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How Action Fuels Self Improvement

All of us have more than just a slight affection towards changing for better. No matter the picture we are showing outwards that screams status quo, deep down inside we all feel the urge to shake things up a bit.

And while status quo is self-preserving with majority of people, there are some, a growing number I’d like to think, that not only hear the voice deep down urging for change, but also act to an extent in correlation with it.

And while many may think that being in sync with the inherent drive for change is all there is when climbing the bar, the reality is a bit different.

I, myself, have noticed and felt the need of change. The premises are, then, as you may think, that I abandoned everything holding me back, became an agent of change in my life through the act of making new habits.

Yet, I’m not. Sure, I try to resemble that description in a way, but talking about overall improvement and change in general, I’m as guilty as the next guy, and off by a long shot when considering what I already know about improvement.

And we all do, don’t we?

We already read the books, familiarized ourselves with many of the principles out there, prepared for the change in more than one way.

Yet, here we are walking the walk; and change is still needed.

Have we made a mistake, something wrong perhaps? Have we lost all the time invested?

If you and I resemble even a tiny percent, then you’ve been asking this question too.

And I guess that it pisses you off, same as me, when you don’t know the answer. But thinking over it for quite some time, I came to a realization that made me less uneasy.

Improvement is an ongoing circle, and it’s an ever evolving thing along with the motives for it, the needs.

First of all, what do I mean by circle?

You see, we always imagined improvement to be a one way road heading up as if it were a straight line on a chart. At least I had.

The thing is though, that improvement, any form of it, is actually a trip going back and forth in order to challenge your own view and perception on things.

Therefore imagine it as a spiral circle, shrinking and expanding all of the time- since in reality it resembles the same pattern.

We grow in one direction, slightly retrograde in other, change the way on what we make of things, change our direction. Haven’t you felt that you already been in this stage before? Even for a second, an instance?

Chances are you had, and then things slightly changed form. Your perception changed, your reality, goals, aspirations.

And this happens no matter our consistency, our dedication.

Now let me try and explain myself when stating that it’s an ongoing process.

It never has an end goal achieved. Nor it has something other to measure it against, despite making the comparison with the yesterday self. And since perception is always changing too, we sometimes loose even the grasp of that.

The reason for this, I believe, is that our goals and aspirations are also evolving altogether with it, and the road changes directions unpredictably.

Have you noticed how it’s never enough?

How it never reaches a destination down the road?

The thing is we are always changing. The deep down drive that is in us screams change, even when we are actually incorporating it.

So it happens that it’s no sooner as one goal gets close to achieving, that another one appears. We thought that we were going to be driven by couple of needs, just to realize that they multiply down the road, sometimes even changing to the point where we don’t know where we actually started.

Other times we are the exact opposite, and stick our head on one goal, just to realize that time has passed and we lost grasp on the concept of improvement.

We try reminiscing our progress, and then, crickets.

All of the sudden we realize that improvement was not so naive of a process as we may thought of it at first.

But simplicity can in fact be applied. I found that thinking about it more we are not necessarily better off. Sometimes we should just try incorporating what we already know and act as ignorant while at it.

Don’t think improvement, live improvement.

I read a book titled Tao Te Ching, which has all the principles of the philosophical school of Taoism comprised in it. And it advocates simplicity more than anything else. In it we may come to a conclusion that we are beating our heads over improvement as a concept, that we are lacking the simplicity of just taking an action.

It seems we are more talking the talk, and less walking the walk.

And while these are words put in my mouth by far more cleaver people than me, the truth is, they are just words, not actions. Granted, they may lead to action, but action itself may also lead to action.

Therefore the only conclusion I make out of this is that only by following our instincts of improvement in its ongoing circle, we can live it. Not achieve it, since it cannot be achieved, only enjoyed.

And as I crave for improvement now more than ever, I realize that we are encouraging it only by living it; without holding back, without any nostalgia for status quo.

What do you make of it?

Slavko Desik is an editor and writer at Lifestyle Updated, a blog about improving one’s lifestyle and enjoying if full time. He also writes about subjects closely connected with self-improvement and personal growth.

Photo credit: ‘Action’ by Big Stock

 

  • Rick T.

