Have you ever wondered why is it so hard to start the things we plan? or do the work that'll be meaningful? or improve a chronically bad habit? In this blog, I'll explain the best ways to improve yourself and achieve the desired goals. I'll start by explaining the basic ingredients for improvement.
Goals are the milestones that we wish to accomplish and basically, they are the immediate priorities that we wish to achieve shortly. We normally believe that it's the result that would please us once we achieve those goals and interpret the "postponed result" as the motivation that would keep us striving. We might question ourselves about the reliability of this approach towards life, but we are instantly assured because it's what 99% of the people are doing and humans have evolved as social beings.
The problem arises when we don't get the results that we wish for in the first place. Hence, we start questioning our ability, more importantly, our potential. Prolonged acts of defeat and resentment drive us crazy and we are depressed at last.
This makes me think about the efficiency of setting goals for our future. In my opinion, having goals for the future is useful, but it's not 100% efficient and is certainly not the best source of motivation to keep going.
Therefore, there's something else, something more robust and reliable that will keep us motivated throughout the journey.
The greeks had a maxim "know thyself". How do we come to know about ourselves? our personality? and, most importantly, our potential? To answer these questions, we first need to understand what does the term "know thyself" means.
To know ourselves means that we are ready to face the imperfections characterizing a man. To know ourselves means that we are ready to accept the duty of Being. To know ourselves means that we are ready to accept the suffering of life and start finding joy within. To know ourselves means that we are ready to stand straight when life appears ending nowhere but in hopelessness.
It's the knowing of ourselves, that has kept humanity going since the dawn. It's the trivial force that we share with our ancestors. It's what we have inherited. When we come to know ourselves, we unlock a deeper state of understanding. It's the understanding of the unconscious and the conscious brain. It's the understanding of the fact that we are the only ones responsible for ourselves. It's the understanding of the importance of our decisions and our habits.
Hence, the first step of self-improvement is the basic understanding of self. You'll feel motivated when you'll start to ask yourself, "what's the one thing I know I'm doing wrong? That I could fix and that I would fix." once in a day.
We have to accept the fact that we humans are "Pride animals". It means that no matter how small the action is, we'll do it with full integrity, force, and motivation when our pride gets involved. We are more likely to perform a task that has a direct connection with our dignity. Because on an evolutionary scale, the more dignified a person is, there are always more chances and opportunities available for him. This is something, known quite popularly as "Pareto's principle". The principle itself is derived from the mere observations made about the population by the scientist. It says that 80% of the outcomes are a result of only 20% of the efforts. We might not understand this in the first place. But it's most valuable when we try to build new habits or break old ones. This principle defines accurately the true value of the efforts we put into the work.
The more pride involved in a task, the more likely we are to commit to the fullest. Hence, start building pride in the work we perform. Aim to be the elite, then you'll have no barriers to success.
Balance with Imbalance
Growth in life depends on two things, the stuff we know and the stuff we are willing to know. We are generally sure of what we know and quite optimistic to learn new things in life. Now the question arises, "What is the perfect way for mastery?" The answer to that is simple than what we all might think in the first place. To master a skill, we have to constantly explore the domain we care about. We also need to revisit our traditional practices and methods occasionally to remain connected with the process. Hence, many people struggle to prioritize the two. For some, it's the never-ending stream of learning and for some, it's the strengthening of old concepts that lays the foundation of self-development.
Either way is correct and there's no distinction between the two, as they're a part of the bigger system.
To be limitless, one needs to find the balance between the two. It means to have one foot placed firmly in order, security, and what we know to the fullest and the other one placed in limitless opportunity, possibility, growth, and risk. You'll find yourself perfectly balanced when life unfolds itself as intense, gripping, and meaningful, and that time passes unnoticed as you're engrossed in your meaningful work.