Josh sent me this article.
It seems like a lot of this article targets the foolishness and excesses of some self help people. For example, they point out the guy who wrote a book manuscript in a month using study drugs then had it rejected. I would argue that isn’t self improvement, but is self destruction. The author also points out that some people put so much stress on themselves because of their goals that they self destruct and have all sorts of issues. The author then concludes by saying we should just be happy with being our average selves.
I would argue that this article has the straw man fallacy; it intentionally misrepresents (or carefully selects a subsection) of evidence as that is easier to defeat than the opponent’s real argument.
I feel like I am a big self improvement person, but in a very different way than anything described in this article. I don’t know many people like me, but there are a few I know personally or have read about. I don’t ever really get stressed out about self improvement – I take a non-judgemental approach of simply tracking my life day to day. If I do something good, that’s awesome. If not, that’s perfectly fine too.
Over time I have tested a wide variety of different methods and have settled on a selection of things I do that work for me:
- I have a daily Goals sheet that I fill out. It has the things that I have discovered are most important for my well being listed off and helps to keep me focused on those. I feel happiest and most content when I am doing well on these areas. Some of the tracked things include (What I am thankful for, days sober, workout I do, what I learn, what I work on, sex, if I wrote a blog post, how much social interaction I got, how I got along with my wife, whether I brushed my teeth, what time I went to bed and if I took a nap).
- Once a week, I do a bit of a broader scale review and look at my well being Physically, Emotionally, Socially, Business, and Finance.
- I have recently started doing a weekly marriage review with Laurel. I feel like this is helping me be a better husband.
- I have an investments sheet, but I haven’t really updated that in a year, I have just stuck with the bonds I am in.
Trying to do all of the above all at once would probably be overwhelming, but I have incrementally added / adjusted things over about 9 years now and have found this to have brought me to a pretty epic and great life. I have some stress like everyone, but this helps me keep the big picture in mind and be grateful for what I have.
What are you thoughts?