    “we always imagined improvement to be a one way road heading up as if it were a straight line on a chart. At least I had. “Me too! But this circle view of yours makes a lot more sense, got to admit. It’s like perfection, we can’t ever reach it, but nonetheless we must pursue it!

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko@LifestyleUpdated

      Exactly Rick. As I stated above, there isn’t an end goal that waits to be conquered. It’s an ever evolving process instead. You are right too, perfect is never an option, but striving and reaching for it- that’s what makes us better, our lives more complete, our ride more enjoyable.

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

    Often we don’t even notice our progress. That is because we forget to use reward system in place in order to celebrate our victories!

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko@LifestyleUpdated

      I never gave this one much thought Bojan. Though it makes the most of sense. However, even falling to notice progress on the short run, we notice the change, we notice that something is way different. Acknowledging it as progress happens when we give the time to analyze, to retrospectively take a look. Making a habit of applying a Reward system would make the whole process easier I guess. Thanks for the great idea.

      • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan Djordjevic

        You are welcome mate. Glad to see you coming up in the blogging world.

  • bearysmiley

    The forced change…….as in “thinking that you always ate well” and excercised, some, but always needing more. Just finding out that you are Diabetic…wait…huh….?
    So, for me……the wanting and needing to get the ball rolling and eating less sugar, and doing lots of excercise, will now be….JUST DOING IT……
    The kick in the pants, and a harsh reality. And the desire, and will to manage it via eating well, and excercising . I am not even an overweight person. (Just ate alot of sugar, mixed in with the good I ate, and had it in my family)
    So, while everyong is contemplating the change…..JUST DO IT! Time is seeping by, and we don’t know what new information about ourselves the new day brings.
    Thankful that I have an option of diet and excercise.
    Smiles!

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko@LifestyleUpdated

      You are right. Forced change can be a bummer. And in order to escape it, we must approach change even when there is no any particular need, even when we are not being hit in the head by a hammer.
      But should such a day come, when there is change forced upon us, then it’s better to realize that we must just DO IT.
      If the cards are already served, it’s up to us whether we would play them right.

  • http://www.2knowmyself.com/ Farouk

    very Good post Slavko
    without actions our goals will just be mere dreams
    great read

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko@LifestyleUpdated

      Thanks Farouk

  • http://glynisj.com/ Glynis Jolly

    An interesting post. And yes, change is happening constantly whether we’re aware of it or not.

    I also think that sometimes improvement means going back to something that was done in the past. Just because what you are doing is new doesn’t necessarily make it an improvement.

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko@LifestyleUpdated

      Exactly Glynis. That’s why I say that improvement resembles a circle, rather than a straight line.

    • http://www.buysocialmediatraffic.com/ Tyson Otto

      We need to prepare our mind and bodies for real thing first before we make the changes. Lack of confidence is a problem that can truly stop us from being motivated.

  • http://www.easyfinancialtips.com/ Johnny@Easy Financial Tips

    I think the idea of living the change is important. Books and web sites like the Pick the Brain are incredible for putting us in the right frame of mind but we don’t become what we want to be until we become what we want to be. Period.

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko@LifestyleUpdated

      Right Johny.
      It’s an ongoing process-we start, learn, tweak, reinforce ideas, passion…
      We are not learning self-improvement, we are living it.

  • http://www.successthroughselfimprovement.com/mind-power/3-things-to-ask-yourself-when-you-say-i-want-to-change-my-life/ Philip

    Very good post and true summation about don’t just think improvement, live improvement. A comment I heard recently stated “The person you will be in five years from now will be from the books you read and the people you associate with” (roughly quoting it). I guess as you grow you change and nothing except change is permanent. So I guess in summing up if we are not moving forward (growing we are moving backward (dying).

    • http://www.lifestyleupdated.com/ Slavko Desik

      Adapting is the key factor Philip. What you say about the material we digest, and thus process, is also true. I like how the 5 years period fits into this- every next 5 years is something new- every change we hope to make is therefore unpredictable.

  • http://www.winterolympics2014.org/ Benly Denver

    I exercise 4 days a week so that I can gain more powerness on my body :)

  • http://www.electroniccigaretteonline.org/ Mike Cosah

    Pursuing what you want to improve is rewarding.