The Pursuit That Makes You Weary


   The book titled 'You Do You' written by Sarah Knight has a chapter titled 'There is Nothing Wrong With You'. Talking over it in an interview, Knight says, "If you insist on making one resolution - it must be to accept yourself for who you are; not to beat yourself up over what you are not (e.g., thin enough, rich enough, stylish enough, in -a -relationship-enough). You will get more out of cultivating confidence and swagger than by enumerating all the ways in which you are deficient - by your own impossibly high standards or anyone else's". Ironically every human in the world is headed for improving the self to death . Be it self - help gurus, the self - help boom, the Instagram healers and the forwards of the Whats App University all are shouting at the top of their voices in unison - become better before you die. Everyone on the planet wants to be perfect, more efficient / focused / productive as all intend to optimize their happiness.
   This behavior of running for self improvement is addictive as it is used incorrectly.  Every person runs from pillar to post to work on one quick fix to another and later gets over consumed as the purpose of 'becoming better' is defeated in the process. One needs to focus on the self and question - What am I running for? Where am I running to? Why am I running after this? Is it really worth whatever I am losing in the present moment / today? Everyone can improve but if that improvement is to become better than others; its an endless RAT RACE where you are caged. Improvement helps when you try to be better than what you were yesterday but improving for competition and to outsmart others may cost you your success and happiness as this race is endless and you may never be able to achieve what you aim for except unhappiness and failure.
   Today the social media has created a havoc in our lives as everyone intends to achieve the status of a poster boy / girl status. It creates a feeling of insecurity within us. We are obsessed with improving ourselves by our critical self - evaluation and the high expectations we set for ourselves. The world is in a state of utter dissatisfaction due to this need of constant self - improvement. Why can't we really like and love ourselves as we are? This constant self - improvement has murdered that which is natural, organic and spontaneous inside us. We have left no scope for impulse, there is no room for anything that is average and we can never be our old self ever. The more one tries to be the 'best version'; one ends up being the 'stressed version' because the endless race towards self - improvement makes us lose our energy, mental strength and the essence of our life.
   The pursuit of Self - improvement is not wrong, but be lenient towards your self. It is okay to chill out at times. Never compare yourself to others / anyone. In case you do not get what you aimed for; stay in control without being anxious /nervous / aggressive. Never over identify with change. Practice gratitude and self -acceptance. Value whatever strengths you have and remember the journey is a long one and change comes at a slow pace. Do not lose heart and please do not get addicted to self help books / videos as most of the times all these do not work (except some cases). Remember that at the end of the day if you do not accept yourself the way you are; you will never be able to accept the world as it is because you do not love / value / respect yourself. Do not live a life that makes you remorseful in the last days of your journey on this planet. Improve yourself but do not be strict, rigid or hate yourself if you do not get the desired result. Live life to the fullest so that you never leave with regrets.

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