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The following is a guest post by Rachel King and it honestly gives the reader a great deal to think about. Enjoy!
Is Constant Improvement Really Necessary? A Guest Post by Rachel King
We live in a world where there is intense competition to get ahead and stay there. We’re constantly being asked to improve and innovate if we are to achieve success. And we continue to strive for that exclusive prize (be it money or fame or both) throughout our lives because no amount is enough. But, no matter what self-help gurus advocate, is constant improvement really necessary? Must we really push ourselves further and further even if it means we are not really happy with what we are doing?
A very good friend came to me depressed because she could not find the motivation to complete certain projects she had taken up. She felt guilty because she procrastinated and kept them till the last minute. And she felt upset because she did not want to complete them because she had lost all interest in them. The funny part of this was that she had been so enthusiastic about this project just a few months ago. She is an alpha achiever in anything she does and is a very shrewd and clever person. So why, she asks me, am I not able to sustain my interest in this?
She had actually taken on the project as a way to improve and better herself. But once she got into it, she began to question the constant and continuous process of self improvement. She made a very valid point; in the quest for improvement, we usually leave behind and forget all the simple things in life that are pleasurable – watching television on a cold evening by yourself with a tub of ice cream, spending time with your children without yelling at them or ordering them around, cuddling with your spouse in front of a fire on a random night, taking time out to go visit a neighbor who is sick, visiting the shops even when you’re broke just for the pleasure of it, and so on and so forth.
Because we strive to do something “purposeful” with our lives, we end up stressed and depressed because we are unable to reach the standards we set for ourselves. We feel guilty at not being able to achieve our goal and this has a detrimental effect on our psyche. We take out our frustration on those close to us and ruin relationships in the process.
Improving yourself does not have to mean you must achieve some milestone that others will appreciate; rather, it means you must be satisfied with and happy about the quality of your life; you must be able to live it on your terms rather than by the standards set by others; and you must be content and at peace when you go to bed each night and wake up each morning.
This guest post is contributed by Rachel King, who writes on the topic of Online Christian Universities.