Although the so called “Self Improvement”, or “Self Help” movement did not officially start until the seventies, -that is, when it became a very fashionable and profitable business-, the idea that by following a set of rules, moral, ethical, or spiritual advice, we not only can, but should improve ourselves, our lives, and the lives around others, that we should become “better”, “happier”, “more successful”, and more “worthy” is ancient.
As soon as we, as entire species or individuals became aware that we have a “self”, we begun to condition ourselves and others around us to believe, that our “self”is not perfect, and that it needs improvement.
Our Self however can not be perfected, because it exists only in our imagination: we have created the self to our image, therefore, when we improve our image of our self, our “self” will improve also.
To improve our image to the virtual world is relatively easy. We literally pick and chose what and how we share with the world about our selves and our so called life.
Improving our image by the clothes we wear, the car we drive, and the menu choices we make in public takes a little more work, but still doable.
Improving our self image to ourselves is the hardest thing of all. We can fool most of the people most of the time, but not all people all the time. We can hardly ever totally fool ourselves, because we know when we are lying, faking, embellishing or fabricating.
So how do we improve our self? First, we need to learn to know our selves. Intimately, and without edits and excuses. We need to look closely,without judgement, but without rose colored glasses, and see how we really are. We need to examine our motives, our hopes, our inspirations and we need to confront our deepest fears about ourselves.
When we can see ourselves clearly in the mirror of our soul, we are ready for improvement.