Self-improvement gets a bad name because of the smart salesmen who hijacked the term.
Most of what passes as self-improvement isn’t self-improvement at all.
Humans have a tendency to choose the path of least resistance.
Smart salesmen who are aware of this human weakness, exploit it to the end and they get rich. Most of what’s marketed as self-improvement is targeted towards people who want to skip the due process and succeed without paying the price of success.
The price of success is paid in the currency of persistent effort.
Sending a wish to the universe isn’t self-improvement. Neither is meditation, yoga, astrology or any other pseudo-action, such as forcing yourself to smile, praying and so on.
Self-Improvement Requires Real Action and Due Process
Let’s see how self-improvement works in the real world with a few examples:
Example 1: Your goal is to learn how to speak Spanish.
Each Spanish class you take, each conversation with a Spanish speaking person are real actions that move you closer to your goal.
Example 2: Your goal is to build a muscular body.
Example 3: Your goal is to build a business and make money.
Educating yourself about business, taking risks and working on your business are real actions that move you closer to your goal.
You don’t send a wish to the universe about learning Spanish, building a muscular body or building a business. You don’t meditate on it. You don’t pray for it. You don’t need to read the stars to guess whether you can do it or not. You buckle down and do the work. You don’t waste your time with bullshit.
Self-Improvement Leads to Mastery
You can tell you mastered things when you act and things turn out the way you want them.
For example, when you can sit down and read a Spanish novel, it means you mastered the Spanish language. You mastered building a business when that business is able to support your cost of living. You mastered seduction when you consistently get laid with attractive women.
Can you tell that you mastered sending a message to the universe, meditation, yoga, astrology, smiling or praying?
Self-Improvement Requires Persisting Through Mistakes and Failures
The road to mastery is not a straight line. There are many bumps and detours along the way. We call them mistakes and failures.
Have you ever wondered why ALL kids are able to learn their language, and adults usually have a hard time learning a language?
It’s not because kids are smarter than adults. It’s because kids are not scared to make mistakes. They are not embarrassed to butcher the language until they get it right. They don’t care whether you laugh at their mistakes. Kids are not self-conscious. Kids don’t have shame. They persist until they achieve their goal.
The essence of self-improvement is learning by mistakes and failures. Persistence involves making mistakes, correcting them, and moving on without feeling embarrassed. If you think you will embarrass yourself, you will not reach your goals.
Snake oil salesmen know that people are afraid to fail or make mistakes, so they con people with fail-safe methods.
You can’t fail to send messages to the universe. You can’t fail to sit down on your ass and meditate. You can’t fail yoga. You can’t fail to smile or pray.
Self-Improvement Is Measurable
If your goal is to lose weight, you can weigh yourself on a scale and see if you are progressing towards your goal. If you are building muscle you can measure if the weights you are lifting are increasing. If you are learning a language you can tell if you understand what you read.
But it’s impossible to measure the messages you are sending to the universe. It’s impossible to measure if you mastered meditation, yoga or astrology. It’s impossible to measure if smiling more is actually making you happy. It’s impossible to tell if your prayers are working or not.
Self-Improvement Is Tough
Making money, learning to play a musical instrument, building muscle, learning a new language are all tough nuts to crack. There are no shortcuts. All of these require the due process which can’t be skipped.
Can you say that sending a message to the universe is tough? Meditating? Yoga? Smiling? Praying? Everyone can do all of these with no effort whatsoever.
Self-improvement is great, but no worthy goal is easy to achieve.
Like Jim Rohn said, don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.