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Self Improvement

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Why we desire self-improvement

We are all drawn to the possibility of becoming our "best self" and work towards confidence and a great career.

Bestselling self-improvement books add credibility to this idea because they are often authored by highly successful people who assure us that we can also find the same success.

@chelseag

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Self Improvement

With self-improvement content, you can easily think improving yourself means changing into a new and different you.

While desiring to improve is valuable, it is very different from believing you have to become someone you're not to get what you want.

  • You feel unworthy because you don't think you're doing enough to improve yourself. Self-improvement should help you to recognise your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
  • Unrealistic expectations.
  • Unproven claims. There is no scientific method that can test the claims of self-improvement literature.
  • Impatience with the amount of information and the supposed improvements you need.
  • An oversaturated market of self-help literature. Not everything is beneficial.

Each person has a unique personality and strengths that can help them achieve their goals. You are then the best person to formulate a plan for self-improvement.

To get started:

  • Write down three goals you have for the next year.
  • For each goal, describe what that goal requires.
  • Get an opinion from someone you trust about your goal descriptions and how you can improve it.
  • Break down your goals into small steps.
  • Write down deadlines for each step.
Brain Dumping

Brain dumping is an exercise where we comprehensively express and record our thoughts, ideas, or commitments from our heads onto a paper or a calendar.

  1. You will stop having random thoughts. Having these constantly feels like you have 20 tabs open in your mind.
  2. You will be able to think and work faster. Just like any other computer, when you have too many junk files, you start to slow down. Brain dumping is like deleting these junk files you don't need.
  3. Working will feel like a breeze without any worries or stressors. It's easier to be present and enjoy your work without having to think about everything all at once.
  1. Free Flow - this is best used when trying to calm down your chaotic mind. you just write anything and everything down without altering or deleting.
  2. Goal Focused - this is best for planning your day the night before for a less anxious night. Basically prioritizing tasks and preparing ahead.
  3. Gratefulness - this is best used to lessen worry and to focus on everything we have and did right.
  4. Weekly - best for reviewing the things you did this week is to re-clarify your goals in life.
  1. Starting too late. Do not delay brain dumps. It doesn't have to be a daily habit unless you deem it fit.
  2. Not trusting your notes.
  3. Write, don't type. You will remember what you've written down better instead of it being typed on a screen.
  4. Not taking a break. After a brain dump, it's recommended to take a 15-minute break to relax and enjoy yourself.
  5. Ignoring the cause. Brain dumping helps relieve stress and anxiety but take the time to stop and reevaluate what you currently are in.
The state of boredom

Boredom is that feeling of dissatisfaction with the world around you and disinterest in your current activity. While you want to be engaged with the world, you don't want to do any of the activities in front of you.

Boredom is our brain telling us it's time to switch activity. That feeling of restlessness is motivating us to find new pursuits that will bring more satisfaction.

On the surface, boredom can appear to be a trivial problem. But it may lead to some more severe problems.

Boredom is associated with risk-taking behaviours such as drug and alcohol use as well as self-harm.

  • Boredom is the inability to pay attention, because a task is too difficult, too simple or doesn't feel meaningful to us at present.
  • Boredom does not have to lead to poor choices. Understanding the reasons why people are bored is important in finding good solutions.

Rather than being frustrated with boredom or using it as an excuse, find out why you feel discontent.

  • Most important is to stop dwelling on the idea that you are bored.
  • Instead, figure out why you're bored right now.
  • Create a list of activities for when you feel energetic and bored, and when you're feeling more tired. The activity could be reasonably mindless, like knitting an easy pattern or getting a cup of coffee. The point is to find an activity that feels meaningful.
Thomas Edison
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Thomas Edison
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
Thomas Edison
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
Thomas Edison
“If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”
Thomas Edison
“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this; you haven’t.”
Thomas Edison
"Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration."
Smartphones and our perception of time

Smartphones have changed the way we fill our time while waiting. Every moment of potential boredom can now be directed to modes of entertainment or other distractions.

Consequently, day-dreaming, thinking, speculating, observing, and people-watching are diminishing.

Non-places refer to spaces formed with certain ends (transport, commerce, leisure).

We often stand, lean or sit in these transitory public spaces hunched over our smartphones, but we don't experience them as places. Instead of noticing the rich detail these zones often display, they become spatial and visual white noise.

A bored mind is more likely to seek out activities that engage the brain.

Instead of using electronic devices to distract ourselves, we could see boredom as an invitation to look up and around, to people-watch, daydream, or to take the time to observe the world around us.

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