day, in the next month, a year or 10 years from now. Someday I’ll be perfect. I’m learning, improving, doing one million activities to be that amazing, wonderful human being. Some day. Does it still sound good?
All that focus on self-improvement to achieve those ambitious goals have often one common characteristic – we are not entirely happy right now. The more unhappy we are, the bigger need for change. We may want to improve our look, physical strength, want to be healthier, get a better job, bigger house, be better partner / parent and so on. Although all that seems to be right at the first glance, it often comes from our internal feeling that we aren’t good enough in these areas. In other words – we don’t accept who we really are at present moment. But we’re going to be perfect one day and we’ll be happy.
Fighting my nature
If all mentioned above is true, if we don’t accept our imperfect nature, we put ourselves in the constant fight. Fight against ourselves. But the nature of every battle is that someone must lose. If we undertake the battle against ourselves, who will eventually lose that skirmish?
Finding my nature
Have you ever met one person who was entirely perfect? Not for a moment but perfect all the time?
What would you say about one crazy idea to switch focus from weaknesses to strengths? To all our positive sides, everything what’s good in us RIGHT NOW? (I wrote about here and now in previous article: Be here, be now. Why mindfulness is bad for you.) What about other crazy idea to accept that all those weak points as simply part of our nature? Like we accept that day and night or Summer and Winter are part of the nature around us. The truth is, we are entirely complete with all our traits – if we want to get rid of unwanted ones, we risk losing our internal integrity. With acceptance of our true nature, we have that completeness. We’ve got happiness – not some day but here and now. There’s nothing more to do, really.
So, would that mean self-improvement is a wrong idea?
Yes. When we think of it as a way to change ourselves because we don’t accept who we are and try to be someone else. That is illusion, something distant and unreal. We can chase that entire life and live in misery forever.
And no. When we undertake any activities in line with our nature, not against it, any efforts can just multiply joy and happiness we already have. We’re improving then naturally, it’s no longer a fight but fun. If you do anything like playing instrument, painting, programming, blogging, running or anything else just because you like it, go for it. Enjoy it. Improvement will come as side effect, but your happiness will no longer depend on it.