The Need for Radical Self Improvement

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just be satisfied with what we had in our life right now?

I once would have answered this question with a definite ‘yes’ but now I’m no longer sure – it sounds kind of boring. If our ancestors felt this way, we’d still be bare-assed and speaking in grunts.

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It is important to feel grateful for all the good things we have now, but this doesn’t mean we should stop wanting more. Some of the most wonderful things in my life are there because of my dissatisfaction with the way things were before.

My first job involved packing shelves in a supermarket back in Ireland. This was during the eighties, and there were very few employment opportunities for someone with my lack of qualifications. On my first day the boss told me I’d been lucky enough to land a ‘job for life’. Luckily for me, I didn’t share his vision for my future.

The Need for Radical Self-Improvement

Our life is going to change whether we like it or not. The only real question is how much control we are going to have over these changes. Self-improvement is an attempt to manage these changes in a way that is going to be most beneficial to us.

I don’t know what happens after I die. I do know that this life is a gift, and it would be kind of ungrateful to not make the most of it. I’m committed to radical self-improvement because I want to get the most I can out of life before it is all over – not only to make my life better, but to make life better for those around me.

Incremental Versus Radical Self-Improvement

Self-improvement can be divided into two kinds – incremental and radical. Incremental self-improvement means you work at removing a negative pattern slowly over time. Radical self-improvement is where you take massive action to change your life right away.

Incremental self-improvement can be appropriate in certain situations. If you are in excellent health, but you eat too many chocolate digestive biscuits, you could slowly taper off them over time. If the doctor says you are going to die next week unless you stop eating chocolate digestive biscuits, you don’t want to be messing around with incremental self-improvement – you need to take radical action.

The Advantages of Radical Self-Improvement

I’ve never had much luck with incremental self-improvement. The problem is I lose my motivation, or I just forget about my commitment to these changes. The process is to slow to keep me interested.

I’ve no doubt that taken small steps can improve my life, but progress takes place so slowly that I take any improvements for granted. This is bad because it is the recognition of how my life is getting better that keeps me motivated.

The best reason to commit to radical self-improvement is it produces radical results. It creates a brand new chapter in my life, and I enjoy the benefits of the changes right away.

If you are more or less happy with your life, incremental changes might be the way to go. If you are unsatisfied with things, the only real option is to do something radical.

Radical Self-Improvement Means No More

Radical self-improvement supercharges progress towards a goal. It’s the type of motivation that makes it possible to achieve amazing things. The two words that are excellent for summoning up this level determination are ‘no more’.

Seven years ago, I used ‘no more’ to end a two-decade addiction to alcohol. I used these words again a few weeks ago when I decided to no longer accept financial insecurity. I have to say these words with complete conviction of course, but when I do it draws a line in the sand. It means I become immediately ready to do whatever it takes to make my goal a reality – this level of motivation can create an unstoppable force.

3 Comments

  1. I’m glad you explained radical vs incremental self improvement. I don’t know which one I lean towards. I think it’s usually a “hey I should try this or not” kind of thing. But moving abroad would be considered radical, or brave and now that I’m in it, it doesn’t seem radical at all…

    • Thank you Lani for leaving the first comment on my new blog. I think moving abroad is definitely a radical thing to do. I do understand what you mean about it not feeling radical – I think it is only when we do something radical that we discover that it was staying in our comfort zone that was hard.

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