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