Too Much Self-Improvement?

By Antonio Ivanovski

Last week's newsletter included a one liner that might not have made sense to you "Don't focus on self-improvement."

I have to admit it's a bit confusing, so I'll explain. Focusing too much on self-improvement can disrupt your inner peace if done in an unhealthy way. Let me give you some examples.

  1. When I started reading self-improvement books, I got so consumed with it that I never had time to create my own content. I felt a false sense of achievement because I was just reading about other people’s successful outcomes. I realized I was spending too much time reading about others' successes and not enough time creating my own. So, now I focus on Producing >= Consuming by reading slower, taking notes, and taking action.

  2. There's such a thing as toxic productivity. Have you ever skipped a day of posting online or skipped a day in the gym and felt AWFUL about it? it is a sign of toxic productivity. Over-focusing on improvement can lead to burnout and self-conflict. It's important to remember to have fun and not let productivity become a source of stress. My rule is to get it right >80% of the time. Eat healthy, workout on time, and post online > 80% of the time and I’ll feel successful.

  3. Watching/reading about successful outcomes made me feel like everyone had it figured out but me. The truth is, we only see the exceptional people and what they choose to show us. Comparing ourselves to others does no good. Remember, success and productivity look different for everyone.

So what can you do?

Naval says "If we want peace, we have to give up on self-conflict. We even have to give up on self-improvement, because self-improvement is just a dressed up form of self-conflict. Instead, we need to use our natural curiosity to understand things better. Through understanding, we will naturally improve ourselves.

Once we truly understand the effects of unhealthy food on our bodies—when we see the extra weight we’re carrying, or we track the glucose spike and crash after eating too much sugar, or we see how caffeine hops us up and then crashes us—we automatically change for the better."

When I started learning about the benefits of having a network and a community, I started being more motivated to continue creating online. When I learned the truth about the negative effects of chemicals in our body did I take my wife's advice seriously and started buying more natural and healthy products. When I learned how physical fitness affects my physical, mental, and emotional states, only then did I start working out consistently. Focusing on understanding things helped me become a better, more accepting of myself, happier person.

So, the path towards peace is truth.