Like anything in life there is always going to be the good and the bad. Roses are beautiful and they have a wonderful fragrance. However, many have thorns that can pierce even the thickest of leather gardening/ work gloves.
There are two main points that comprise the dark side of improvement.
Understand that there is no magic pill for self-improvement. Self-improvement is a process which takes time, effort, and planning. It can not be as simple as taking the red or the blue.
We are creatures that have evolved from an early man and woman that had to fight to survive. Therefore, we learn best from pain. When you were a child, first learning how to ride the bike, your parents likely did all she could to prepare you for that first ride.
She showed you how to balance the bike, pedal, and control its direction. However, despite her best attempts at keeping you balanced, you probably fell a few times before you got the hang of balance.
Pain doesn’t have to be bad, nor dysfunctional, as long as we learn from it- and as long as it is not willfully inflicted on us by others.
As you move through your plan for self-improvement, expect to fall down so that you can get back up stronger.
The ability to manage your pain will determine your capacity in standing up.
Every year we make resolutions, only for most of us to give up on them before February rolls around. You start with all of the enthusiasm you can possibly have to support your optimistic belief that this will finally be the year you accomplish.
Only, in the end, you end up with disappointment as your enthusiasm fades, or you fail to end up where you wanted to be.
Understand that while the concept of self-improvement can turn into something of a rabbit hole for us, it can be a powerful tool.
One of the fundamental aspects of our humanity is that we feel a need for improvement. It is possible that this comes from some archaic evolutionary survival tool for ancient men and women. While it is a useful tool, it can become toxic for those of us who see this need for improvement as a flaw.
Going back to the bike analogy: That child, be they you or someone else, approached that bike ready to learn how to ride without training wheels. He was excited. However, the first time he fell off, he probably felt a twinge of discouragement.
It is important to remember that he didnít approach that bike with the physical practical knowledge of how to balance it. He likely knew how to operate it mechanically thanks to the safety of his training wheels.
But just because he could still improve on his ability to ride without training wheels doesn’t mean he was fundamentally flawed. It just means that he had room to grow, and something to learn. He had a way to improve.
Also, bear in mind, that like the child learning how to ride a bike with training wheels, the point of growth in self-improvement doesn’t occur when the goal is reached. It occurs when we learn.
A child who is learning to ride her bike without training wheels is probably going to fall. For older generations, this entailed some form of knee skinning. Regardless, the entire experience is a teachable, and learning moment passed down from one generation to the next. For those who teach themselves such things, the experience is added to.
We tend to see our goals just beyond our reach. When we stumble while reaching is important to remember that the stumble, or trip-up is a learning moment. Not a failure. The dark side and toxicity comes when we throw in the towel when we stumble rather than getting back up.
As a side note, remember that you are always going to be your strongest critic. This doesn’t mean that you should judge yourself. The process of self-improvement requires honest assessment, not self-judgement, and there is a big difference (Handel, S. (2011, May 28). The 10 Commandments of Self Improvement: A Basic Introduction to the Core Principles of Self-Help)
Follow Your Passions And You Will Be Happier!
Imagine having to clock into a job daily that you hate. The work is mundane, the commute is long and your supervisors are careless. Would you enjoy waking up every morning?
While we all have to make money to survive, we all deserve to feel fulfilled after completing a hard day’s work. Sure, we may receive a paycheck at the end of the week, but, does that really make up for all of the unhappy moments? Surely, the answer to that question is a resounding no.
Many blogs, books and articles are dedicated towards helping people find their passion. In fact, the self-help community is worth billions of dollars, the “How – To”. This statistic alone proves that people all over the globe are searching for a life of purpose. Individuals who are unhappy in their jobs are especially susceptible to soaking in as much information as they can know how to improve their life.
In order to really live a life of fulfilment and walk in your truth, you have to follow your passion. Although this sounds like a far-far-fetched idea, it is actually quite attainable. All you need is a willing attitude, a bit of determination and a positive spirit. Those, along with consistent hard work will help you live a life of passion. Let’s consider how.
