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What is Self-Improvement?

Life Strategy

Your total life strategy is a collection of every habit, behavior and thought pattern, conscious and unconscious, that you use to solve the problems you have in life, meet your needs and stay alive. 

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What is Self-Improvement?

What is Self-Improvement?

https://www.scotthyoung.com/blog/2018/12/25/what-is-self-improvement/

scotthyoung.com

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Key Ideas

External Improvement vs. Self-Improvement

  • External improvement: Money, fitness, credentials, status, friends, etc. 
  • Self-improvement: Habits, thought patterns, confidence, beliefs, learned skills and behaviors.
You can improve your external situation without improving yourself, but that tends to result from luck and circumstances you can’t control.  

External improvement...

... that doesn't arise from self-improvement is from circumstances or factors outside your control. Winning the lottery may be great, but if you’re broke right now, that’s not a strategy to bank on. Instead you need to start by changing your own behaviors, skills and habits.

Lasting Self-Improvement

Self-improvement is identifying current strategies, how they meet your current needs and solve your current problems, and figuring out how to adjust them into a better configuration. It must start by recognizing who you are now, then making small and stable changes to reach the stage where the problem has been solved.

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Self-control
Self-control

It’s your ability to resolve conflicts between your short-term desires and your long-term goals.

For example, successful self-control means sacrificing immediate pleasure (cookies a...

Why self-control matters

People who have high self-control aren’t missing out on enjoyment. Not being able to resist temptation and enjoying life are not the same things.

They tend to eat in a healthily way, exercise more, sleep better, drink less alcohol, smoke fewer cigarettes, achieve higher grades at university, have more peaceful relationships, and are more financially secure.

Biological limits to self-control

Research showed that self-control is ultimately limited by our biology. We can’t exercise effortful self-control indefinitely – the brain has to do regular maintenance to remain functional.

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A Life Full Of Struggles
A Life Full Of Struggles

For many people, life is full of struggles. However, many struggles can be lessened through reasonably clear steps: set goals, build better habits, learn more, do the work.

Struggles Create A Motivating Tension

Facing life's struggles often create pain and lack, but it also adds a motivating tension in your life that gives structure and direction for the things you do.

Once the major struggles in your life are gone, the motivating tension diminishes too. The result is that you desire to regain that energizing force. One strategy people use to regain this tension is self-destruction. They break the thing they worked hard to build.

Mentally Tearing Down Your Past Achievements

Sometimes, what was previously good enough is now not acceptable anymore. It could be a person who gets in shape but now wants 6% body fat.

The problem isn't the mindset of continual growth, but motivating that growth by creating new, imagined needs. One can pursue excellence without mentally downgrading your past accomplishments.

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The disease of "What if"

It’s human nature to linger on feelings of regret. We look back and think that missed opportunities(real or not) could have set us on a different, possibly more rewarding path. Unchecked, th...

Turn regret into motivation
  • Acknowledge how you cope with regret: ignoring it makes it more present
  • Stop the regrets spiral, until you are ready to face the situation with more clarity
  • Revisit the story and identify practical lessons you can learn from it
  • Treat yourself like your ideal mentor would
  • Ask yourself why you feel regret and work backward to identify the values that are tied up in your feelings
  • The cure for anticipating regret isn’t feeling lousy or overthinking, but pursuing solutions, using the wisdom gained through self-reflection.
Turn regret into motivation
  1. Acknowledge how you cope with regret: ignoring it makes it more present;
  2. Stop the regrets spiral, until you are ready to face the situation with more clarity;
  3. Revisit the story and identify practical lessons you can learn from it;
  4. Ask yourself why you feel regret and work backward to identify the values that are tied up in your feelings;
  5. The cure for anticipating regret isn’t feeling lousy or overthinking, but pursuing solutions, using the wisdom gained through self-reflection.