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It has been said that the unexamined life is not worth living. Many people would agree that self-improvement is one key to a good life. But what does it mean to improve oneself? And how should one go about it? And, how do we do it without falling trap of a hokey salesperson marketing their product as self-improvement? These are some of the questions that philosophers have wrestled with for centuries.

There are many different ways to improve oneself. One can work on their physical health, economic status, or relationships with others, but, at its core, self-improvement is a process of becoming a better thinker. To improve as a thinker, one must become more introspective and reflective. They must be able to examine their thoughts and actions and see where they can improve. This is not an easy task, as it requires a great deal of honesty and humility. But, if one can do it, they will find that their life will become much more fulfilling.

There are many resources available to help one become a better thinker. There are books, courses, and workshops on critical thinking, logic, and argumentation. These can all be helpful in learning how to examine one’s thoughts more critically. However, some of the most valuable resources for self-improvement are found within oneself. One of the best ways to improve as a thinker is simply to think about things more deeply. When faced with a problem or challenge, take the time to really consider all of the possible solutions. Weigh the pros and cons of each option, and try to come up with the best possible solution. This may seem like a lot of work, but it is well worth the effort.

President John Kennedy took the time to ponder why Khrushchev decided to place missiles in Cuba. President Kennedy likely avoided an incredibly deadly nuclear war by taking the time to improve his thought pattern and delaying the natural tendency to react.

Sometimes, self-improvement starts with a pause.

What does it look like?

When you think about improving yourself, what does that look like in your mind? If you’re anything like most people, you probably think about making some physical change, such as going to the gym more or eating healthier. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, if that’s all you focus on, you’re missing out on a lot of other potential areas for self-improvement.

We are more than just our bodies; we are also our minds and hearts. If we want to be truly well-rounded individuals, we need to take care of all three parts of ourselves. Focusing too much on the physical aspects of improvement can lead to neglecting the mental and emotional aspects of our lives.

That means finding ways to challenge and stimulate our minds so that we can continue to learn and grow. It means taking care of our emotional health so that we can be happy and fulfilled. And it means taking care of our physical health so that we can be strong and active.

Mental Resilience

Improvement of the heart and mind is incredibly important to become mentally resilient. A lot of people think that being mentally tough means never experiencing negative emotions, but that’s not the case. Mental toughness doesn’t mean you’re immune to hardship; it just means you have the ability to keep going even when things are tough.

That might mean taking on a new project at work or learning a new skill. It could also mean facing your fears and doing things even though they make you feel anxious or scared. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll become stronger and more resilient.

It’s also important to take care of your emotional health. This means making sure you have a good support system and taking time for yourself when you need it. It might mean reaching out to a friend or family member when you’re feeling down or taking a break from work to relax and recharge.

There is no one “right” way to improve oneself. What works for one person may not work for another. The important thing is to find what works for you and to stick with it.

Starting small is a key to making improvements work. In the book Atomic Habits, James Clear suggests combining new habits with existing habits to increase the likelihood of developing new habits. If reading more is your version of self-improvement, start by placing a book on the couch next to your TV remote. Having the book out and near something you are used to reaching for creates a habit of being able to grab the book and read a page or two prior to turning on the television. Small steps lead to great improvements throughout our lives. It is never too late to get yourself where you want to be.