Determine Your Passion
Do you know what your passion is? If you want to start living a more fulfilled life, you must identify what drives you. Ask yourself, is there an activity that gives you excitement? Do you find yourself daydreaming about a particular field of interest? What motivates you to get up in the morning?
The underlying answers to these questions will help you determine what your passion truly is. Once you uncover that, you’ll be able to make the necessary steps towards achieving it.
Learn Your Passion
Maybe your passion is to become a chef. Before you blindly pick up the pots and pans, learn your craft. Study from the greats and imitate their actions. Read and soak up as much information as you can on your particular interest.
This will help you improve your skills and train you to be the best. Then, you’íre more likely to find employment or start a business revolving around your passion. Remember, you can have a dream all you want, but, it takes practice and hard work to turn it into a reality.
After you’ve determined your passion and gathered enough information about the topic, now it ís time to put your work to the test. Take the necessary steps towards changing your current position and landing that dream job.
Take up an internship or shadowing job. Perhaps change your resume to reflect your new venture. Then, begin applying for the jobs that’ll get you one step closer to your passion. When you put in the necessary work, itís imperative that you get out of your comfort zone and really try to find your place. This will help you to lay the foundation for your future career.
Following your passions will make you a happier and more fulfilled person. Although we’ve focused primarily on employment, developing your passion doesn’t have to be within a job. If your passion is to be a better artist, person or writer, then follow those dreams even if they’re just for your own personal development.
One of the best pieces of advice one could hear is to do everything with passion. From the smallest gesture to the biggest action, acting with passion will make you stand out in the crowd. In turn, you’ll live a happier, more fulfilled life.
Stop Letting The Past Dictate Your Future
We’ve all heard that we canít be stuck in the past and that we have to move on with our lives, but have you ever stopped to think about it? Why should you move on from the past? Well, frankly, because it can affect nearly every other aspect of your life if you donít.
Few people devote time to thinking about how focusing on the past can be detrimental to their present and future. In this article, weíre going to provide you with, hopefully, all the arguments you need to persuade you to stop letting the past dictate your future.
Whatís so bad about focusing on the past?
Focusing heavily on the past, whether in a negative or a positive way, is detrimental to you and your ability to move forward with your life. Letís talk about the negative first: holding grudges. Holding on to a particular moment or event in the past due to a negative experience stunts your emotional and mental growth.
The more you focus on that, the less attention you have to give to whatís happening in the present. On the positive side of things, if youíre fixated on one particular positive event that happened in the past, youíll miss all the positive and great things happening in the future. You also run the risk of comparing everything that happens from then on to that one ìperfectî event.
This fixation can lead to a few negative outcomes in your future. The more you focus on the past, the less you witness the present. You have a tendency to miss special occasions or important events. You move through life in a more distracted manner. The worst outcome of them all, though, is that you stunt your development and growth.
How can focusing on the past dictate your future?
As we said before, focusing on something in the past can manipulate how you view present moments. It can make you distracted during events youíd otherwise be fully immersed in or cause you to compare them to another moment on from which you canít move.
These fixations can cause you to turn down new opportunities either because youíre afraid they wonít live up to the past experience or you donít want to be taken away from it. Focusing on the past can negatively affect every decision you make, dictating your future.
How do you stop focusing on the past?
The first step in putting an end to this behavior once and for all is to resolve to let it go. We know, itís easier said than done, but you have to first consciously decide to do it before you can actually successfully let the past go. Letting go of the issues or moments youíre holding onto will allow you to finally move forward with your life and grow as a person.
Fixated on a positive past event
If you’re fixated on a positive past event, letting go doesn’t mean the same thing as it does for those holding onto a grudge. Letting go in this sense is to stop comparing other events to this one. It doesnít mean that you have to forget the moment youíve held so dear, but it does mean that you continue to experience and enjoy each new moment, rather than comparing it to and being distracted by said moment.
Fixated on a negative past event
If you’re holding a grudge or fixated on a past event, letting go is typically forgiving the person and moving on from the event. This can be very difficult, but the only person that can put an end to your holding onto the past is you. You have to be the one to forgive, let go, and move on. You’re only hurting yourself, otherwise.
Please remember, you must not outsource your happiness.
Live life and be full.