Disclaimer: By the time I have posted this, this post will have been already uploaded as a youtube video in my Simple Wisdom Channel.
The point of this post is an exploratory one. I am not going to try to teach you simpletons anything, but rather, I look to gain a deeper understanding of Self Improvement for myself.
Now to start let’s just look at the words self and improvement. I’ll focus on the word improvement first, because it is far more simpler. Obviously the base of the word is “improve”, but what does that mean exactly? In the Oxford English Dictionary, we find that the contemporary definition of the word means “to make into something better or more advanced”, or “to raise oneself to a higher level morally, intellectually, or socially”.
However, if you look at the etymology of the word it also had to do with the economical and agricultural. Stemming from the french word emprover, the word meant “to spend or invest money”, and “to increase one’s income”. In the agricultural sense, it meant “to enclose and cultivate land to make it profitable”, meaning increasing the value of farmland by introducing fences and buildings.
And so we have this sense of the word that it means to increase by spending. And I believe that this gives us a crucial insight.
To Improve means that you have to lose something. You have to give up something, and it has to be particularly valuable. Maybe it could mean money, time, you name it, but you have to give something up. Which is no wonder, because what if you spend a considerable amount of money, an amount that would hurt for you to just waste and lose. What if you spend that much amount of money on a physical trainer. You would have a lot more initiative to go and actually lose some weight.
This coincides with the sunk cost fallacy, which is basically how our definition of “improve” works. Where you invest or spend a personal commodity, and because of what you spend, you force yourself to either keep spending or to actually do the work that you paid for.
In the agricultural sense, to enclose and cultivate. What does that mean? I believe there is something very significant to that, especially in enclose.
It means to shut off all outside contact, and just focus on getting better. I believe that gives us a huge insight to what it means to be improve. That is you want to get better, you better close everything off first. Make sure no one can see you and that you are by yourself, because people will get in the way. This has to be a self-project that you take on by yourself. You have to bar everyone off, and then you can start to cultivate, then you can start to improve. So we get this notion that improving starts with isolation. And I believe that is true. How easy is it for you to improve, when you have everyone watching you? I mean the pressure is there already without all that attention, but when you feel like every move you take is being judged and watched, my god, you wouldn’t be able to make a single step forward, or at least you will be lulled.
With me, even if I do decide to improve, all of it was done when I was by myself in a room, or by myself in a gym, even though there were other people, I was not socializing. I worked out by myself, I read books by myself, and when I was training BJJ or Muay Thai, we never talked, we were just like robots that kept practicing the motions over and over, and I believe that is what you have to be in order to improve. The focus has to be on the motions, the improvement, and nothing else. Because, once you start focusing on anything else, your potential for improvement just falls right off the grid.
And when you isolate yourself, you can only focus on yourself. It takes away all the distraction, and you force yourself to pay full attention to yourself. Which is another reason that self-improvement is so hard, because it forces you to be honest. That you are not perfect, and that you are indeed very imperfect, and that you have a lot of work to do, and that can scare people away. And I believe it does. But it is necessary to have an honest look at yourself, because otherwise, it’s like driving blind. You need a map to know how to get to where you want to be.
So improvement starts first by isolating yourself. Then once you have an honest understanding of where you need to cultivate, you go to work on yourself. And you have to spend something, money, time, etc. You have to spend whatever the cultivation requires. Maybe its a thicker wall to isolate yourself further. Maybe you need better fertilizer, books, lectures, mentors, etc. Or maybe you just need to spend money that will force you to act. Whatever it is you have to spend something. Only then, can you improve.
It’s that simple,
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And here is the youtube link~