People know who they have the potential to be.
The challenge is seeing that process through.
Self-development is an art.
It takes time. It requires patience. It asks you to step outside your comfort zone. It is challenging — and that’s the point.
However, the biggest challenge when it comes to self-development is the process itself. People really struggle with the path and all its twists and turns, much more than they do any single obstacle.
But should you learn how to walk that path of self-development, you will learn some tried truths to live by:
1. Any failure can be reframed as a lesson.
Self-development is a mindset.
To one person, a project going poorly or a relationship ending means they failed. To someone else, it is nothing more than another lesson on the path.
By reframing to see the lesson instead of the mistake, you will ultimately learn more and move on to what’s next faster.
“Compounding is the greatest mathematical discovery of all time.” — Albert Einstein
The quest to become a better version of yourself often feels like a roller coaster ride. It’s hard. And it’s usually so uneven. You can end in failure. But life is a journey, not a marathon, so you always have another opportunity to restart and improve.
Many people practically look out for secrets, tricks, and hacks that will make EVERYTHING better right now. But unfortunately life doesn’t work that way. There are no “overnight successes”. Think of all the incredible people you truly admire. They didn’t succeed becasue of one giant move, but rather a series of small and consistent actions over time.
Stop aiming for radical personal change!
“Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” — Stephen Covey
A magic bullet cannot save you! You’ve got to embrace the process and enjoy it. You can’t escape the hard work it takes to get better. Every incredibly successful person you know today has been through the boring, mundane, time-tested process that eventually brings success. So, stop looking for “quick hacks” that bring faster results.
Instead of reading every self-improvement post for the one golden tip that will make you superhumanly efficient, focus on doing the actual work that needs to be done. You can inspire yourself to take action. The hard, long process is the only way though. You can’t achieve tremendous life success with a quick fix. Nobody gets it that easy.
There’s a paradox with self-improvement and it is this: the ultimate goal of all self-improvement is to reach the point where you no longer feel the need to improve yourself.
Think about it: The whole goal of improving your productivity is to reach the point where you never have to think about how to be more productive. The whole point of pursuing happiness is to reach the point where one no longer has to think about being happy. The whole point of improving your relationships is so that you can enjoy some drama-free cunnilingus in the McDonald’s drive-thru without almost crashing the car.
(Still working on that last one.)
Self-improvement is therefore, in a weird way, ultimately self-defeating.
The only way to truly achieve one’s potential, to become fully fulfilled, or to become “self-actualized” (whatever the fuck that means), is to, at some point, stop trying to be all of those things.